Harare – The country’s leading manufacturer of conveyor belts, General Beltings Holdings’ revenue for the year ended 31 December 2018 closed at US$4.743 million which was in line with US$4.756 million achieved in the prior year as rubber division volumes slump on foreign currency related challenges.
However, positive performance in the chemical division was critical in complementing the other which ultimately enabled the Company to maintain its revenue on prior year performance.
Rubber division volumes at 257 metric tonnes dropped by 11 percent from the prior year’s 289 metric tonnes due to foreign currency constraints for raw materials procurement.
Consequently, turnover for the rubber division declined by 17 percent to US$2.317 million from prior year’s US$2.776 million with operating costs scaling up 10 percent from prior year to US$659 000 attributed to inflationary pressures.
In statement accompanying the Company’s financial results, Chairman Mr Godfrey Nhemachena said the chemicals division turnover increased by 37 percent to US$2.424 million although volumes declined by 16 percent “due to a favourable product mix.”
“The performance was underpinned by market consolidation in the traditional markets and benefits from the technical partnerships,” said Nhemachena.
Overall, the company’s gross profit increased by 3 percent to US$1.368 million on the prior year’s US$1.325 million due to improved throughput in the Chemicals Division and a favourable product mix at the Rubber Division.
The Company’s operating expenses grew by 3 percent to US$1.725 million from US$1.656 million recorded the prior year.
“As a result, an operating loss of US$323 000 was recorded against a prior year operating profit of US$6 000,” said Nhemachena.
Going forward, Nhemachena said that the Company remains optimistic that its segments are poised for growth in line with the government’s vision to achieve an upper middle income economy by 2030 driven by extractive industries, agriculture and tourism.
“The operating environment continues to evolve and the company’s strategy is set to with stand the challenges ahead focusing on niche markets while taking advantage of improved efficiencies,” he said.
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Raynold Mhotseka is a Journalism and Media Studies student at the University of Zimbabwe. He serves as a news writer at financial research firm, Equity Axis where he is currently on attachment.