• Total volumes decreased by 40% to 206 metric tonnes
  • Rubber volumes went down by 5%
  • Chemical division volumes decreased by 58%

Harare- Rubber and Chemicals producer, General Beltings Holdings Limited recorded volumes decrease across all units during the three months to March 2023 due to depressed power supplies which curtailed production time.

In a trading update, the Group said the debilitating power shortages significantly affected production and increased cost of production as resources had to be matched with load shedding schedules.

Exacerbated by the increased dollarisation which encouraged imports at the expense of local industry, total volumes for the quarter declined by 40% to 206 metric tonnes from 342 metric tonnes recorded in the same period prior year.

The rubber division volumes went down by 5% to 113 metric tonnes while the chemicals division volumes at 93 metric tonnes were 58% lower than the same period prior year volumes which included residual COVID 19 business.

Due to depressed volumes, the Group’s revenue decreased by 11% to US$1.439 million from US$1.618 million with the operating profit ceding19% compared to the same period last year.

“The effort to improve power supply to the national grid will enable the rubber division to convert its strong order book and further meet new business given the anticipated growth in the mining sector,” commented the Group.

The Group added that, “The chemicals division is expected to improve performance on the back of expected growth in the tourism and agricultural sectors together with the relaxation of contractionary measures.”

Since post-COVID-19 era, Zimbabwe continued to struggle with electricity challenges due to depressed production at Hwange Thermal Power Station courtesy of ageing power plants and reduced power generation at Kariba Power Station caused by low water levels.

To offset power challenges, companies should consider investments in green energy.

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