CROOKES Brothers — a low-key agri-business specialist — is hoping that plans to plough significantly more capital into new projects will secure improved profit yields in the next few years.Crookes, which is more than 100 years old, has focused mainly on the sugar industry, but has in recent years broadened its basket of crops to include deciduous fruit, bananas and macadamia nuts.The company’s recently released annual report shows that plans to invest R500m in new projects over a five-year period to end March 2018 were linked to a targeted nominal internal rate of return (after tax) of more than 20% a year.Last year, Crookes raised R215m via a share issue. The proposed five-year capital expenditure is significant for a relatively small agribusiness player such as Crookes, representing more than half the company’s R900m market capitalisation on the JSE.Writing in the annual report, Crookes MD Guy Clarke said several high-return projects and acquisitions were being evaluated as part o...

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