BUSINESS REVIEW AND OUTLOOK
The 11 month financial period saw a continuation of worsening macroeconomic conditions, but with the approval and release of COVID-19 vaccines, Trustco remains optimistic about the prospect of a full economic recovery in the near future as vaccinations increase in the geographical areas in which its investees operate. The group will unfortunately not see the results of that during the current reporting period.
Trustco’s home country of Namibia continued to experience its worst economic recession since independence. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, with its associated effects on macroeconomic conditions, the country’s economy contracted by 8% during 2020, together with a contraction in the first quarter of 2021 of 6.5%. The second quarter of the year saw only marginally improved growth of 1.6%, however the country experienced a third wave of COVID-19 infections during June and July 2021, resulting in further lockdowns.
Trustco and its investee companies thus continued to improve efficiency and restructured the operations in its investee entities to enable it to operate in a post-COVID-19 world. Its financial services investee continued to streamline operations and optimise the various businesses to operate digitally, while the resources investee continued to transition to commercial production. During this time, the group also changed its financial year-end to 31 August.
This period did not produce the usual exceptional results Trustco’s stakeholders expect from the group, with recorded revenues down 46% from the previous period to NAD 331 million, with group losses up 181% to a NAD 963 million loss. With its investee operations now optimised, Trustco is positioned to take full advantage of the economic upswing expected in the wake of the COVID-19 vaccination rollout. The board remains positive that it has taken sufficient action to ensure a return to growth in future reporting periods.