Feronia Inc.
TSX VENTURE : FRN

Feronia Inc.

April 29, 2016 08:45 ET

Feronia Inc. Reports 2015 Results

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - April 29, 2016) - Feronia Inc. ("Feronia" or the "Company") (TSX VENTURE:FRN) today released its audited financial results for the year ended December 31, 2015. All amounts in this release are expressed in US dollars unless otherwise indicated.

2015 Highlights

  • Produced 88,572 tonnes of fruit (2014: 70,887 tonnes), a year-over-year increase of 25%
  • Produced 16,783 tonnes of Crude Palm Oil ("CPO") (2014: 13,010 tonnes), a year-over-year increase of 29%
  • Fresh fruit bunch ("FFB") yield of 8.1 tonnes per mature hectare ("ha") (2014: 7.4 tonnes per mature ha)
  • Oil extraction rate ("OER") of 19% (2014: 18%)
  • Revenue of $10.9 million (2014: $10.8 million) primarily from the sale of 13,926 tonnes of CPO at an average price of $714 per tonne (2014: 11,535 tonnes at $799 per tonne)
  • Net loss of $21 million or $0.39 per share (2014: net loss of $16 million or $0.28 per share)
  • BioCube1 biodiesel generator installed at Yaligimba; vehicles and electricity generators at Yaligimba now powered by biodiesel
  • Entered into a secured term facility agreement (the "DFI Debt Facility") for up to $49 million with a syndicate of European lenders consisting of four Development Finance Institutions ("DFIs")
  • Closed financing of $28.1 million through the private placement of secured convertible debentures ("Debentures") with CDC Group plc, the UK Government's DFI, the African Agriculture Fund ("AAF") through Golden Oil Holdings Limited ("GOHL") and Ravi Sood, Chairman of Feronia

Subsequent Events

  • Closed the final tranche of Debentures through the private placement of $3.2 million of secured convertible debentures with the AAF through GOHL
  • Publication of Environmental & Social Assessment report
  • Completed first drawdown of $15 million from the DFI Debt Facility and, concurrent with the first drawdown, the Debentures and accrued and unpaid interest converted into common shares

Xavier de Carnière, Chief Executive Officer of Feronia Inc., commented: "Against a backdrop of the toughest global palm oil market conditions in recent history, Feronia has made considerable operational progress.

"As our replanted hectares begin to mature and our producing hectares increase, so does our confidence in being able to achieve our long term objectives. This confidence is supported by the gauges on our dashboard turning green; a 25% increase in fruit production, a 29% increase in CPO production, increases in yield per hectare and oil extraction rate, a 21% increase in CPO volume sold, a new major refining customer and securing a $49 million debt facility are but a few of the indicators of the progress we are making.

"Our progress is no accident. It is down to the hard work and unwavering and precious dedication of our staff, management and two largest shareholders. There is much still to do. We must, and will, remain focused on patiently working towards our goals, including delivering on our social and environmental targets and commitments, so as to rebuild this business into the great business we all believe it will become."

About Feronia Inc.

  • Feronia is an agribusiness operating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
  • At the heart of Feronia lies a long established palm oil business, Plantations et Huileries du Congo (PHC), which has three remotely located plantations; Lokutu, Yaligimba and Boteka. We also have an arable farming operation which grows and processes rice.
  • When Feronia acquired its palm oil business from Unilever in 2009, it had suffered from years of underinvestment and considerable disruption caused by conflict in the DRC. Our initial focus has been on rebuilding the business and resuming production to secure its future and the livelihoods of the 3,800+ people we directly employ.
  • Feronia's plantations produce crude palm oil (CPO) and palm kernel oil (PKO). CPO is part of the staple and traditional diet of the Congolese and, with our products sold locally in the DRC, we are well placed to help decrease reliance on imports and increase food security and quality.
  • Feronia prides itself on being the guardian of our 105 year-old palm oil business and its employees, communities, and environment. We have a long term commitment to improve the living and working environment of our employees and their communities and are committed to sustainable agriculture, environmental protection and community inclusion. Feronia has in place an Environmental and Social Action Plan which is focused on implementing environmental and social best practice and improving social infrastructure.
  • Feronia is working towards certification by the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and is implementing IFC/World Bank standards for environmental and social sustainability. Our oil palm replanting programme is brownfield in nature - replacing old palms with new - and it has no reliance on deforestation.
  • Feronia's management team is comprised of senior agriculturalists with extensive experience in managing both plantations and farming operations in emerging markets.
  • For more information please see www.feronia.com.

Cautionary Notes

Except for statements of historical fact contained herein, the information in this press release constitutes "forward-looking information" within the meaning of Canadian securities law. Such forward-looking information may be identified by words such as "anticipates", "plans", "proposes", "estimates", "intends", "expects", "believes", "may" and "will". There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate; actual results and future events could differ materially from such statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially include, among others: risks related to foreign operations (including various political, economic and other risks and uncertainties), the interpretation and implementation of the "Loi Portant Principes Fondamentaux Relatifs A L'Agriculture", termination or non-renewal of concession rights or expropriation of property rights, political instability and bureaucracy, limited operating history, lack of profitability, lack of infrastructure in the DRC, high inflation rates, limited availability of debt financing in the DRC, fluctuations in currency exchange rates, competition from other businesses, reliance on various factors (including local labour, importation of machinery and other key items and business relationships), the Company's reliance on one major customer, lower productivity at the Company's plantations and arable farming operations, risks related to the agricultural industry (including adverse weather conditions, shifting weather patterns, and crop failure due to infestations), a shift in commodity trends and demands, vulnerability to fluctuations in the world market, the lack of availability of qualified management personnel and stock market volatility. Details of the risk factors relating to Feronia and its business are discussed under the heading "Risks and Uncertainties" in Feronia's Management's discussion and Analysis for the year ended December 31, 2015, a copy of which is available on the Company's SEDAR profile at www.sedar.com. Most of these factors are outside the control of the Company. Investors are cautioned not to put undue reliance on forward-looking information. Except as otherwise required by applicable securities statutes or regulation, the Company expressly disclaims any intent or obligation to update publicly forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its regulation services provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

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