CIEL Group delivers strong double-digit revenue growth across the portfolio leading to a solid net profit ofMUR 2.84 bn for the nine months to 31 March 2023
The Group’s 32% increase in revenue to reach MUR 27 bn was largely due to the Hotels & Resorts cluster beating expectations and all other clusters posting double-digit growth.
EBITDA grew by 55% to reach MUR 5.1 bn on the same period last year coupled with an improvement in the EBITDA margin to 18.9%.
Profit after tax increased 1.9x for the nine months to reach MUR 2.8 bn.
Earnings per share (“EPS”) doubled compared to the same period of last year to reach
MUR 1.02, as profit attributable to owners reached MUR 1.7 bn.
Free Cash Flow (“FCF”) reached MUR 3.5 bn, a marked improvement on the prior period.
Hotels and Resorts
Revenue stood at MUR 6.3 bn, an 85% increase on the previous nine-month period where hotels were closed for the first three months and gradually reopened as from October 2021. Effective cost management led to a 2.6x increase in EBITDA to MUR 2.0 bn. The EBITDA margin gained nine percentage points to 31.5%. With the substantial increase in occupancy and higher average daily rates in the period, profit after tax reached MUR 1.1 bn compared to MUR 9M in the same period last year and MUR 239M in the same period of FY19.
Revenue increased by 24% to reach MUR 13.7 bn for the first nine months of the year. The Woven and Knitwear clusters’ regional and Asian operations were the main contributors to this growth. EBITDA rose to MUR 1.4 bn, which is up from MUR 978M in the previous period leading to a double-digit EBITDA margin of 10.4% (9M22: 8.9%). The product mix and increased manufacturing capacity in India led to a profit after tax of MUR 747M, representing a 49% increase compared to the same period last year. It included the MUR 100M closure cost for Consolidated Fabrics Limited operations in Mauritius, as part of the partnership signed with SOCOTA in Madagascar.
The Finance cluster posted a 17% increase in revenue to reach
MUR 3.8 bn. This was primarily driven by BNI Madagascar’s increase in net banking income, strengthened by increased interest rates leading to improved margins. The cluster realised an EBITDA of MUR 1.1 bn (9M22: MUR 945M). The increase in Bank One’s asset base, coupled with higher interest income and a reversal of provisions, contributed to higher earnings during the period. Profit after tax increased by 24% and stood at MUR 718M. This, owing to the improved profitability at BNI coupled with the increased contribution from Bank One as well as the capital gain on disposal of our asset management arm, IPRO, in October 2022. As a consequence, the negative effect of the higher expected credit losses relating to IFRS 9 provisioning at BNI level in the period were neutralised.
The cluster’s nine-month revenue rose by 10%, driven by higher occupancy levels resulting from the expansion of lab facilities in Mauritius and maternity facilities in Uganda. The growth in core activities compensated for the substantial reduction in Covid-related treatments, underscoring the cluster’s potential for further growth. The 11% decline in EBITDA to MUR 607M was primarily due to the one-off profit of MUR 62M from the divestment of the Nigerian business in the previous year, and once adjusted for, indicates that EBITDA has remained relatively stable. Profit after tax stood at MUR 263M down by 29% mainly due to the aforementioned factors.
The Properties cluster achieved an increase in revenue to MUR 151M in the first nine months of the year. The mixed-use property fund, Evolis, completed and fully leased phase one of the working lifestyle destination ‘Nouvelle Usine’ in Floreal and phase 2 is now in progress. The regeneration of former Textile buildings in Solitude, branded as ‘Flexeo Business Park’, with its warehousing hub of 25,000 square metres is now fully occupied. The Ferney sustainable development project is moving forward, with the first phase of sales entirely reserved. The cluster continues to be loss-making due to pre-development project fees of MUR 33M (9M22: MUR 8M) related to the launch of the projects mentioned above. Net loss for the period amounted to MUR 39M compared to MUR 11M in the prior nine-month period.
CIEL has reported a combined share of profit attributable from Alteo Limited and MIWA Sugar Limited of MUR 224M for the nine months ended 31 March 2023, which represents a growth of MUR 18M compared to the prior period. The newly listed company, MIWA Sugar, is a positive contributor to the cluster as both the Kenyan and Tanzanian operations continue to perform well despite challenges from persistent inflationary cost pressures in both countries. At Alteo Limited, the company has seen an improvement in sugar prices that has helped to mitigate the negative impact of the poor 2022 sugar crop. The property segment’s performance has been on par with the prior period.
Portfolio valuation update
As at 31 March 2023, the valuation of CIEL’s portfolio stood at MUR 20.5 bn, a 14% decline versus the 30 June 2022 position. This can be attributed to the following factors: C-Care’s Volume-Weighted Average Price decreased by 39% to MUR 11.44 (30 June 2022: MUR 18.82) while the decrease in the valuation of CIEL Finance of 16% was mainly due to the cluster’s borrowings for the buyout of minorities in CIEL Finance. The decrease in the Agro cluster’s valuation of 33%, results from the decrease in the share price of Alteo Limited to MUR 8.50 and newly listed MIWA Sugar to MUR 12.74, compared to the combined price at 30 June 2022 of MUR 31.80. The appreciation in SUN’s share price by 7% to MUR 27.50 (30 June 2022: MUR 25.75) somewhat mitigated these negative effects.
Company Net Asset Value fell by 17% to MUR 10.41 per share at 31 March 2023 versus MUR 12.49 at 30 June 2022. Over the same period, CIEL’s share price decreased by 8% to MUR 6.18 from MUR 6.70 at year end 30 June 2022, resulting in a market capitalisation of MUR 10.4 bn.
CIEL Group has a positive outlook for the 2023 financial year. With the current trend, the year end should bring significant growth in profitability.
In an uncertain global economic environment, CIEL remains attentive to the risks and opportunities that may arise. The Group’s longstanding presence in some of the world’s fastest growing regions, Africa and India, will ensure CIEL’s competitive advantage and its future growth.