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Land Bank lifts profit to R396.2m despite drought

Sep 14 2016 13:00
Tanisha Heiberg

Johannesburg - South Africa's state-run Land Bank, a key lender to farmers, reported a 27% increase in annual profits to R396.2m ($27m) on Tuesday, despite the country's severe drought.

"The structure of our loan book is made up of a very diversified portfolio of counterparties, diversified across regions and across commodities," chief executive Tshokolo Petrus Nchocho told Reuters.

Total loans given by the bank increased by 3.2% in the face of the drought that cut the 2016 maize harvest by close to a third and has reduced the national cattle herd by around 15%.

An El Nino weather pattern which ended in May triggered drought conditions across southern Africa with a government task force not expecting its effects to ease soon.

"The majority of farmers who are on our loan book are long established strong commercial farmers who over the years have developed significant resilience measures," said Nchocho.

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