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South Africa: Crookes Brothers’ deciduous division reports operating loss

Crookes Brothers is a southern African company with agricultural operations in South Africa, as well as in Eswatini (Swaziland), Zambia and Mozambique. The company, which has been actively trying to diversify from its traditional sugar farming base, has taken a big step back on its deciduous fruit foray in the Western Cape.

In the financial year ending in March, Crookes reported that its deciduous division reported an operating loss (after a biological asset fair value adjustment) of R19.2 million compared to the R10.1 million profits harvested in 2019.

The group reported that the average prices achieved on the 2019 crop were 16 % down on the estimates, primarily due to smaller fruit size and overall quality. Crookes believed this was the result of the knock-on impact of the 2018 drought experienced in the Western Cape.

The 2020 crop harvest was lower than expected and only marginally higher than the 2019 crop, partially due to hail-storm damage suffered in the fourth quarter.

 [ R100 = €4.90 ]

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