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Shelter Afrique names Hann as new helmsman, records $1.04m profit

By Chinedum Uwaegbulam
22 August 2022   |   2:09 am
Pan African housing development financier, Shelter Afrique shareholders, have approved the appointment of Thierno-Habib Hann as the company’s new Managing Director. Hann will replace Mr Andrew Chimphondah

Shelter Afrique Centre

Pan African housing development financier, Shelter Afrique shareholders, have approved the appointment of Thierno-Habib Hann as the company’s new Managing Director. Hann will replace Mr. Andrew Chimphondah who left the company in February.

Hann has extensive international experience in housing finance, capital markets and structured finance, set-up and management of investment funds with banking and multilateral institutions. Currently, he is the Asia-Pacific Lead for housing finance and capital markets at the International Finance Corporation (IFC), based in Bangkok and previously in charge of Africa and the Middle East, based in Nairobi.

“The process was very competitive and Hann was selected based on merit and competence. He is expected to strengthen governance, be an embodiment of our values and drive the investment strategy of the Company focused on delivering large-scale affordable housing,” the company’s Chairman, Mr. Ephraim Bichetero said.

Hann will join the organisation once he completes his current contract with IFC. In the interim, Muwowo will continue to serve as Acting Managing Director.

MEANWHILE, the company has posted an operating profit of $1.04 million up from an operating loss of $0.58 million the company recorded in 2020, backed by impairment recoveries and effective cost control measures.

The company contained its operating expenses at $8.04 million in 2021 down from $8.44 million in 2020, representing a 10 per cent decline. It also reined in its operating expenses, which dropped from $8.35 million in 2020 to $7.71 million in 2021.

The company’s gross income, however, declined slightly to $12.09 in 2021, down from $13.94 recorded in 2020.

Addressing shareholders at the 41st yearly general meeting held in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, Bichetero said the transformational initiatives undertaken by the company and its business’ resilience enabled it to weather the COVID-19 storm.

In the 2019-2023 Strategic Plan, the Company projected a return to financial viability by 2020 and overall financial sustainability and profitability by 2023, a feat that it achieved two years ahead of schedule.

Shelter Afrique Group Ag. Managing Director, Kingsley Muwowo, said: “Our 2021 financial performance, despite the macroeconomic and socio-political environment, is an indication that the turnaround plan recommended by the board and approved by shareholders continues to be the north-star on our course to returning to financial stability and viability.”

During the year under review, total assets declined by 5 per cent from US$ 176.68 million in 2020 to US$ 167.31 Million in 2021, attributed to the 100 per cent reduction in settlement of the total debt following the repayment of US$ 34.71 Million.

Liquidity decreased by 33% per cent from US$ 47.41 million in 2020 to US$ 31.59 million in 2021, attributed to significant debt servicing payments on the CFA Bond and DRA debt amounting to US$ 35.87 million. However, the liquidity ratio still remained strong, closing at 19 per cent, which is 4 per cent points above the minimum threshold of 15 per cent.

Shareholder Funds increased by 19 per cent from $135.74million in 2020 to $161.60 million in 2021 due to the new capital subscriptions of $24.85 million and the profit of $1.04 Million for the year. This increase brings the total paid-up capital by 15 per cent, from $157.29 million in 2020 to $182.14 million in 2021.

“We are grateful to our shareholders for their unwavering support through the continued capitalisation of the company, with $24 million received in 2021 against a target of $17 million. The receipt of these funds was achieved amidst severe fiscal constraints, and we are conscious of this,” he said.

Muwowo added that the Company would continue to review various capital raising options, including new equity capital and debt options through the issuance of local currency bonds to develop and deepen Africa’s capital markets.

“We recently completed a debut ₦46 billion (US$110.7 million) Series 1 Fixed Rate Senior Unsecured Bond Issuance in Nigeria’s capital market under its ₦200 billion ($481.3 million) bond issuance programme for housing and urban development in Nigeria. We plan similar bond issuance in East African markets including Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda,” Muwowo said.