Thursday, September 17, 2009

Reading the Olympia Capital Tea Leaves

Holding company - Olympia Capital’s annual report is one of the most jumbled I have seen in a while - it has contradictory statements, dates overlap, and profit/loss amounts that may have led to some regulatory trouble in Botswana where the company was also listed.

Performance: their accounts were qualified accounts by the audit firm DCDM who noted that the company did not comply with IFRS – where they should have consolidated a subsidiary (Plush - to be liquidated) in their accounts; the auditors however added that this omission did not have a material effect on the performance numbers since Olympia wrote off all related amounts

Disastrous SA investments
capping a disastrous foray into South Africa – whose dismal results the directors blame on the recession in that country
- owned 74% of Plush products limited which ceased business and will be liquidated as their bankers (Nedbank) moved in – the SA equivalent of a receivership?. Olympia wrote off Kshs. 103 million from Plush – 86 million investment and 17 million in loans
- With another company, Natural wooden products, they expected to buy (and who they lent money), but this will not materialize; they don’t expect to recover monies and have provided for it in full
- another one Natwood owes 63 million
- The report notes that Olympia provided a total of Kshs. 115 million for SA investments that have not contributed to profits since investment while the elsewhere is a note that discontinued SA operations will cost Kshs. 200 million

- own 12.5% Heri investments (valued at 71.6) million and mentioned they got a good dividend, thought its unclear how much was received
- A subsidiary, Dunlop, bought a tile making plant at a cost of 54 million – but it has not been installed – and the company may have to get a third party to install or operate it – or may even have sell the plant!
- Owned 7 million worth of Safaricom shares at year end

- Some directors & top shareholders have reduced their shareholding
- There are so many internal deals /within-the group based on valuations or estimated of directors
- There are no director profiles in report
- Corporate governance: Olympia created two board committees audit & nomination, and investments committee – but these did not meet during the year (this company needs a competent independent investments committee after its SA foray!)

Upcoming AGM
should be interesting to attend
- The AGM will be held on 25th September
- Auditors signed accounts on July 31, but the reports have been sent to (2,685) shareholders just two weeks before meeting
- Shareholders will be asked to approve a dividend at a critical time for the company (Olympia will pay out Kshs 4 million)
- Bad timing for the directors to ask shareholders to approve creation of an employee share option plan (ESOP), fund it, appoint trustees, issue shares etc.
- Increase share capital from 40 million to 50 million by creating 10 million new shares of 5/= each – this adds up to an additional 50, not 10 million!
- DCDM will continue as auditors.


3N said...

Bad investment after bad investment, the directors are going to have a tough time at the AGM.

coldtusker said...

All Olympia shareholders should show up at the AGM...

bankelele said...

3N & Coldtusker: all 2,685 of them

MainaT said...

Olympia reminds me of another household good retailer. A. Bauman & Co.
AGM will see shareholders being searched for weapons.

Anonymous said...

South Africa has been a real challenge, but we still believe in the market. M Matu

coldtusker said...

@mainat: I don't believe A.Baumann retailed household goods... industrial machinery, pumps, etc... even solar systems...


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