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Mozambique’s publicly-owned ports and rail company, CFM, generated revenue of 150 million US dollars in the first six months of this year, a considerable increase on 2017, when the company obtained 258 million dollars over the entire year.
The chairperson of the CFM board, Miguel Matabele, announced the figures at a Maputo ceremony on Monday, marking the 123rd anniversary of the foundation of the company, which was attended by President Filipe Nyusi.
The President noted that this increase is one of the signs that the Mozambican economy is growing. CFM had made a profit of around 47 million dollars in 2017, and had become a model rail and port company in the southern African region, he stressed.
CFM, he added, has been setting an example as a company raising its production capacity, despite the financial crisis in the country and internationally. CFM could also take pride for its contribution to the state treasury in 2017 of 93 million dollars, including taxes. Nonetheless, CFM still has a debt of 56 million dollars.
“The numbers for 2017 we have just heard send us the message that this is a strong and resilient company, with results that demonstrate solidity and give a positive image of our country”, declared Nyusi.
CFM’s results, he added, showed that “with sacrifice, commitment and dedication, a company can be sustainable in the midst of a national and international financial and economic crisis”.
Nyusi warned that no manager should use the financial crisis as an excuse for his own failure. He pointed out that managers were put in their jobs to look for solutions, and to overcome crises.
He advised the companies to establish partnerships with multilateral institutions such as the World Bank and the African Development Bank.
Nyusi added that the government was using the example of CFM in order to encourage other companies to find “more daring and innovative business models, resting on a series of synergies to overcome the phantom of the crisis, and thus develop our country”.
CFM’s success stands in striking contrast to the near collapse of another publicly-owned company, Mozambique Airlines (LAM). Some of Nyusi’s remarks were clearly directed at managers of LAM and other crisis-ridden public companies, although they were not mentioned by name.
Transport Minister Carlos Mesquita called for continued expansion and modernisation of rail and port facilities. “Also unavoidable is the need to use information and communication technologies, and resources oriented towards profitability”, he added.
Mesquita urged CFM to work, together with the companies who have leased port terminals and rail lines, to ensure that more freight is carried by rail and less by road.
“In this way, we hope to reduce overloading and the number of accidents on our roads”, said the Minister.
Mesquita also wanted to see greater use of coastal shipping. “There are enormous advantages in using the sea”, he said. “Mozambique has a coastline that is 2,700 kilometres long, and this can guarantee economies of scale in coastal transport. This way, goods will reach the final consumer at highly advantageous prices, when compared with other forms of transport”.