Ariston’s tea output and sales up on good weather conditions

  • Tea production and sales improve by 8%
  • Export tea sales volumes surge by 10% despite Covid-19 disruptions
  • Revenue for the period increased by 64%

Harare – Listed agro-industrial concern, Ariston Holdings Limited reported an improvement in tea production and sales during the half-year ended 31 March 2021 on the back of good weather conditions experienced in most parts of the country.

Tea production volumes at 2 023 tonnes were 8% ahead of the prior year’s 1 870 tonnes. Export tea sales volumes improved by 10% to 656 tonnes whilst current period pricing declined by 2%.

Local tea sales volumes improved by 73% while pricing increased by 39%.

Ariston agriculture operations also include macadamia, maize apples, banana and it has poultry and beef cattle.

In relation to Macadamia, 32% of the projected annual crop had been produced compared to 37% in the prior period. In volume terms, the production for the period under review was 419 tonnes, of which 215 tonnes had been sold.

Comparatively, for the same period in the prior year, 389 tonnes had been produced, of which 178 tonnes had been sold. Pricing reflected an 11% decline against the same period in the prior year.

“The current year yield for the macadamia crop is expected to be 18% ahead of prior year,” Group chairperson, Alexander Jongwe said in a statement accompanying the half-year financials.

The fruit category’s production volumes of 2 288 tonnes for the current half-year improved by 12% when compared with the prior comparative period. This category comprises of stone fruit and pome fruit.

Both fruits registered growth of 17% and 5% respectively as yields continue to improve.

Commenting on the other products making up 17% of revenue, comprising potatoes, soya beans, seed maize, commercial maize, seed sugar beans, avocado, bananas and poultry, Mr. Jongwe said that these have been growing progressively over the years and continue to contribute positively to the Group’s profitability.

Overall, revenue for the period grew by 64% to ZW$425.5 million in inflation-adjusted terms compared to ZW$259.1 million recorded in the prior comparative period mainly driven by an increase in sales of local products.

“Cost of sales decrease at 37% was significantly behind revenue growth and reflects the impact of cost containment activities which resulted in gross margin improvement to 63% compared to 34% in the prior comparative period,” said Mr. Jongwe.

The Group realised an inflation-adjusted profit after tax of ZW$28 million, which is a 112% improvement on the prior comparative period’s ZW$235 million loss.

On the outlook, Mr. Jongwe said that export macadamia demand is projected to remain firm however, a slight decline in the average selling price for the year is expected.

“Export tea demand and pricing is anticipated to remain softer than in prior year,” he said.

“Overall, the Group is expecting an improved financial performance to the end of this financial period.”

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