Camellia PLC AGM Trading Statement
RNS Number : 5496P
10 June 2020
10 June 2020
AGM Trading Statement
Camellia Plc (the "Company")
Camellia Plc (CAM.L) has today issued the following update on
trading in the year to date.
First, we would like to reiterate our thanks to all of our staff
and business partners around the world, for their continuing
efforts in difficult circumstances.
Agriculture Our agricultural operations continue to work as
close to normal as they can. India returned to 100% workforce
deployment from 1 June, but we have yet to see the full impact on
volumes from the shut down and the recent torrential rain brought
by Cyclone Amphan. Lower volumes in the Indian tea auctions has
meant improved prices. Kenya continues to produce record volumes of
tea which has resulted in continued weakening of auction prices and
has led to lower prices for Malawi teas also. In addition, as
indicated in our annual results announcement, the Kenyan government
has recently introduced a range of new regulations to govern the
tea industry from 29 May 2020. The full impact of these regulations
is still to be determined.
Tea production in Bangladesh is below expectation due to a dry
start to the season and although there has been some improvement in
the most recent auctions, prices remain below those of last
The harvest for our Hass avocado crop began recently and early
indications are that our volumes will be substantially above those
of last year. While prices in Europe weakened in recent weeks, we
believe that they will improve as the season progresses. Following
our first small Blueberry crop last year, from our trial in Kenya,
which was in line with volume expectations and produced fruit with
excellent flavour and size, we had expected to be harvesting our
first full Blueberry crop this autumn. The bushes however have not
developed as anticipated and our first full harvest is now expected
As previously reported, the impact of the very dry hot weather
in Malawi and South Africa during the fourth quarter of 2019 caused
a decline in our macadamia production for 2020. Lower global demand
is also likely to impact prices.
Our remaining agricultural businesses are coping well in the
current exceptional circumstances.
Non-agriculture Our non-agriculture businesses continue to trade
as best they can whilst preparing for a post Covid-19 operating
environment which is likely to prove very challenging.
The Group has a strong balance sheet with GBP73.3 million in
cash and cash equivalents net of borrowings as at 31 May 2020. In
addition, our investment portfolio had a market value of GBP47.0
million at 31 May 2020. Following the Board's decision on 1 April
2020 not to declare a final dividend for the 2019 financial year,
it remains our intention to review dividends at the time of the
As previously announced, we know that results for 2020 are
likely to be substantially below those of 2019 but it is not yet
possible to give further detailed guidance on the impact of
COVID-19 on our operations at this stage.
This announcement contains inside information for the purposes
of Article 7 of the Market Abuse Regulation (EU) No. 596/2014.
Camellia Plc 01622 746655
Tom Franks, CEO
Susan Walker, CFO
Panmure Gordon 020 7886 2500
Nominated Adviser and Broker
William Clutterbuck 07785 292617
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
June 10, 2020 06:30 ET (10:30 GMT)