TSL volumes shrinks ascribed to delayed tobacco selling season

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  • Independent auction volumes at TSF were 73% below prior year
  • Volumes in the ports business decreased by 37%
  • Agricura registered a growth in market share and volumes

HARARE-Agro-industrial Group TSL Limited has reported a decline in volumes across most of its segments during the third quarter ended 31 July 2020 largely reflecting on the impact the delay in the start of the 2020 tobacco selling season has had on the company’s operations.

The Group participates in the auctioning of tobacco, printing and packaging, supply of inputs to agriculture, storage and distribution services.

In a trading update for the period under review, the Group said independent auction volumes at Tobacco Sales Floor at 5.7 million kgs were 73% below prior year owing to the smaller tobacco crop, the later start of the tobacco season and auction floors not receiving the requisite approvals to decentralize.

“Contracted volumes handled for tobacco merchants at 7.9 million kgs are 45% below the same period last year,” the Group added.

In the same light volumes at Propak Hessian were down 21% due to the later start of the tobacco selling season and the decline in national tobacco crop.

Forklift sales were also depressed with Premier Forklifts down 18% below prior year due to the delayed start of tobacco processing as well as most customers holding back on capital projects under lockdown.

Volumes in the freight forwarding and customs clearing business were depressed as imports by the customer base remains subdued.

The logistics operations also suffered a blow due to the later start of the tobacco selling season with tobacco handling volumes tumbling by 4% on prior year. Volumes in the ports business decreased by 37% due to generally slower movement of bot imports and exports owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Commenting on the impact of the COVID-19, the Group said it has implemented various contingency plans to mitigate associated risks and ensure disruptions of operations are minimized.

On a brighter side, Agricura registered a growth in market share and volumes across most product lines largely attributable to product availability and more attractive pricing on locally manufactured products.

The Group said that manufacturing and restocking for the coming summer season are underway.

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