Border Timbers’ Half-Year Affected by COVID-19 Restriction Measures

The ongoing pandemic continued to impact production and sales patterns.

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  • Production went down 17%
  • Revenue down 23%
  • Significantly, profit was up 214% from a loss position SPLY

HARARE – The introduction of more stringent measures by government authorities to curb the spread of COVID-19 negatively affected Border Timbers’ (currently under judicial management) production volumes for the half-year ended 31 December 2020 (H1 FY21), while sales remained subdued due to the resultant lower demand particularly in the second quarter.

Production volumes went down by 17 percent to 28,519 cubic meters from 34,414 cubic meters in the comparative 2019 period.

With regards to transmission poles and lumber, production volumes slumped to 4,443 cubic meters and 24,076 cubic meters from a 2019 comparative of 6,035 cubic meters and 28,379 cubic meters respectively.

Judicial Manager Peter Bailey who is currently in charge of the forestry and sawmilling company said this was due to disruptions in production and logistical bottlenecks that were caused by COVID-19 lockdown restrictions in the first quarter of the financial year.

Total sales volumes were 30,253 cubic meters, which is 12 percent lower compared to 34,455 cubic meters sold during the same period in 2019.

“This was because of lower demand during Q2 of FY21 and the adverse effect of the Covid-19,” Bailey said.

“However, measures are in place to further develop the export market with a view of increasing sales volumes.”

In line with the subdued production and sales volumes, the company’s revenue for the period tumbled by 23 percent to ZWL 629,229 million from ZWL 813,667 million.

Significantly, a profit of ZWL 58,114 million was realised from a loss of ZWL 18,488 in the prior year, thus representing a positive growth of 214 percent.

On the outlook, Bailey said that the second wave is expected to have a material adverse effect on Zimbabwe and other countries in the region, with a major impact affecting revenue generation as well as logistics and supply chains.

“The Company remains cautiously optimistic about the current financial year with focus being placed on replacing some of the obsolete equipment, which is expected to improve efficiency. Annual replanting of the forest has commenced and is according to the plan on the backdrop of good rainfall which has been experienced so far,” he said.

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