PACRA Maintains Entity Ratings of Islamabad Farms
Poultry is one of the largest agro based segment in Pakistan, accounting both domestic & commercial poultry. With an investment of almost PKR 700bln in FY19, the industry has posted an annual growth of ~ 12%. Pakistan is sufficient in poultry meat and egg production. However, per capita protein consumption remains low when compared to the world's average. The industry generates an estimated annual revenue of ~ PKR 300bln - PKR 350bln from local and export sales. Previously, due to Covid-19 outbreak, marriage halls/restaurants were closed. This, along with no exports of poultry products, led to supply glut in local market. Prices of poultry products posted a dip despite being an essential food item due to lower demand with many poultry farms becoming non-operational. However, lately, prices of poultry products have picked up as demand from poultry farms have increased. Industry players are expected to manage liquidity concerns that persisted as farms follow 40-day cycle before new flock is ready. Moreover, SBP measures and interest rate cut provided necessary respite in the short-time.
The ratings reflect Islamabad Farms developing position in poultry industry and sponsor's strong acumen across the integrated poultry supply chain. Islamabad Farms revenue is concentrated towards day old chicks and posted subtle growth during FY20. Procuring feed in bulk from Group’s own company benefited the margins. Profitability remains modest. However, Islamabad Farms remains exposed to price volatility and contingent health risk associated to its product. As poultry demand has started to stabilize and prices of day old chicks have recovered, Islamabad Farms is expected to overcome the uncertainty created during the lock down. Financial risk profile of Islamabad Farms is characterized by moderate leverage and adequate coverage ratios. Loan mix is skewed towards short term borrowings to fulfill the working capital requirements. Islamabad Farms availed debt relief measures announced by SBP to alleviate pressure from its cashflows. Moreover, the ratings incorporate potential support from sponsors and/or group companies.
The ratings are dependent on the management's ability to sustain its operations. Improving margins, in turn, building profitable volumes remain critical for the ratings. Effective changes in governance framework would be beneficial for the ratings. Generating stable operational cashflows is important. Meanwhile, a prudent financial strategy to meet financial obligations is critical.
Islamabad Farms was established in 1981 as an Association of Persons (AoP). Islamabad Farms operates 18 breeder farms to maintain parent flocks of different breeds and 4 hatcheries for day old chicks. Its registered office is located in Satellite Town, Rawalpindi. While, the farms and hatcheries are scattered across the country.
Islamabad Farms major ownership resides with Dr. Muhammad Aslam (50%), followed by Dr. Azhar Mehmood (25%). Remaining shareholding vests equally with Mr. Muhammad Masood (12.5%) and Mr. Mamoon-ur-Rasheed (12.5%). Sponsors dominates the Board comprising four members. Board’s Chairman and Islamabad Farms CEO, Dr. Muhammad Aslam, plays a pivotal role in making strategic decisions.