ART Revenue scales up 14 percent in HY2021

  • Revenue came in at ZW$1.76 billion
  • Overall volumes increased by 15 percent
  • Batteries division recorded the greatest improvement at 22 percent ahead of prior year

Harare – Diversified manufacturing and distribution group, Amalgamated Regional Trading (ART) Holdings has recorded a 14 percent increase in revenue for the half-year ended March 31, 2021, after experiencing improvements in sales volumes across all its business segments except for just one.

ART manufactures and distributes paper products, stationery and batteries. Its product portfolio ranges from tissue paper, sanitary ware and disposable napkins to writing pens and automotive, solar and standby batteries falling under the brand names Exide, Eversharp, Softex and Chloride.

In the period under review, the group’s total revenue increased to ZW$1.76 billion in inflation-adjusted terms compared to ZW$1.51 billion in the same half of the prior year.

This improvement in performance was consequent to an overall improvement of 15 percent in sales volumes with the batteries division volumes posting the greatest improvement at 22 percent ahead of prior-year levels.

The group accredits the strong battery performance to “consistent product availability and improved efficiencies following the commissioning of additional plastic injection machinery.”

The paper manufacturing segment also saw a 14 percent jump in volumes but however recorded a ZW$52 million loss as a result of “significant under-recoveries as activity declined especially during the COVID-19 induced lockdowns.”

The timber division was also on the same growth trajectory despite recording a marginal one percent improvement in volumes owing to constant demand.

Softex was the only division to record a negative performance, with volumes coming in 14 percent below prior-year levels as a result of a weakened demand perpetuated by strong competition from tissue and detergent brands, especially from South Africa.

The group recently completed the full acquisition of Softex for a total consideration of US$800 000 after acquiring 1,448,500 shares which were held by Nampak.

For all these products, exports increased by 13 percent but however, the group is fearful that “export competitiveness faces risks associated with policy inconsistencies, volatile exchange rates and supply interruptions.”

Despite the strong overall strong volumes and revenue performance, gross and operating profits decreased by 11 and eight percent respectively.

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