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Nature's tiny engineers

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Contact: Andrew Carleen
acarleen@mit.edu
617-253-1682
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Coral organisms use minuscule appendages to control their environment, stirring up water eddies to bring nutrients

CAMBRIDGE, Mass– Conventional wisdom has long held that corals whose calcium-carbonate skeletons form the foundation of coral reefs are passive organisms that rely entirely on ocean currents to deliver dissolved substances, such as nutrients and oxygen. But now scientists at MIT and the Weizmann Institute of Science (WIS) in Israel have found that they are far from passive, engineering their environment to sweep water into turbulent patterns that greatly enhance their ability to exchange nutrients and dissolved gases with their environment.

“These microenvironmental processes are not only important, but also unexpected,” says Roman Stocker, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at MIT and senior author of a paper describing the results in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

When the team set up their experiment with living coral in tanks in the lab, “I was expecting that this would be a smooth microworld, there would be not much action except the external flow,” Stocker says. Instead, what the researchers found, by zooming in on the coral surface with powerful microscopes and high-speed video cameras, was the opposite: Within the millimeter closest to the coral surface, “it’s very violent,” he says.

It’s long been known that corals have cilia, small threadlike appendages that can push water along the coral surface. However, these currents were previously assumed to move parallel to the coral surface, in a conveyor-belt fashion. Such smooth motion may help corals remove sediments, but would have little effect on the exchange of dissolved nutrients. Now Stocker and his colleagues show that the cilia on the coral’s surface are arranged in such a way as to produce strong swirls of water that draw nutrients toward the coral, while driving away potentially toxic waste products, such as excess oxygen.

Not just passive

“The general thinking has been that corals are completely dependent upon ambient flow, from tides and turbulence, to enable them to overcome diffusion limitation and facilitate the efficient supply of nutrients and the disposal of dissolved waste products,” says Orr Shapiro, a postdoc from WIS and co-first author on the paper, who spent a year in Stocker’s lab making these observations.

Under such a scenario, colonies in sheltered parts of a reef or at slack tide would see little water movement and might experience severe nutrient limitation or a buildup of toxic waste, to the point of jeopardizing their survival. “Even the shape of the coral can be problematic” under that passive scenario, says Vicente Fernandez, an MIT postdoc and co-first author of the paper. Coral structures are often “treelike, with a deeply branched structure that blocks a lot of the external flow, so the amount of new water going through to the center is very low.”

The team’s approach of looking at corals with video microscopy and advanced image analysis changed this paradigm. They showed that corals use their cilia to actively enhance the exchange of dissolved molecules, which allows them to maintain increased rates of photosynthesis and respiration even under near-zero ambient flow.

The researchers tested six different species of reef corals, demonstrating that all share the ability to induce complex turbulent flows around them. “While that doesn’t yet prove that all reef corals do the same,” Shapiro says, “it appears that most if not all have the cilia that create these flows. The retention of cilia through 400 million years of evolution suggests that reef corals derive a substantial evolutionary advantage” from these flows.

Corals need to stir it up

The reported findings transform the way we perceive the surface of reef corals; the existing view of a stagnant boundary layer has been replaced by one of a dynamic, actively stirred environment. This will be important not only to questions of mass transport, but also to the interactions of marine microorganisms with coral colonies, a subject that attracts much attention due to a global increase in coral disease and reef degradation over the past decades.

Besides illuminating how coral reefs function, which could help better predict their health in the face of climate change, this research could have implications in other fields, Stocker suggests: Cilia are ubiquitous in more complex organisms such as inside human airways, where they help to sweep away contaminants.

But such processes are difficult to study because cilia are internal. “It’s rare that you have a situation in which you see cilia on the outside of an animal,” Stocker says so corals could provide a general model for understanding ciliary processes related to mass transport and disease.

In addition to Stocker, Shapiro, and Fernandez, the research team included Assaf Vardi, faculty at WIS; postdoc Melissa Garren; former MIT postdoc Jeffrey Guasto, now an assistant professor at Tufts University; undergraduate Franois Debaillon-Vesque from MIT and the cole Polytechnique in Paris; and Esti Kramarski-Winter from WIS. The work was supported by the Human Frontiers in Science Program, the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

Written by David Chandler, MIT News Office


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Article source: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2014-09/miot-nte082814.php

Changing Diets Crucial to Combating Climate Change

Combating climate change may be as simple as changing our diets, according to a new study.

Researchers from the University of Cambridge say in the journal Nature Climate Change that healthier diets and reducing food waste are part of a combination of solutions needed to ensure food security and avoid dangerous climate change.

Otherwise, if current trends continue, food production alone will reach, if not exceed, the global targets for total greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

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“There are basic laws of biophysics that we cannot evade,” lead researcher Bojana Bajzelj said in a university news release.

As populations rise and more people develop tastes for meat-heavy Western diets, soon agriculture will not be able to keep up with growing food demands for a projected 9.6 billion people. As a result, deforestation will increase, and thereby carbon emissions as well as biodiversity loss, and increased livestock production will raise methane levels. This combination of factors will raise greenhouse gas levels by almost 80 percent.

The research team analyzed evidence such as land use, land suitability and agricultural biomass data to create projections for the year 2050.

In each scenario, food waste and yield gaps – that is, the gap between optimal crop yields and actual average crop yields – pose the greatest problems. But researchers note that even if yield gaps somehow miraculously closed and food waste was cut in half, greenhouse gas emissions would still increase by two percent.

“It is imperative to find ways to achieve global food security without expanding crop or pastureland. Food production is a main driver of biodiversity loss and a large contributor to climate change and pollution, so our food choices matter,” said Bajzelj.

However, adding healthier diets into the scenario, the model suggests that all three changes combined result in cutting greenhouse gas emissions almost by half from their 2009 level – dropping 48 percent.

“This is not a radical vegetarian argument; it is an argument about eating meat in sensible amounts as part of healthy, balanced diets,” added+ co-author Keith Richards.

Article source: http://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/8817/20140901/changing-diets-crucial-to-combating-climate-change.htm

Nature Home Achieves Turnaround in 1H2014

HONG KONG, Aug. 29, 2014 /PRNewswire/ –

Financial Highlights:

Nature Home Holding Company Limited (“Nature Home” or the “Company“, together with its subsidiaries, the “Group“; HKEx Stock Code: 2083), announced today its interim results for the six months ended 30 June 2014 (the “Period“).

During the Period, the Group achieved encouraging financial results with revenue increased by 36.9% to approximately RMB776 million. Gross profit surged 49.6% to approximately RMB252 million. Profit attributable to equity shareholders reached approximately RMB20 million, representing a turnaround in the Period as compared to the loss attributable to equity shareholders recorded in the corresponding period of 2013. The turnaround is mainly attributable to the reduction of the negative net change in fair value of the Group’s biological assets, as well as the increase in the Group’s revenue and gross profit. During the Period, approximately 10.09 million square meters of flooring products were sold (1H2013:approximately 8.45 million square meters), representing an increase of 19.4% year-on-year.

Mr. Se Hok Pan, Chairman and Executive Director of Nature Home stated, “In the first six months of 2014, we continued to strengthen our efforts on brand building and sales, to further broaden the coverage in international markets under the intensified industry competition, this is reflected in the significant increase in the trading revenue of timber and wood products. The turnaround recorded during the Period reflected the success of our business development strategies, brand building and sales efforts. With the change of our Company name to Nature Home Holding Company Limited, we aim at achieving our goal in offering integrated household products with our Nature brand, representing an image of high quality, safe and environmentally-friendly household brand.”

Manufacturing and Sale of Wood Products

During the Period, turnover of the Group’s manufacturing and sale of wooden products has increased 39.2% to approximately RMB527 million, mainly attributable to the continued recovery of the Group’s flooring business in the PRC and the overall increased sales in flooring products.

The Group has successfully developed a solid and extensive sales network in the PRC. It has 1,856 “Nature” stores, 1,121 “Nature No.1 My Space” stores, 152 “Nature Aesthetics” stores, 99 foreign imported brand stores and 116 other brand stores as at 30 June 2014, amounting to 3,344 stores in total.

Nature Home will continue to focus on the development in the business of wooden doors, wardrobes and cabinets with the “Nature” brand, striving to improve such business in the future with the completion and operation of the new product line in the newly opened Taizhou Production Plant in Jiangsu Province, the PRC and the planned trial production of the Zhongshan Wardrobes and Cabinets Plant in the second half of 2014.

Trading of Timber and Wood Products

For the overseas market, the recovery of the global economy, especially the economy of the U.S., has created a favorable environment for the development of the Group’s business and brought to the group significant growth in the trading business revenue of timber and wood products. The Group’s subsidiaries located in the U.S. have further boosted the Group’s business development by establishing additional sales channels, which resulted in a sustained growth in the Group’s sales for the trading of wood flooring products in the U.S. During the Period, the Group’s trading business of timber and wood products contributed a revenue of approximately RMB165 million, representing a significant increase of 61.8% as compared to approximately RMB102 million in the corresponding period of 2013.

Chairman Se concluded, “Looking forward, the Group is still facing various challenges. However, the Group has captured the opportunities from the trend of online and offline shopping. We plan to establish an online housing O2O platform for the household industry to provide our customers with a one-stop solution with household products, logistics and decoration as well as installation service. The Group also plans to open ‘O2O Household Package Experience Stores’, which will display different packages of household products, offering customers an open experience for household products. We will also continue to implement our strategy of integrated household products and enhancing our household brand with a combination of online and offline platforms, in order to maximize the effectiveness in sales of the household brand. We will also strive for better performance in the future for the relevant business, especially with the new production line of wooden doors in the Taizhou Plant and a new production line of wardrobes and cabinets in the Zhongshan Plant. As one of the largest wood flooring brands in China, we have full confidence in our business and we will continue to reinforce our leading position in the industry to maximize returns to our shareholders.”

About Nature Home Holding Company Limited

Nature Home is the largest wood flooring brand in China in terms of market share by retail sales value of branded wood flooring products. According to an industry report of China’s flooring market conducted by an independent global market research and consulting company (the “Industry Report”), the Group’s “Nature” branded products accounted for 7.0% market share in terms of China’s total retail sales value of branded wood flooring products in 2011. The Group’s branded products are manufactured through a combination of its own manufacturing facilities and exclusive authorized manufacturers.

According to Industry Report, in 2011, the Group’s branded products ranked second in laminated flooring, first in multi-layered engineered flooring and first in solid wood flooring, each in terms of both the market share of retail sales volume and retail sales value in China. The Group is the only company to achieve a top two market share position across the three primary wood flooring product categories in China in 2011. Leveraging its strong brand, extensive distribution network, comprehensive product portfolio and flexible manufacturing model, the Group grew rapidly and gained market share in China from 2008 to 2011.

To see the full version of this release, including financial tables, click here: http://photos.prnasia.com/prnk/20140829/8521404880-a

Article source: http://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/nature-home-achieves-turnaround-1h2014-031700116.html

Where the Roads Should Go: Avoiding Environmental Catastrophe

It has been estimated that more than 15 million miles of road will be build by 2050, and this construction may inflict lasting, if not permanent, harm to global ecosystems. Now experts have drawn up a “global roadmap” showing planners where and how new roads should be built to avoid the worst of this damage.

Replacing lush grassland, towering forests, or grand mountains with vast expanses of flat asphalt and paint is undeniably “bad” for natural habitats, passively encouraging an industry that pumps out tar, greenhouse gases and groundwater toxins.

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However, even after roads are paved, they still cause significant damage to ecosystems simply by fracturing and isolating habitats. Nature World News recently reported how roads like the Southland freeway have isolated entire groups of large and territorial predators, interfering with their natural way of life to such an extent that they begin to act erratically.

So what can we do about it? According to a study recently published in the journal Nature, a new “global roadmap” crafted by careful researchers ranks the potential of a road building site by comparing the benefit of completion to the expected adverse environmental impact.

“It’s challenging but we think we’ve identified where in the world new roads would be most environmentally damaging,” co-author Andrew Balmford from the University of Cambridge said in a statement.

“Roads often open a Pandora’s Box of environmental problems,” added lead author William Laurance of James Cook University in Australia. “But we also need roads for our societies and economies.”

According to the study, a “beneficial road” is one that can so heavily improve upon the quality of agriculture in a region that it outweighs potential ecological damage.

“We focused on agriculture because global food demand is expected to double by mid-century, and new or improved roads are vital for farmers,” explained researcher Gopalasamy Reuben Clements. “With better roads, farmers can buy fertilizers to raise their yields and get their crops to markets with far less cost and waste.”

The study details how regions like Eurasia, Central America and Mexico, and the Atlantic region of South America, are all full of areas where roads are needed, and can be built with little environmental impact. However, vulnerable regions such as the Amazon, Southeast Asia and Madagascar should be handled much more carefully, and road building should be avoided there if at all possible.

“So much road expansion today is unplanned or chaotic, and we badly need a more proactive approach,” Laurance added. “It’s vital because we’re facing the most explosive era of road expansion in human history.”

Article source: http://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/8781/20140828/where-roads-go-avoiding-environmental-catastrophe.htm

Amira Nature Foods Ltd Announces First Quarter 2015 Financial Results

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates–(BUSINESS WIRE)–

Amira Nature Foods Ltd (the “Company;” or “Amira” NYSE: ANFI), a leading
global provider of packaged Indian specialty rice, today reported
financial results for its fiscal 2015 first quarter which ended on June
30, 2014.

First Quarter Financial Highlights:

  • Revenue grew 25.9% to $138.8 million compared to $110.3 million in the
    year earlier period
  • Adjusted EBITDA increased 30.9% to $19.1 million compared to $14.6
    million
  • Adjusted EBITDA margin increased to 13.7% percent of sales compared to
    13.2%
  • Adjusted profits after tax increased 24.7% to $9.3 million compared to
    $7.4 million
  • Basic earnings per share was $0.25 compared to $0.21
  • Adjusted earnings per share was $0.26 compared to $0.21

Karan A. Chanana, Amira’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, stated,
“Our strong first quarter performance reflects increased demand and a
favorable pricing environment for our products – with gains in our core
Indian and Middle East markets, as well as in developed markets, such as
the US, the UK and Continental Europe where we continue to make inroads
in these priority markets. We believe that fiscal 2015 will be a great
year and we expect to meet our growth forecasts as we expand markets and
distribution points around the world.”

Bruce Wacha, Amira’s Chief Financial Officer, added, “We are pleased
with the progress in the first quarter – we grew top line, adjusted
EBITDA and profits by approximately 25% or more, while also increasing
margins and improving our balance sheet. We added to inventory during
the quarter providing support for our future sales growth and
simultaneously reduced our trade payables and debt.”

First Quarter Fiscal 2015 Results

Revenue for the first quarter of fiscal 2015 increased 25.9% to $138.8
million, compared to $110.3 million for same period in fiscal 2014. The
revenue increase was primarily due to continuing increases in sales
volume, pricing and mix. Amira branded and third party branded sales
increased by 29.3% to $136.8 million. Revenue from institutional sales
fell marginally in dollar terms to $2.0 million from $4.4 million a year
ago. Sales in India increased by 20.9% to $55.8 million (an increase of
30.3% in Indian rupees), while non-India or international sales
increased by 29.5% to $83.0 million.

Cost of materials including change in inventory of finished goods
increased by $20.7 million, or 23.7% to $108.2 million in the first
quarter of fiscal 2015 from $87.5 million in the first quarter of 2014,
primarily reflecting revenue growth during that period. As a percentage
of revenue, cost of materials including change in inventory of finished
goods decreased to 78.0% in the three months ended June 30, 2014, versus
79.3% in the same period a year ago, due to improved pricing, operating
efficiencies and continued benefit from economies of scale.

Adjusted EBITDA increased by approximately $4.5 million or 30.9% to
$19.1 million, with adjusted EBITDA margins increasing by approximately
50 basis points to 13.7%. Adjusted EBITDA benefited from improvements in
cost of materials including change in inventory of finished goods and
freight, forwarding and handling, which improved by approximately 140
basis points and 240 basis points as a percentage of sales,
respectively. These gains were offset in part by slight increases in
employee benefit costs and other expenses.

Adjusted profit after tax increased by $1.8 million or 24.7% to $9.3
million for the three months ended June 30, 2014. Adjusted EPS increased
by 23.8% to $0.26 per share from $0.21 per share in the year-ago quarter.

A reconciliation of Adjusted EBITDA, Adjust profit after tax and
Adjusted EPS is provided in the “Non-IFRS Financial Measures”
section of this release.

Balance Sheet and Cash Flow Highlights

At June 30, 2014, the Company’s cash and cash equivalents was $32.8
million and adjusted net working capital was $311.1 million. Net debt
(after deducting cash and cash equivalents) as of June 30, 2014 was
$150.2 million. As of June 30, 2014, inventories increased $10.7 million
to $265.7 million from $255.0 at March 31, 2014, trade receivables were
$71.4 million, a decrease of $9.5 million from $80.9 million, trade
payables were $23.7 million, a decrease of $17.5 million from $41.2
million and total debt was $182.9 million a decrease of $1.9 million
from $184.8 million. Reconciliations of adjusted net working capital and
net debt to the IFRS measures of working capital and total current and
non-current debt, respectively, are provided in the “Non-IFRS
Financial Measures”
section of this release.

Fiscal 2015 Outlook

The Company reiterates its previously-issued guidance and expects
full-year fiscal 2015 Revenue and Adjusted EBITDA growth in excess of
20%. This is in line with long-term guidance previously provided to the
investment community. The Company’s guidance is based on foreign
exchange rates as of June 30, 2014 and does not take into account the
potential impact of foreign currency fluctuations for the remainder of
the fiscal year.

Conference Call

The Company will hold an investor call today at 5:00 p.m. Eastern time.
The dial-in number for this conference call is 1-877-407-3982 for North
American listeners and 1-201-493-6780 for international listeners. Live
audio of the conference call will be simultaneously webcast on the
investor relations section of the Company’s website at www.amira.net.

An audio replay will be available following the completion of the
conference call by dialing 1-877-870-5176 for North American listeners
or 1-858-384-5517 for international listeners (conference ID 13589712).
The webcast of the teleconference will be archived and available on the
Company’s website.

About Amira Nature Foods Ltd.

Founded in 1915, Amira has evolved into a leading global provider of
branded packaged Indian specialty rice, with sales in over 60 countries
today. The Company sells Basmati rice, which is a premium long-grain
rice grown only in certain regions of the Indian sub-continent, under
its flagship Amira brand as well as under other third party brands.
Amira sells its products through a broad distribution network in both
the developed and emerging markets. The Company’s global headquarters
are in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and it also has offices in India,
Malaysia, Singapore, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Amira Nature Foods Ltd is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)
under the ticker symbol “ANFI.” For more information please visit www.amira.net.

Cautionary Note on Forward-Looking Statements

This release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning
of the U.S. federal securities laws. These forward-looking statements
generally can be identified by phrases such as that we or our members of
management “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “foresee,” “forecast,”
“estimate” or other words or phrases of similar import. Specifically,
these statements include, among other things, statements that describe
our expectations for the growth of our business, expansion into new
geographic markets, maintaining and expanding our relationship with key
retail partners, the financial impact of new sales contracts on our
revenue, our plans to make significant capital expenditures, and other
statements of management’s beliefs, intentions or goals. It is uncertain
whether any of the events anticipated by the forward-looking statements
will transpire or occur, or if any of them do, what impact they will
have on our results of operations, financial condition, or the price of
our ordinary shares. These forward-looking statements involve certain
risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ
materially from those indicated in such forward-looking statements,
including but not limited to our ability to penetrate and increase the
acceptance of our products in new geographic markets; our ability to
perform our agreements with customers and further develop our
relationships with key retail partners; our ability to recognize revenue
from our contracts; continued competitive pressures in the marketplace;
our reliance on a few customers for a substantial part of our revenue;
our ability to implement our plans, forecasts and other expectations
with respect to our business and realize additional opportunities for
growth; and the other risks and important factors contained and
identified in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
All forward-looking statements attributable to us or to persons acting
on our behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by these risk
factors. Since we operate in an emerging and evolving environment and
new risk factors and uncertainties emerge from time to time, you should
not rely upon forward-looking statements as predictions of future
events. Except as required under the securities laws of the United
States, we undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking or
other statements herein to reflect events or circumstances after the
date hereof, whether as a result of new information, future events or
otherwise.

Amira Nature Foods Ltd

 

Condensed Consolidated Statements of Financial Position

 

 

 

 

(Amounts in USD)

As at

June 30, 2014

(Unaudited)

 

As at

March 31, 2014

(Audited)

ASSETS

 

Non-current

Property, plant and equipment

$

22,932,608

$

23,284,918

Goodwill

1,715,677

1,727,338

Other intangible assets

2,162,311

2,262,731

Other long-term financial assets

 

474,135

 

 

485,731

Total non-current assets

$

27,284,731

 

$

27,760,718

 

Current

Inventories

$

265,659,869

$

254,952,549

Trade receivables

71,430,171

80,882,986

Derivative financial assets

1,703,560

2,352,886

Other financial assets

8,521,456

9,768,514

Prepayments

11,401,333

8,361,244

Other current assets

926,012

765,655

Cash and cash equivalents

 

32,772,640

 

 

37,606,098

Total current assets

$

392,415,041

 

$

394,689,932

Total assets

$

419,699,772

 

$

422,450,650

 

EQUITY AND LIABILITIES

Equity

Share capital

$

9,119

$

9,115

Share premium

82,859,746

82,804,750

Other reserves

(2,975,498)

(3,312,575)

Retained earnings

81,639,073

74,334,687

Equity attributable to shareholders of the Company

$

161,532,440

$

153,835,977

Equity attributable to non-controlling interest

 

19,991,851

 

 

18,005,030

Total equity

$

181,524,291

 

$

171,841,007

 

Liabilities

Non-current liabilities

Defined benefit obligations

$

285,321

$

246,548

Debt

2,278,595

2,739,414

Deferred tax liabilities

 

6,452,263

 

 

6,666,270

Total non-current liabilities

$

9,016,179

 

$

9,652,232

 

Current liabilities

Trade payables

$

23,699,654

$

41,197,158

Debt

180,648,431

182,103,347

Current tax liabilities (net)

12,677,147

9,644,944

Other financial liabilities

10,617,040

6,031,593

Other current liabilities

 

1,517,030

 

 

1,980,369

Total current liabilities

$

229,159,302

 

$

240,957,411

Total liabilities

$

238,175,481

 

$

250,609,643

Total equity and liabilities

$

419,699,772

 

$

422,450,650

 

Amira Nature Foods Ltd

 

Condensed Consolidated Statements of Profit or Loss

 

 

 

 

(Amounts in USD)

Three months ended

June 30, 2014

(Unaudited)

 

June 30, 2013

(Unaudited)

Revenue

$

138,812,972

$

110,285,088

Other income

50,459

37,876

Cost of material

(144,236,899)

(89,871,922)

Change in inventory of finished goods

35,988,839

2,368,511

Employee benefit expenses

(2,558,508)

(2,144,918)

Depreciation and amortization

(620,052)

(488,883)

Freight, forwarding and handling expenses

(4,875,737)

(6,541,015)

Other expenses

 

(5,443,596)

 

 

(3,421,597)

$

17,117,478

$

10,223,140

Finance costs

(7,031,586)

(5,163,522)

Finance income

636,046

784,977

Other gains and (losses)

 

1,262,567

 

 

3,758,638

Profit before tax for the period

$

11,984,505

$

9,603,233

Income tax expense

 

(2,775,690)

 

 

(2,256,537)

 

Profit after tax for the period

$

9,208,815

$

7,346,696

Profit after tax attributable to:

Shareholders of the Company

7,304,386

5,880,748

Non-controlling interest

1,904,429

1,465,948

 

Earnings per share(1)

Basic earnings per share

$

0.25

$

0.21

Diluted earnings per share

$

0.25

 

$

0.21

(1) Basic earnings per share is calculated by
dividing our profit after tax as reduced by the amount of a
non-controlling interest reflecting the remaining 19.6% of Amira India
that is not owned by us, by the number of our weighted average
outstanding ordinary shares, during the applicable period. Diluted
earnings per share is calculated by dividing our profit after tax as
reduced by the amount of a non-controlling interest reflecting the
remaining 19.6% of Amira India that is not owned by us, by the number of
our weighted average outstanding ordinary shares adjusted by the
dilutive impact of equivalent stock options granted. For the quarter
ended June 30, 2014, the dilutive impact of total share options of
721,535 granted to Mr. Karan A. Chanana through June 30, 2014, is
insignificant and hence there is no difference in the presented basic
and diluted earnings per share in the table above. For the quarter ended
June 30, 2013, the effect of 360,257 share options granted to Mr. Karan
A. Chanana through June 30, 2013 was anti-dilutive and has not been
considered in the computation of the diluted earnings per share.

Amira Nature Foods Ltd

 

Condensed Consolidated Statements of Comprehensive Income

 

 

 

 

(Amounts in USD)

Three months ended

June 30, 2014

(Unaudited)

 

June 30, 2013

(Unaudited)

Profit after tax for the period

$

9,208,815

 

$

7,346,696

Other comprehensive income

Items that may be reclassified subsequently to profit or loss:

Available for sale financial assets:

Current period gain/(loss)

34,962

28,596

Reclassification to profit or loss

-

-

Income tax

(7,043)

 

 

(9,720)

$

27,919

 

$

18,876

Cash flow hedging reserve:

Current period gain/(loss)

1,941,271

(7,983,593)

Reclassification to profit or loss

(1,295,356)

(513,772)

Income tax

(219,547)

 

 

2,888,254

$

426,368

 

$

(5,609,111)

 

 

 

 

Currency translation reserve

(34,818)

 

 

(11,324,434)

 

Other comprehensive income/(loss) for the period, net of tax

$

419,469

 

$

(16,914,669)

Total comprehensive income/(loss) for the period

$

9,628,284

 

$

(9,567,973)

 

Total comprehensive income/(loss) for the period attributable to:

Shareholders of the Company

$

7,641,463

$

(7,718,646)

Non-controlling interest

 

$

1,986,821

 

$

(1,849,327)

 

Amira Nature Foods Ltd

 

Condensed Consolidated Statements of Changes in Equity

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Amounts in USD)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other reserves

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share
capital

 

 

Share
premium

 

 

Share-
based
compensation

reserve

 

 

Reserve for
available for
sale
financial
assets

 

 

Currency
translation
reserve

 

 

 

Cash flow
hedging
Reserve

 

 

Restructuring
reserve

 

 

Retained
earnings

 

 

Equity
attributable to
shareholders
of
the

Company

 

 

Equity
attributable to
non -
controlling
interest

 

 

Total equity

Balance as at April 1, 2013 (Audited)

$

9,111

$

82,683,926

$

183,514

 

$

(21,561)

 

$

(5,582,983)

 

$

258,647

 

$

9,398,927

$

44,375,024

$

131,304,605

$

12,328,130

$

143,632,735

Share based compensation

-

-

85,811

-

-

-

-

-

$

85,811

-

$

85,811

Profit after tax for the period

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

5,880,748

$

5,880,748

1,465,948

$

7,346,696

Other comprehensive income /(loss) for the period

-

-

-

15,177

(9,104,846)

(4,509,725)

-

-

$

(13,599,394)

(3,315,275)

$

(16,914,669)

Total comprehensive income/(loss) for the period

 

$

-

 

$

-

 

$

-

 

$

15,177

 

$

(9,104,846)

 

$

(4,509,725)

 

$

-

 

$

5,880,748

 

$

(7,718,646)

 

$

(1,849,327)

 

$

(9,567,973)

Balance as at June 30, 2013 (Unaudited)

 

$

9,111

 

$

82,683,926

 

$

269,325

 

$

(6,384)

 

$

(14,687,829)

 

$

(4,251,078)

 

$

9,398,927

 

$

50,255,772

 

$

123,671,770

 

$

10,478,803

 

$

134,150,573

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Balance as at April 1, 2014 (Audited)

$

9,115

$

82,804,750

$

2,863,362

$

(30,127)

$

(16,018,401)

$

473,664

$

9,398,927

$

74,334,687

$

153,835,977

$

18,005,030

$

171,841,007

Share based compensation

4

54,996

-

-

-

-

-

-

$

55,000

-

$

55,000

Profit after tax for the period

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

7,304,386

$

7,304,386

1,904,429

$

9,208,815

Other comprehensive income /(loss) for the period

-

-

-

-

22,435

(27,979)

342,621

-

$

337,077

82,392

$

419,469

Total comprehensive income/(loss) for the period

 

$

-

 

$

-

 

$

-

 

$

22,435

 

$

(27,979)

 

$

342,621

 

$

-

 

$

7,304,386

 

$

7,641,463

 

$

1,986,821

 

$

9,628,284

Balance as at June 30, 2014 (Unaudited)

 

$

9,119

 

$

82,859,746

 

$

2,863,362

 

$

(7,692)

 

$

(16,046,380)

 

$

816,285

 

$

9,398,927

 

$

81,639,073

 

$

161,532,440

 

$

19,991,851

 

$

181,524,291

 

Amira Nature Foods Ltd

 

Condensed Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows

 

 

 

 

(Amounts in USD)

Three months ended

June 30, 2014

(Unaudited)

 

June 30, 2013

(Unaudited)

(A) CASH FLOW FROM OPERATING ACTIVITIES

Profit before tax for the period

$

11,984,506

$

9,603,233

Adjustments for non-cash items

1,769,789

(2,052,334)

Adjustments for non-operating incomes and expenses

6,394,564

4,374,563

Changes in operating assets and liabilities

 

(19,176,646)

 

 

6,585,809

$

972,213

$

18,511,271

Income taxes paid

 

(180,493)

 

 

(225,043)

Net cash generated from operating activities

$

791,720

 

$

18,286,228

 

(B) CASH FLOW FROM INVESTING ACTIVITIES

Purchase of property, plant and equipment

$

(590,823)

$

(315,703)

Purchase of intangible assets

-

(67,286)

Proceeds from sale of property, plant and equipment

1,307

5,332

(Investments in)/ proceeds from term deposits

2,286,850

(749,369)

Proceeds from short term investments

(16,700)

(81,000)

Interest income

 

312,975

 

 

171,491

Net cash generated from/ (used in) investing activities

$

1,993,609

 

$

(1,036,535)

 

(C) CASH FLOWS FROM FINANCING ACTIVITIES

Net repayment of short term debt

(1,453,709)

(7,765,937)

Repayment of long term debt

(460,819)

(500,743)

Interest paid

 

(5,756,705)

 

 

(4,861,822)

Net cash used in financing activities

$

(7,671,233)

 

$

(13,128,502)

 

(D) Effect of change in exchange rate on cash and cash
equivalents

 

52,446

 

 

(4,779,533)

Net decrease in cash and cash equivalents (A+B+C+D)

$

(4,833,458)

 

$

(658,342)

Cash and cash equivalents at the beginning of the period

37,606,098

33,270,338

Cash and cash equivalents at the end of the period

$

32,772,640

 

$

32,611,996

Non-IFRS Financial Measures

In evaluating our business, we consider and use the non-IFRS measures
EBITDA, adjusted EBITDA, adjusted profit after tax, adjusted earnings
per share, adjusted net working capital and net debt as supplemental
measures to review and assess our operating performance. The
presentation of these non-IFRS financial measures is not intended to be
considered in isolation or as a substitute for the financial information
prepared and presented in accordance with IFRS. We define: (1) EBITDA as
profit after tax plus finance costs (net of finance income), income tax
expense and depreciation and amortization; (2) adjusted EBITDA, as
EBITDA plus non-cash expense for share-based-compensation for three
months ended June 30, 2014 and 2013, respectively (3) adjusted profit
after tax, as profit after tax plus non-cash expense for share-based
compensation for three months ended June 30, 2014 and 2013,
respectively; (4) adjusted earnings per share as the quotient of: (a)
adjusted profit after tax and (b) the sum of our weighted average number
of shares (including dilutive impact of share options granted) for the
applicable period and the ordinary shares subject to the exchange
agreement between us and the non-controlling shareholders of Amira
India; (5) adjusted net working capital as total current assets minus:
(a) total current liabilities (b) cash and cash equivalents and plus
current debt; and (6) net debt as total current and non-current debt
minus cash and cash equivalents.

We use both EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA as measures of operating
performance to assist in comparing performance from period to period on
a consistent basis, as a measure for planning and forecasting overall
expectations, for evaluating actual results against such expectations
and as a performance evaluation metric, including as part of assessing
and administering our executive and employee incentive compensation
programs. We believe that the use of both EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA as
non-IFRS measures facilitates investors’ assessment of our operating
performance from period to period and from company to company by backing
out potential differences caused by variations in items such as capital
structure (affecting relative finance or interest expenses),
non-recurring IPO-related expenses the book amortization of intangibles
(affecting relative amortization expenses), the age and book value of
property and equipment (affecting relative depreciation expenses) and
other non-cash expenses. We also present these non-IFRS measures because
we believe they are frequently used by securities analysts, investors
and other interested parties as measures of the financial performance of
companies in our industry.

We present adjusted EBITDA, adjusted profit after tax, adjusted earnings
per share, adjusted net working capital and net debt because we believe
these measures provide additional metrics to evaluate our operations
and, when considered with both our IFRS results and the reconciliation
to profit after tax, basic and diluted earnings per share, working
capital and total current and non-current debt, respectively, provide a
more complete understanding of our business than could be obtained
absent this disclosure. We also believe that these non-IFRS financial
measures are useful to investors in assessing the operating performance
of our business after reflecting the adjustments described above.

In the following tables we have provided reconciliation of non-IFRS
measures to the most directly comparable IFRS measure:

1. Reconciliation of profit after tax to EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA:

2. Reconciliation of profit after tax to adjusted profit after tax:

3. Reconciliation of earnings per share and adjusted earnings per share:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three months ended

 

 

 

 

June 30, 2014

 

June 30, 2013

 

Profit after tax (PAT)

$

9,208,815

$

7,346,696

Profit attributable to Shareholders of the Company

(A)

$

7,304,386

$

5,880,748

Weighted average number of shares (for basic earnings per share)

(B)

28,676,204

28,661,998

Dilutive impact of stock options as converted in equivalent number
of shares

 

(C)

 

 

241,188

 

 

-

Weighted average number of shares (for diluted earnings per share)

 

(D) = (B) + (C)

 

 

28,917,392

 

 

28,661,998

Shares issuable under exchange agreement

 

(E)

 

 

7,005,434

 

 

7,005,434

Basic earnings per share as per IFRS

 

(A) ÷ (B)

 

$

0.25

 

$

0.21

Diluted earnings per share as per IFRS

 

(A) ÷ (D)

 

$

0.25

 

$

0.21

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Profit after tax (PAT)

 

(F)

 

$

9,208,815

 

$

7,346,696

Add: Non-cash expenses for share-based compensation

 

(G)

 

$

59,722

 

$

85,811

Adjusted profit after tax

 

(H) = (F) + (G)

 

$

9,268,537

 

$

7,432,507

 

Weighted average number of shares (including dilutive impact of
share options granted) and the ordinary shares subject to the
exchange agreement between us and the non-controlling shareholders
of Amira Pure Foods Private Limited

 

(I) = (D) + (E)

 

 

35,922,826

 

 

35,667,432

Adjusted earnings per share

 

(H) ÷ (I)

 

$

0.26

 

$

0.21

 

4. Reconciliation of working capital (total current assets minus total
current liabilities) and adjusted net working capital:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As at June 30, 2014

 

As at March 31, 2014

 

(Amount in $)

Current assets:

 

Inventories

265,659,869

254,952,549

Trade receivables

71,430,171

80,882,986

Derivative financial assets

1,703,560

2,352,886

Other financial assets

8,521,456

9,768,514

Prepayments

11,401,333

8,361,244

Other current assets

926,012

765,655

Cash and cash equivalents

 

32,772,640

 

37,606,098

Total current assets

 

392,415,041

 

394,689,932

 

Current liabilities:

Trade payables

23,699,654

41,197,158

Debt

180,648,431

182,103,347

Current tax liabilities (net)

12,677,147

9,644,944

Other financial liabilities

10,617,040

6,031,593

Other current liabilities

 

1,517,030

 

1,980,369

Total current liabilities

 

229,159,302

 

240,957,411

 

 

 

 

 

Working Capital as per IFRS (Total current assets minus Total
current liabilities)

 

163,255,739

 

153,732,521

Less: Cash and cash equivalents

32,772,640

37,606,098

Add: Current debt

 

180,648,431

 

182,103,347

Adjusted net working capital

 

311,131,530

 

298,229,770

 

5. Reconciliation of total current and non-current debt to net debt:

Article source: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/amira-nature-foods-ltd-announces-203000733.html

Maritza Morales Casanova: Saving Mexico’s Environment Through Children

Editor’s note: Maritza Morales Casanova is one of National Geographic’s 2014 Emerging Explorers, which honors tomorrow’s visionaries—those making discoveries, making a difference, and inspiring people to care about the planet.

Maritza Morales Casanova has spent 20 years working to revolutionize environmental education in Mexico—and she’s only 30 years old.

At age 10, she founded an environmental advocacy group that went on to  launch an unusual educational park that will help tens of thousands of kids develop an appreciation for the environment by experiencing it. Today, Morales Casanova meets with the likes of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto to discuss her idea of writing conservation into national educational policy.

As the fourth most biodiverse nation on Earth, Mexico is of huge ecological significance. Iconic species range from jaguars, monkeys, and parrots to seals and tree frogs. Yet there are few safeguards to protect vulnerable habitats and species. Environmental laws are generally lax, says Morales Casanova, resulting in unbridled agricultural and commercial development that deforests, pollutes, and degrades forests, plains, coastal areas, and a vast network of underground lakes.

And since environmental education is mostly absent, the generation that will have the biggest role in preserving Mexico’s biodiversity or continuing its decline is largely uninformed and unmotivated. “Education is the most powerful tool we have for solving environmental problems,” says Morales Casanova. “Empower children with information, leadership skills, and confidence and they will change the world.”

Emerging Explorers

Early Start

While still a young child, Morales Casanova saw the environmental knowledge deficit reflected in neighborhood children who harmed local trees and even their own pets. So she formed a group called Humanity United to Nature in Harmony for Beauty, Welfare, and Goodness to address the problem. Through small group meetings, Morales Casanova taught friends to grow plants and care for pets, instilling a new respect for nature.

A few years later, at age 13, she sent the president of Mexico a proposal for creating a protected area to train children about environmental issues. He awarded her the National Youth Award for Environmental Protection.

And yet implementing her ideas has been an uphill battle.

“My biggest challenge was gaining credibility,” Morales Casanova says. “Although I had been developing solutions for years, authorities and business leaders only looked at my age, not my experience.”

She says a pervasive attitude existed in Mexico that valued economic development over conservation–placing priority on profits gained from urban sprawl, agricultural expansion, the illegal pet trade, and industrial growth. Those struggling with poverty further exploited vanishing natural resources simply to survive. Despite this she slowly persuaded local authorities and businesses to provide money and support for her group.

That backing helped Humanity United to Nature in Harmony for Beauty, Welfare, and Goodness to expand its grassroots youth conservation projects through her home state of Yucatan, in southern Mexico. In 2007 the state capital, Merida, donated land that let her fulfill a long-held dream of opening an environmental education park. Funds to launch construction came from winning a national competition sponsored by a TV network.

Children as Teachers

Opened last year, Ceiba Pentandra Park provides a free, interactive learning experience for children and teachers on topics ranging from climate change and wetlands conservation to wildlife protection and the effects of pollution. It will eventually accommodate 64,000 children each year.

Drawing on her university training in natural resources management and on years of working with children, Morales Casanova’s park curriculum delivers environmental information through books, hands-on activities, games, and crafts.

Open-air classrooms, artificial wetlands, and a water culture labyrinth play host to science experiments and to role-playing games that dramatize the illegal wildlife trade.

The park’s most unusual aspect is its teachers: other children. “I know children have great capacity to be leaders because I lived that experience,” Morales Casanova says.

Park students who show leadership ability are trained to be peer educators. They learn to speak in front of groups, plan activities, and do fundraising for projects that they design and manage themselves.

“When kids see other kids providing information and making a real difference, it gives them confidence that they can do it, too,” Morales Casanova says. “The children we work with are growing up with new values… They are already taking action to change not only their own lifestyles, but also the minds of families and teachers.”

Park students as young as eight have launched community projects like home greenhouses and habitat restoration efforts. Others have organized workshops and created aquaculture farms.

One boy formed a local environmental group of 35 children and has been asked to make presentations on global warming to schools in his area. A 16-year-old girl who participated in the program, meanwhile, developed activities to teach children about Mexico’s habitats, wildlife, and biodiversity and recently received the same National Youth Award from Mexico’s president that Morales Casanova won as a teen.

Going National, and Global

Morales Casanova’s activism isn’t stopping with the park. She recently met with President Peña Nieto to propose that environmental textbooks become part of Mexico’s school curriculum.

“We should consider environmental knowledge essential, like grammar or math,” she says. “But since teachers have no resources ecology is not being taught. I hope the president will share our vision.”

She also hopes to take her campaign global. Already, Para la Tierra, a nongovernmental organization in Paraguay, and Barranquilla, another in Colombia, use her environmental materials.

At the same time, Morales Casanova keeps her feet planted firmly in her backyard.

“The Yucatan has phenomenal biodiversity, yet our ecosystems and species are severely threatened,” she says. “The biggest problem of all is lack of knowledge.”

Article source: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/08/140828-emerging-explorer-mexico-morales-casanova-environment-hunab-science/

Cheapflights.com Wants You to Get Back to Nature, for Free

BOSTON, MA–(Marketwired – Aug 26, 2014) – The final days of summer are approaching and, with them, come a change of pace and season. For those looking for one final adventure this Labor Day long weekend — or even to plan a foliage getaway for fall — we have one word: free! To help you get back to nature in the most economical of ways, the travel experts at Cheapflights.com, the online leader in finding and publishing travel deals, have selected their Top 10 Free Campsites around the World. Be ready to pack in (and back out) all your gear and leave your glamping tastes at home. These spots are simple but offer unspoiled views and true peace and quiet.

Below are five of the locations from our list where you can pitch your tent for free and become one with the world of nature:

  • Burns Lake Village Campground, British Columbia, Canada — Stay free for up to three nights in this small, but lovely, campground on the Burns Lake shore. Breathe in the fresh mountain air as you toast marshmallows over an open fire, swim in the lake or take a boat ride. Burns Lake Village has a proud First Nation heritage and its natural beauty is shown off through hiking trails, golf courses, mountain-bike trails and cross-country skiing.

  • Lava Point Campground, Zion National Park, Utah, United States — It’s first come first served at the popular Lava Point Campground. Zion National Park is an incredible natural playground home to multi-colored sandstone cliffs, a slot canyon, and a variety of plant life and animals. Open June to October, Lava Point is a one hour and 20 minutes’ drive to the camp from the South Entrance of Zion Canyon. These are basic campsites with pit toilets and garbage bins, but no water. During spring and autumn, the weather in the region can change rapidly so always check weather conditions before you head out.

  • Sage Creek, Badlands National Park, North Dakota, United States — If the occasional wandering bison doesn’t put you off you’re going to love Sage Creek Campsite in Badlands National Park. Watch the sun rise and set over Badlands’ rugged landscape and explore the impressive geology and colorful flora. Open year round, Saga Creek can be your outdoor home for up to 14 nights. Pit toilets and covered picnic tables are on site, but you’re going to need to bring your own water.

  • Dartmoor National Park, South Devon, England — Spend the night in the rolling green hills and moorland of Dartmoor National Park. This picturesque setting in England is open to wild campers for one- or two-night stays as long as they respect the natural environment and remove everything they bring into the park. Stay away from farmland, walled-off moorland, flood plains and archaeological sites, and stick to lightweight camping equipment.

  • Mar Lodge Estate, Cairngorms National Park, Scotland — Owned by the National Trust, Mar Lodge Estate is surrounded by some of the most remote and beautiful untamed land in Scotland, and four of the United Kingdom’s highest mountains, in Cairngorms National Park. The Estate lies three miles west of Braemar and welcomes wild campers for short stays. It’s recommended for campers to contact the estate in advance. No fires are permitted on the site and there is a park ranger service on hand to assist visitors.

Looking to take your adventures farther afield? The five further-flung sites that round out our list of top free campgrounds are Mangatutu Hot Springs Camping Ground, Kaweka Forest Park, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand; Lake Pearson (Moana Rua), Waimakariri Basin, Canterbury, New Zealand; Paradise Beach, Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park, Victoria, Australia; Grants Lagoon, Bay of Fires, Tasmania, Australia and Higashi-Onuma Camp-jo, Lake Onuma, Hokkaido, Japan. To read the scenic details on these and see Cheapflights.com’s complete list of 10 Free Campsites around the World, visit www.cheapflights.com/news/top-10-free-campsites-around-the-world.

About Cheapflights.com, part of the Momondo Group
Momondo Group is an online travel media and technology company that is driven by the belief that an open world is a better world. The group now serves travel search and inspiration to over 17.5 million visitors a month — plus 7 million travel newsletter subscribers — via its Cheapflights (www.cheapflights.com) and momondo (www.momondo.com) brands.

Skygate began the sourcing of complex air-travel data in 1992, while Cheapflights pioneered the online comparison of flight deals for users in 1996 and momondo launched meta-search in the Nordic countries in 2006.

The Group has offices in London, Copenhagen, Boston and Toronto, with a consumer base across more than 25 core international markets but users all over the world.

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Article source: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/cheapflights-com-wants-back-nature-190917847.html