Battery unity powers ART to improved profitability

Harare – Amalgamated Regional Trading (ART) Holdings Limited says the battery business segment continued to drive the Group’s performance for the year ended September 30, 2018 recording revenues of $32 million, a 42 percent increase from prior year.

In a statement accompanying the Group financial results, ART Chairman Dr Thomas Wushe said volumes increased by 29 percent on the back of improved product availability following additional investment in factory bottleneck area.

During the period under review, Wushe said the Exide Express network was expanded and supported by increased promotional activities that included the rebranding of Mutare and Motor City Harare branches.

“The increased volumes in batteries and paper as well as the widening of the product range to include books and low maintenance batteries necessitated additional contract labour.

“The Chloride Zambia sales volumes increased by 34 percent and revenues increased by 17 percent to $6.3 million from prior year. The business continued to recover due to improved product availability and increased market presence. The tax issues previously reported were resolved in the second half of the year.”

Meanwhile, in the period under review, the Paper division achieved an operating profit of $0.73 million compared to $0.12 million in the prior period as a result of improved efficiencies and volumes at the Kadoma Mill. Revenue was driven by a 7 percent volume increase to $6.5 million.

Eversharp maintained its strong performance in spite of the proliferation of imitation pens in the region and an operating profit of $0.81 million was achieved compared to $0.92 million in the prior year.

Softex recorded an operating profit of $0.61 million on the back of strong tissue demand compared to $0.34 million in 2017. Revenues at $9.8 million increased by 37 percent however, hygiene and femcare products were affected by intermittent raw material supplies.

Additionally, the Group said strong timber demand drove the revenues of the Mutare business with turnover increasing by 55 percent to $2 million.

“The business continued with sustainability measures initiated in the prior period that focus on resource preservation and value addition.”

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