This, as the South African company also reported its operational update for the period 1 September 2014 to 31 December 2014 on Monday.
“Cash is being conserved through rigorous attention to detail in working capital management. Net working capital days were better than the internal benchmark of 40 days,” Astrapak said.
“Net debt and the debt to equity ratio continued to reduce during the period from the 325.8 million rand and 29.6 per cent reported respectively as at 31 August 2014. Interest paid is reflecting a concomitant improvement too. Utilisation of credit therefore remains well below available facilities.”
[DATA APK:Astrapak] also stated that it is currently in the final phase of its planned two-year recovery and that it continues to comfortably fund its restructuring initiatives internally.
“Good headway continues to be made with executive strategic interventions and other group-wide business improvement imperatives. A rigorous approach is being taken to weed out underperformance and any areas of non-compliance,” it said.
“This tidying up is accompanied by inevitable additional costs. Only four businesses are now responsible for a major shortfall against budget. The remaining group businesses, in aggregate, are beginning to perform in line with management expectations for this phase of the recovery process.”
(READ MORE: Astrapak past phase one of turnaround strategy)
The company recently disposed of its Hilfort Plastics Bloemfontein and Hilfort Plastics Upington operations, in addition to the previous disposal of Hilfort Cape Town.
It stated that the proceeds of the latest disposal were banked on 5 December and have had a further positive impact on the group’s net debt position.
“We indicated at the half-year that we anticipated markets served to remain soft and unhelpful to operational performance for the year ending 28 February 2015. This is still the situation and this status is expected to remain so for the foreseeable future,” said Astrapak.
(READ MORE: Astrapak highlights stronger financial position)
“Nevertheless, it is anticipated that reported earnings will begin to reflect the extent of the transformative initiatives in the coming financial year.”