• National Foods had a difficult quarter, with total volumes falling 18%
  • Overall volumes for Probottlers rose by 11%
  • Volumes at Prodairy up by 19%
  • Colcom volumes jump by 8%

Harare - For the first quarter ended September 30, 2022, INNSCOR AFRICA LIMITED reported solid volume growth. This was conceivable even though volume momentum has been easing in some crucial businesses whereas liquidity restrictions and pricing distortions brought about by governmental measures implemented to fight inflation and manage the money supply have had a significant impact on consumer demand. This has negatively impacted sales channels across the group.

The Bakery Division experienced a marginal drop in comparison to the comparative quarter. This was propelled by the Russia-Ukraine war which made global wheat prices surge. Recently prices of wheat have calmed down and the winter wheat season has proven to be successful for the country. Wheat prices have responded and demand has allowed loaf volumes to recover.

National Foods had a difficult quarter, with total volumes falling 18% behind the comparable period for the first quarter that ended on September 30, 2022. The dip was dominated by raw materials divisions, with processed foods all showing a volume rise after the firm used the informal sector for trade while the formal sector continues to limp as a result of fiscal and monetary measures.

The COLCOM division produced overall volumes that were 8% higher than in the comparable quarter, with growth in both fresh and processed pork. As a result of prior investments in upstream piggery operations and improved genetics, the overall pig supply grew by 5% in the same quarter.

Volumes at IRVINE'S increased in each of the three major categories. Table eggs had a 20% increase from the same time last year, and frozen poultry saw a 6% increase. Day-old chicks saw an improvement of 9% over the previous period as small-scale poultry market demand remained stable thanks to capacity expansion investments that had been made and brought online throughout the company's value chain.

In comparison to the prior quarter, volumes across the ASSOCIATED MEAT PACKERS Group increased, with the chicken category seeing a volume growth of 28%. As long as disease control measures restricting the movement of cattle are in place, the local beef market will continue to struggle with a limited supply. The AMP Group is still committed to growing its "Texas" retail footprint, and numerous more outlets are anticipated to launch in the upcoming quarters.

The aggregate volumes of NATPAK remained basically constant from prior quarter. To increase the rigids and sacks divisions' manufacturing capacity and capabilities, a new rigids site has been chosen. The issues with paper supply that the corrugated division faced during the previous fiscal year have seen significant progress.

Volumes at PRODAIRY ended the quarter 19% higher than the corresponding quarter, supported by prior expenditures to boost installed capacity. Through its Mafuro Farming subsidiary, the company continues to make investments in upstream raw-milk supply, which has increased by 35% during the prior quarter. During the third quarter of the year, the company anticipates putting another dairy farm in Kwekwe into operation.

Overall volumes for PROBOTTLERS rose by 11% over the same time in the previous year, with both the cordials and CSD categories posting favourable growth that was also aided by capacity investments made in the prior fiscal year.

Solid volume growth was seen across all of PROFEEDS's primary categories. While the market for small-scale poultry products remained steady, driving the growth of the Day Old-Chick category, closing 23% ahead of the Comparative Quarter, the Stockfeed operation ran at full capacity to post 8% growth ahead of the Comparative Quarter.

Before the summer maize and soya cropping season, the "Nutrimaster" fertiliser category is expected to provide volumes in line with the comparative quarter and on a stable order book. The "Profarmer" retail division generated a double-digit volume increase throughout its ancillary range of veterinary, seed, agricultural, and farming inputs over the comparative quarter. It also continues to grow its retail network and product offering.

PROBRANDS volumes across its main products improved and market penetration increased. Volumes in the category of finished goods increased by 15% over the previous quarter, while volumes in the categories of household and "ideal" condiments increased by 47% and 16%, respectively.

The group also stated that the country's short to medium-term outlook is still favourable due to the current economic stability, so it urges the authorities to remove any ambiguities and distortions in the country’s taxation system to maintain the welcomed period of stability and further boost business confidence.

The Group's strategic objective is to guarantee that businesses continue to generate solid operating cash flow to support the Group's ambitious capital investment projects, which total USD 56 million in the current fiscal year.

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