MAPUTO, Mozambique’s State-owned port and rail company, CFM, made a net profit of 2.29 billion meticais (about 35 million US dollars) in 2016, according to a report presented by the its chairperson, Miguel Matabel, to a meeting of CFM’s Council of Directors last week.

This was an increase of 21 per cent on the profit of 1.89 billion meticais achieved in 2015, despite what Matabel described as the unfavourable international situation which CFM faced last year.

Operational profits were 4.6 billion meticais in 2016, compared with 2.5 billion in 2015, according to a report in the newspaper O Pais.

Port terminals directly managed by CFM handled 6.2 million tonnes of cargo during the year, which was 18 per cent of the total cargo handled in Mozambican ports, Most of the terminals are no longer run by CFM, but by private sector companies which have leased them.

There was a reduction in goods traffic moving along CFM’s railway lines. The lines carried only 2.2 million tonnes in 2016, much less than the 3.9 million tonnes carried the previous year.

The company’s results were also hard hit by unfavourable exchange rate variations, said Matabel, referring to last year’s sharp depreciation of the metical against the US dollar and the South African rand, which are the main currencies used in transactions between CFM and its clients.

The challenges ahead of us are enormous, but, as the rail workers that we are, we are used to overcoming them, and we are relying on the willingness of our work force, Matabel added.

The Permanent Secretary in the Transport Ministry, Pedro Ingles, told the meeting: For us, CFM is strategic and makes a difference to our national economy. Its performance is reflected in the balance of payments, and hence its challenges and expectations are reflected in the daily lives of Mozambicans.

CFM should reinvent itself to meet our expectations and those of a demanding and highly competitive market, Ingles urged. This means we must have the boldness necessary to awaken our creative initiative, so that we can show that we are capable of going shoulder to shoulder with our most direct competitors.” �