HARARE,– ART Corporation says its turnover in the four months to January 2018 grew 39 percent to $14.5 million pushed by higher prices and sales across all business units.
Chief executive Milton Macheka told shareholders at the company’s annual general meeting that volumes at Eversharp increased five percent to 19 million units while the Paper division volumes grew 10 percent to 1,622 tonnes on the prior period last year.
Softex sales showed a 20 percent growth to 855 tonnes from 712 tonnes while battery sales in both Zimbabwe and Zambia increased 28 percent respectively.
“Units sold at Chloride rose to 89,994 compared to 70,537 in 2017 same period while Chloride Zambia sales reached 21,411 from 16,673 in prior year,” said Macheka.
Gross profit margins, at 45 percent were four percent above budget and five percent up over the prior period last year but operating expenses also grew six percent in line with increased activity.
Macheka said cash flows had improved significantly with gearing at 32 percent from 48 percent.
“Improved cash generation enabled the group to not only sustain operations but to also increase capacity utilisation and meet debt repayment commitments,” he said.
The company lowered its debt to $5.454 million from $6.481 million and the cost of debt to 12 percent per annum from 15 percent.
“We strongly believe we are going to meet our projected turnover of between $39 million and $40 million for the half year while we expect to report profit for the period,” he said. – The Source