News Column

Pioneer Transport Revenues Stagnant

June 27, 2014

Conrad Mwanawashe

PIONEER Corporation Africa revenues for the five months to May 2014 were stagnant with the group's performance weighed down by poor performance at Pioneer Transport.

Chief executive officer Mr Gary Smith told shareholders at the group's annual general meeting yesterday that Pioneer Corporation recorded a loss, however $600 000 less than last year.

He said the group's 2014 annual results were likely to show positive margins as the Unifreight businesses, namely Swift, Bulwark, Engineering and Driver Training School, have joined the Pioneer Corporation umbrella.

"Despite the fact that we are in an overall loss position at May 2014, I am very happy to announce that a number of the divisions are in a cumulative profit position now and that this will only improve and ensure that we post a very positive position by year-end," said Mr Smith.

He said Pioneer Transport's challenges were a result of bad management in the past.

"We continue our re-building exercise at Pioneer Transport, righting previous mismanagement of that subsidiary and restoring it to the level of performance we expect for the whole group, he said, adding that a successful cross border operation provides the cornerstone to better results.

The coaches division's year on year revenue increase by 32 percent to date while Swift, Bulwark, Engineering and Driver Training School also improved their revenue generation by 5,4 percent to may 2014.

"Another very encouraging sign across the group has been the reduction in running costs of 7,7 percent and hence boosted gross profit compared with the same period last year," said Mr Smith.

He said the cross border business was challenging this year and the company is focusing on driving revenues from the traders to and from South Africa.

Twenty three new buses have been added to the coaches fleet, whilst 10 buses were disposed, and the company is in the final stages of adding a further six Scania buses to the fleet in South Africa. The new South African fleet will service the cross border route.

"We are also in the process of replacing our crucial Collection and Delivery fleet under the swift business and have added 16 new taut liner trucks and trailers which have been serving the tobacco and sugar industries in the past four months," said Mr Smith.

"Further we have added to our options with the introduction of a couple of low bed's under Engineering for the transportation of heavy haulage cargo. We see great potential in this market in the coming year," he said.

The group is putting in place the Employee Share Ownership Trust in line with its Indigenous and Empowerment Plan.

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Source: AllAfrica

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