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Feronia Inc. Reports 2018 Results

TORONTO, April 30, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Feronia Inc. (“Feronia” or the “Company”) (FRN.V) today released its audited financial results for the year ended December 31, 2018. All amounts in this release are expressed in US dollars unless otherwise indicated. A copy of the audited financial statements of the Company for the year ended December 31, 2018 is available on the Company’s SEDAR profile at www.sedar.com.

2018 Highlights

  • Produced 197,055 tonnes of fruit (2017: 143,572 tonnes), a year-over-year increase of 37%

  • Produced 40,674 tonnes of Crude Palm Oil (“CPO”) (2017: 27,189 tonnes), a year-over-year increase of 50%

  • Revenue of $29.1 million (2017: $21.1 million), a year-over-year increase of 38%, primarily from the sale of 36,299 tonnes of CPO at an average price of $701 per tonne (2017: 24,609 tonnes at $775 per tonne)

  • Completed installation of new fiber boiler at Boteka

  • Commenced construction of new Lokumete mill

  • Closed second tranche of $8.5 million private placement with Straight KKM 2 Limited

  • Entered into unsecured subordinated short term loan facility of up to $3 million with existing shareholders

Xavier de Carnière, Chief Executive Officer of Feronia Inc. commented:

The increase in production in 2018 was in line with expectations, and highlights the predictability we are beginning to experience in the operational aspect of this business. The same cannot be said for palm oil prices though, which were very disappointing, especially Palm Kernel Oil, which hampered our ability to fund the final steps towards profitability through our operational cash flow. However, we are seeing signs of price recovery in 2019.

“Our optimism also extends to the work started on the Lokumete mill, which is expected to be one of the most modern palm oil mills in Africa when completed. We are also pleased to report that our research division, the Centre de Recherche en Agronomie Tropicale de Yaligimba (Creaty), is making progress in re-establishing our research and development initiatives as world class.

“The election in the DRC in late 2018 created considerable uncertainty for both the Company and people in the DRC. Completion of the election and the peaceful transition of power reinforces our confidence that we are building a company in a country which has tremendous potential and is showing steady progress.

“The DRC was once a leader in palm oil and, in many ways, where industrial palm oil cultivation began. Various challenges have affected the country over the years and it lost its position of prominence and became a substantial importer of palm oil and derivative products. With increased stability, the DRC can again look to regain its position at the forefront of the palm oil industry and we will play an important role in it achieving that.

For further information please contact:

Xavier de Carniere
Chief Executive Officer, Feronia Inc.
44 (0)7468 697 658

Paul Dulieu
Director of Communications and Corporate Development, Feronia Inc.
44 (0)7554 521421

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.

  • 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 thousands of 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 108 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 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 has 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, 2018, 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.