COVID-19 hits listed companies

  • FBCH expects its 2020 financial performance to be adversely impacted by the virus
  • The selling and distribution of Turnall’s products has been curtailed by the restriction of movement
  • Meikles believes the Group will progress in a satisfactory position of financial strength and profitability in the future

Harare – With over 4.5 million cases of COVID-19 and over 300 000 deaths having been reported globally, uncertainty regarding the full impact of the deadly virus on business operations the world over remains and Zimbabwe is no exception.

Local listed companies have reported varied effects the virus has so far had on their operations with some having already been hit heavily while others remain optimistic in as far as meeting their set targets is concerned.

FBC Holdings said while there are still a number of unknown variables, preliminary assessments show that the Group’s financial performance for the year 2020 may be impacted adversely by the virus with product and services demand being projected to decrease, while impairment costs will likely increase as revenue streams of our customers are impacted.

For TSL, an assessment of the impact of the pandemic is ongoing but the disruptive effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are expected to continue beyond the 2020 calendar year and will affect the Group’s customers, markets and suppliers to varying degrees.

Work is therefore, being undertaken to protect the business, preserve shareholder value and take advantage of the opportunities that are emerging, a move that has been adopted by a number of companies

Turnall’s business was closed in the first three weeks of the total lockdown and reopened under the partial lockdown. While the company is allowed to trade under the partial lockdown regulations, the selling and distribution of its products has been curtailed by the restriction of movement and restrictions on purchasing non-essential products.

The company resumed sales on the 26th April 2020 and both production plants resumed production two weeks later and management expects production to be at normal levels by the end of May 2020.

Uncertainty remains for mining company, Bindura Nickel Company as different factors will determine its performance as the direction of the market will depend on the demand/supply balance: the demand side will depend on how fast economies reopen, while the supply side will depend on the extent of the total reduction in supply due to national lockdowns which have forced mining houses to either stop or reduce production.

Some companies however remain positive and see opportunities to grow arising and these include General Beltings Holdings (GBH) whose chemicals division’s personal and institutional hygiene market segment has seen growth through manufacturing hand sanitisers and disinfectants.

Diversified firm, Meikles Limited believes that the Group will progress in a satisfactory position of financial strength and profitability in the foreseeable future, within targets of performance established before the advent of COVID-19.

This is despite the certain commercial difficulties the Group is facing that include the temporary closure of its hotels as the tourism industry has been largely affected by travel restrictions set by most governments.

The outlooks given by the local companies are depended mainly on the type of business they specialise in with manufacturers and distributers of essential goods and services having positive views of what the future holds while those in non-essential industries remain uncertain.

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