Amalgamated Regional Trading revenue remains firm

Leafias Mazviro

Amalgamated Regional Trading (ART) has registered a 54 percent increase in its total revenue for the period to June 2023.

The company said its revenue grew to ZWL75,2 billion in inflation-adjusted terms representing 54 percent compared to the prior year while the revenue in historical terms stood at ZWL37,5 billion, 523 percent above the prior year.

“Export volumes recovered, registering a 16 percent increase from the prior year in line with improved product availability,” the company said.

However, ART added that volumes declined by 2 percent during the quarter.

“The group remains profitable however margins have come under pressure due to increased input costs and the impact of the punitive foreign currency retention policy on exports,” the company said.

ART said its volumes for batteries declined by 9 percent from the prior year volume of 90,445 units due to the power-induced downtime at the beginning of the quarter.

“Production efficiencies following the commissioning of new grid casters increased output in June and July which boosted the “Powered by Exide” winter promotion.

“The project to increase automotive battery manufacturing capacity is nearing completion and will enable improved stockholding across all product ranges.

“The division commissioned an additional 200KVA generator and is working closely with the power utility to upgrade power at the Workington factory,” the company said.

On the paper segment, the company said volumes decreased by 5 percent from the prior year volume of 2,290 tons as trading was affected by exchange rate volatility and pricing distortions, particularly in the formal retail sector.

“Competition from imports increased in the informal market with pricing and access to foreign currency being key in creating competitive advantage.

“The new Tissue Mill will be supported by the streamlining and restructuring of the paper divisions in order to drive performance along the value chain.

“A new converting line will be commissioned before the end of the financial year with resultant cost savings, quality improvement and increased tissue output,” the company said.

On the other hand, demand for bulk tissue on the export market remained firm.

In addition, the group said on the Eversharp pens segment volumes increased during the quarter by 28 percent to 12,430,000 pens on the back of increased production output following retooling and improved power supply.

“Exports into Zambia resumed and stationery trading was buoyed by the launch of the Eversharp Mate and Eversharp Pen Pal brands in response to market demand,” the firm said.

The firm said timber volumes at Mutare Estates increased by 7 percent as compared to prior year.

“The order book for both structural timber and pallets remains firm as customers in the sector preferred to trade in foreign currency.”

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