12 Inside BUSINESS Thursday, November 9 2017 | NEW ERA Mr Price is doing things right, FNB economist JOHANNESBURG South African clothing retailer Mr Price Group has been praised for turning around its fortunes in a short space of time after losing its market share last year. Chantal Marx, head of research at FNB Securities, said that Mr Price was doing things right and that the group’s strategy was paying off with good returns. This comes after Mr Price on Tuesday said that it expected earnings for the six months ended 30 September 2017 to be 20-25 percent higher than those reported for the previous corresponding period. The group’s two divisions â€“ MRP Apparel and Miladys â€“ recovered well after under-perform- Marx said there were a “couple of unique” things that resulted in higher earnings for Mr Price despite South African retailers expecting to see single-digit growth in future as weak economic growth and international competitors continue to put pressure on consumer spending. “Mr Price is coming from a relatively low base. In the last year, Mr Price lost a sizeable market share and now the base is less demanding, plus there has been good improvement during the winter season,” Marx said. “Also, Mr Price has been investing in sourcing and distribution for PUBLIC NOTICE Ministry of Fishereis and Marine Resources the last two to three years. As a result, they have now removed the middle man by sourcing directly China and they have grown their distribution centre in Durban to reduce costs.” Marx said that Mr Price was also quality, seasonal sales, and low price points compared to other local and international retailers, which allowed consumers to spend even though they feel under pressure. – Nampa/ANA CONSULTATIONS ON RECREATIONAL, SPORT AND SUBSISTENCE FISHING LEVIES The Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources has noted the concerns raised by several members of the public, especially through the print media, on the newly gazetted recreational levies (Government Notice No. 158 of 26 June 2017). We particularly note the sentiments that the new N$ 1,500 per permit per month is being seen as high, and also there is an assumption that this fee will also be In the meantime, the Minister have suspended the implementation of paragraph 4 of Government Notice No. 158 of 26th June 2017, on Imposition of levies on Marine Resources, which introduced a levy of N$ 1500.00 per month to allow for further consultations with all stakeholders on this matter. In this regard, the Ministry wishes to invite all stakeholders for consultations to the following place as follows: from 09h30 to 12h30: Friday, 10th November 2017 in a sustainable manner. Sanral denies writing off R3bn in unpaid e-toll fees in SA JOHANNESBURG The South African Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) on Wednesday denied that it had written off impairment losses of R3.6 billion for unpaid e-toll debts older than three years, compared to R92 million in 2015/16. This comes after Sanral on Tuesday appeared before the Portfolio Committee on Transport to submit its Integrated Annual Report. The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) said on Tuesday that the state-owned entity was to collect the Gauteng e-toll debt from motorists, with increased loss for the 2016/17 year at just under R5 billion. According to Outa, this 2016/17 loss was up from the loss of R1.2 billion Sanral posted last year, with the bulk of the loss of about R3.6 billion arising from the toll operations. Outa said the R3.6 billion was the equivalent of 50 percent of all toll revenue, or the 15 months of Gauteng e-toll operations and is substantially more than the prescribed debt. against e-tolling in Gauteng since the introduction of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP) in December 2013. However, Sanral chief executive Skhumbuzo Macozoma said that reports that the agency had JOHANNESBURG cals group, Omnia Holdings, has won its drawn-out legal battle against high prices charged by phosphates and phosphoric acid producer, Foskor Proprietary Limited. The legal dispute dates back to 2015, when the high court gave judgement in favour of Omnia by enforcing the Competition Tribunal order. The Tribunal had found that until August 2008, Foskor’s pricing policy was to charge domestic customers the export price plus an additional fee equivalent to 75 percent of the freight costs to India. Omnia successfully sought a declaratory order that Foskor charged an excessive price to the detriment of its domestic clients for phosphoric acid, the main input in fertiliser. Omnia also alleged that Foskor had contravened section 8 of the Competition Act. But last year Foskor lodged an appeal that resulted in the High Court judgement being suspended and Foskor being granted leave to appeal. written off debt were “incorrect”. “Non-payment of toll fees is an offence and this does not prescribe. Sanral has repeatedly stated that it is making every attempt to collect the debt, in other words, enforce its claim. It would not be prudent to write this amount off until it becomes clear it is not collectible,” Macozoma said. “Sanral made a provision in its assessment of collectability in its Integrated Report as required by International Accounting Standard 39. Additionally, subsequent measurement requires an assessment of possible loss events in order sets, i.e. trade receivables. “Significant financial difficulty of a debtor and default or delinquency in payments are considered indicators of impairment. Therefore, Sanral has not written off e-toll debt.” Macozoma said the low collection rate on the GFIP concerned the agency, and that its board has requested government to address the impact of the poor collection rate with Cabinet to ensure the sustainability of the agency. “We need to engage South Africans to avoid a situation where they resist tolling. There is a negative perception and resistance to tolling, and as a result we are not creating as many jobs as we would have loved to do,” Macozoma said. – Nampa/ANA Omnia Holdings wins battle against excessive phosphoric acid prices On Tuesday the high court in Pretoria dismissed, with costs, Foskor’s appeal against Omnia - a supplier of specialised chemicals and services to the agriculture, mining and chemical industries. Omnia sources all its phosphoric acid from Foskor. The basis of Omnia’s dispute was that Foskor through its position as the sole producer of phosphoric acid in the region, as well as having sole access to the import/export terminal at Richards Bay, has for the period 2014 to date, set the domestic phosphoric acid price at a level higher than the international price. Omina said because the practice took place against the order from the Competition Tribunal, it embarked on extensive litigation to rectify the situation. As a resulted of overcharges imposed by Foskor for the supply of phosphoric acid, Omnia has claimed a substantial refund. The dismissal of Foskor’s appeal by the full bench of the high court is the third time the company has failed to convince the courts of the merits of its case. – Nampa/ANA
Thursday, November 9 2017 | NEW ERA NEWS 13 Ford to bring the American Raptor in 2019 Focussed… Ford is currently testing the Ford Ranger Raptor in Southern Africa to deliver a purpose-built, desert-racing inspired model in 2019. Staff Reporter Ford is pumping N billion in the South African car assembly plant so that it can start assembling the much-liked American bakkie, the Ford F-150 Raptor. Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa has received the green light from the American manufacturer to assemble and sell the Ford Raptor in Southern Africa – a vehicle that until now has been sold, outside the USA, to the left-hand drive Latin American markets only. The Ford Raptor would be the new additional model to the now popular Ford Ranger model variety. “The first-ever Ford Ranger Raptor will be produced in South Africa when it hits the market in 2019, introducing an entirely new level of off-road performance and capability to the one-ton pickup segment,” the company said in a statement. With the extensive Ford Ranger model line-up and its segmentdefining levels of technology, safety and comfort features already making it one of Southern Africa’s best-selling vehicles, the range will be bolstered further in 2019 when local production of the exciting Ranger Raptor commences on the Silverton Hardy… America’s favourite Ford Ranger F-150 Raptor is known for being one of the most extreme production pickups. assembly line. “The response to our announcement that Ford will be introducing a Ranger Raptor has been absolutely phenomenal, and we’re exceptionally proud anticipated performance model will be assembled in South Africa,” stated Dr Casper Kruger, managing director of Ford Motor Company Sub-Saharan Africa Region. “This is yet another fantastic achievement for our local team, and signals our ability to produce world-class products of the highest calibre,” he said. As an exciting new addition to the Ford Performance family, the Ford Ranger Raptor is a purposebuilt, desert-racing inspired model that builds on the unrivalled heritage of Ford Performance’s legendary F-150 Raptor, the world’s most extreme production pickup. Designed and engineered to deliver an adrenaline-pumping driving experience, the Ford Ranger Raptor sports a head- Photos: Quickpic & Contributed turning exterior look that exudes toughness as well as a level of capability and off-road performance never before seen in this segment. “As part of our strategic planning to accommodate the growing market volumes for the Ranger in South Africa and our export markets, the R3-billion investment will encompass both product and capacity related actions,” said Ockert Berry, vicepresident Operations, Ford Middle East and Africa. “Looking further ahead, the expanded production capacity will ensure that we are geared up and fully prepared to respond to additional future market demands for the Ranger by ramping up our production even further,” Berry added. reaffirms Ford’s ongoing commitment to South Africa as a local manufacturer, exporter and key employer in the automotive sector, supporting a large number of direct jobs as well as indirect employment through our extensive supplier base.” The current Ranger programme has been an unprecedented success for Ford since it was launched in 2011, and the company has experienced remarkable growth in Ranger sales and market share, both locally and internationally, with its export programme to over 148 markets in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. “Following the all-time record deliveries of 10,117 Rangers to local and export customers during September 2017, we delivered a total of 8,646 units in October. This continues to secure Ford’s status as one of the region’s leading vehicle manufacturers and a global centre of excellence for the Ford Ranger programme,” said Berry.