Many of our markets continue to face increasing uncertainty and volatility, being in various levels of lockdown and restrictions. However, as some of these restrictions are easing and COVID-19 vaccines are in the process of being rolled out, volumes and operating activities are improving – but the business is not yet at pre-COVID-19 levels.
It remains to be seen how the second wave of COVID-19 will fully impact the business. Forecasts indicate that most economies in the key African markets in which we operate contracted in 2020, with low to modest growth expected in 2021. We therefore expect volatile trading conditions across the markets in which we operate until some level of normalisation is reached around the COVID-19 pandemic.
At this stage, for the 12 months to 30 June 2021, subject to stable currencies, steady recovery in volumes and revenue on the back of easing COVID-19 restrictions, as well as a recovery from current levels in markets in which we operate, we continue to continue to expect Imperial's continuing operations to deliver:
Imperial's balance sheet remains strong and resilient, with headroom in terms of debt capacity and liquidity to facilitate our strategic growth aspirations. We have a strong pipeline of new business opportunities which we are working hard to translate into new contracts. While we will continue to meet the demands and manage the implications of the pandemic in the short term, we will also ensure that we continue to deliver on our strategic objectives.
The organisational structure to support our strategy has been implemented, and we have a highly motivated and dedicated team to deliver our strategy and initiatives. We have a clear focus on organic growth through new contract gains, as well as on the integration of our acquisitions to unlock stakeholder value. At the same time, our focus remains on delivering the best from our current operations by making them lean and efficient, servicing our clients profitably, executing flawlessly and growing organically, while still delivering on our strategy. We thank our shareholders and funders for their ongoing support.
Group Chief Executive Officer
George de Beer
Group Chief Financial Officer
23 February 2021