·         AGM Notice: Tanganda Tea Company

·         Trading Update: Willdale; NTS; ARTD; BNC

Harare - AGM Notice: Tanganda Tea Company

Tanganda Tea Company announced that it will hold its 94th Annual General Meeting (AGM) at 0900 Hours on Thursday, 7 March 2024, at the Country Club, 1 Brompton Close, Newlands, Harare. The Company also said that its Shareholders will be asked to connect and attend the meeting virtually on ZOOM on Meeting ID  831 8945 1097.

Trading Update: Willdale; NTS; ARTD; BNC

In a Trading Update for the quarter ended 31 December 2023, Willdale said its inflation adjusted revenue increased by 130% against corresponding period in the prior year. However, the Company said exchange rate distortions weighed on its revenue and thus, a change in functional currency to the hard currency, US$, is under consideration. A currency mix in transactions in favour of US$ against the ZWL at 4:1 has also necessitated the consideration to change the functional currency, and its projected to be effected at the beginning of the new financial year. Willdale’s production volumes plunged by -16% from prior corresponding period owing to power outages. Consequently, sales volumes were 9% lower against prior year despite a high demand for bricks amid increased construction of cluster homes in urban areas.

In the 3rd quarter ended 31 December 2023, NTS registered a 19% growth in new tyres sales volumes against the same period in 2022, from 8,847 to 10,528 units. The growth was attributed to robust various marketing initiatives to improve sales. The volume growth in new tyre sales resulted in an 11% surge in tyre services sales in units.  On the downside, Retreading volumes fell by -2% from 3,081 in Q3 2022 to 3,030 in the period under review due to production disruptions caused by power outages. Other services offered by the Company recorded an 11% increase in volumes from 27,679 in prior year to 30,750. Overall volume performance was positive both in the quarter and year-to-date, growing 12% and 20% respectively over the periods.

ARTD said its inflation adjusted revenue rose by 67% to ZWL58.9 billion in a Trading Update for its first quarter ended 31 December 2023. However, this growth was only attributed to price disparities amid a highly volatile exchange rate and inflation. The above assertion comes is justified by a -9% decline in overall volumes, with significant reduction in Paper where the tissue converting unit shut down for 2 months to allow for a relocation to Kadoma. Resultantly, export volumes declined by 7% as paper exports were deliberately subdued in a bid to mitigate the impact of the foreign currency surrender requirements given the prevailing unfavourable market rates. In the Batteries division, volumes fell by -14% owing to depressed demand and pricing challenges. In the Paper business unit, sales volumes dipped by a staggering -53% against corresponding period in prior year to 622 tonnes due to exchange rate volatility and shortages of raw materials which outweighed the positive effect of commissioning a new plant. The Eversharp segment reported a 19% increase in volumes to 15,188,000 units, attributed to improved product availability despite a delayed delivery of raw materials. At the Mutare Estates, timber volumes increased by 16% to 2,583 cubic metres. However, recovering occupancy costs in full from tenants remains a hurdle, according to the Company.

In a Trading Update for the 3rd quarter ended 31 December 2023, BNC said its performance for the quarter and nine months to 31 December was heavily impacted by deterioration of the SubVertical Rock Winder (SVR) bull gear, after the previously reported initial damage that occurred in September 2022, which depleted the operating capacity of the SVR to 25% by September 2023. Following the procurement of a replacement SVR bull gear which was initially scheduled for completion by 31 October 2023 before the revision to end of February 2024, BNC initiated a transient shutdown of the operations from 22 September 2023. Due to this shutdown, no ore was mined or milled, and no Nickel in concentrates were produced in the quarter under review. In the comparable period in the prior year, BNC mined 51,770 tonnes of ore, milled 50,907 tonnes of ore, and produced 275 tonnes of Nickel in concentrate. In the 9-months to 31 December 2023, BNC recorded a 37% decline in ore mined from 281,560 tonnes in prior corresponding period to 177,179 tonnes due to inactivity in the 3rd quarter. In line with the decrease in the tonnes of ore mined, the tonnes ore milled, at 163,674, were 42% below 281,135 tonnes recorded in the comparable period last year. BNC also said head grade, at 1.10%, declined by 19% from the 1.35% attained in the comparable period last year due to the down dip reduction in the footprint of the high-grade resource. Nickel in concentrates fell by 40% from 2,192 tonnes in prior year to 1,314 tonnes in the 9-months to December 2023 owing to lower milled tonnage and grade of mined ore.

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