Natfoods clinches Top Companies Award

National Foods

National Foods Limited was crowned the best performing company on the local bourse

ZIMBABWE Stock Exchange (ZSE)-listed milling firm, National Foods Limited (Natfoods), was on Tuesday crowned the best performing company on the local bourse in the Financial Gazette’s Top Companies Survey 2015 sponsored by financial services giant, Old Mutual Zimbabwe.
The best ZSE performers were announced at an awards ceremony held in Harare on Tuesday.
The survey returned to the country’s corporate calendar last year after five years of absence, thanks to sponsorship from Old Mutual Zimbabwe, the largest financial services group in the country.
Natfoods, which is part of ZSE-listed conglomerate, Innscor Africa Limited, operates in the manufacturing sector, which has been hit by an uninterrupted decline since 2011, when manufacturing sector capacity utilisation reached a peak of 57,2 percent, but has steadily declined to about 34 percent this year, according to the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries.
It has consistently been among the top performing companies in Zimbabwe. Its crowning moment came on Tuesday when it took the top spot, with chief executive officer (CEO), Mike Lashbrook saying the award had been a “pleasant surprise”.
Natfoods is one of Zimbabwe’s largest manufacturers and marketers of food products, with a footprint spanning pre-packing and sale of dry groceries, to the manufacturing of stock feeds and food products.
The company operates in segments that include milling, manufacturing, distribution and the property.
Natfoods was ranked overall best performer, followed by beverages giant, Delta, in second place, and tobacco processor, BAT, which was voted overall third best counter.
Delta also won the disclosure and investor relations award.
For the first time in the history of the awards, judges and analysts included non-listed companies in the banking and insurance sectors.
Itai Chirume, the judges’ chairman, said they hoped to include more companies in the non-listed sphere in the spirit of “inclusivity”.
“This year marks the first year in which our survey included non-listed banking and insurance entities. This not only broadens the scope of the survey, but accords with economic inclusivity, thereby making the awards more representative of the market portfolio,” said Chirume.
He indicated that the inclusion of banks and insurance companies in the survey “was on the basis of the public availability of their financial and qualitative information — thanks to banking and insurance disclosure requirements”.
“Our aspiration is to cover more players across the market spectrum and to this end we urge voluntary financial and qualitative disclosures by State enterprises and those entities that aspire for future listing, including those in the Small to Medium Enterprise space,” he said.
Stanbic Bank was the inaugural best bank, with MBCA being the runner-up.
FML took the award for the best life assurance company, while ZB Re-Insurance won the award for the best non-life insurer.

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