Diversified food producer, Innscor Africa Limited (IAL)’s bakery division, which recently commissioned a state-of-the-art operation in Bulawayo, recorded a firm recovery in loaf volumes, in the first quarter to September 30 2023, closing 39 percent ahead of the comparative quarter.
In a trading update, IAL, said the comparative quarter had been impacted by raw material cost push pressure following the outbreak of the conflict in Eastern Europe.
The division’s performance is expected to continue on an upward trajectory boosted by the “Baker’s Inn Express Shop” footprint, a creative initiative which seeks to empower the group’s extensive vendor network across the country, and improve convenience to the consumer.
During the quarter under review, the division extended its Baker’s Inn Express Shop footprint, with 120 shops now in operation.
“The Group registered favourable volume growth across the portfolio during the quarter under review. Notable volume recovery was delivered in the Mill-Bake segment, while the volume growth recorded across the Protein, Beverage, and Light Manufacturing businesses in the previous financial year was sustained into the quarter under review, driven by the significant expansion investment made across the group over the last two financial years. The investment was targeted at expanding existing capacity, modernising plant and equipment, and venturing into new product categories,” group company secretary Andrew Lorimer said.
IAL lauded government for extending the multi-currency environment until 2030, saying the move was “extremely positive and will enhance capital allocation strategies over the medium-term”.
Although trading dynamics remained complex and challenging, mainly in respect of constrained liquidity, efforts to remove the pricing distortions in the formal trade will normalise the competitive landscape and ultimately benefit the end-consumer.
“The group operated under relatively stable trading conditions during the quarter, which was characterised by reduced inflationary pressure and currency volatility following various policy measures implemented by the authorities,” said Lorimer.
The Colcom division, comprising Triple C Pigs and Colcom Foods, maintained volume momentum during the quarter under review, with the processed lines delivering volumes in line with the comparative quarter, while the fresh pork category recorded 2 percent growth.
Triple C Pig volumes closed at the same level seen in the comparative quarter. The division remains occupied with upstream piggery expansion and enhancement initiatives, including the recently commissioned stockfeed production facility, while various upgrades are ongoing at the Colcom Foods’ Coventry Road factory.
“Colcom Foods provides the market with quality, competitively priced fresh pork, and processed meat products. Its vertical integration, from the best-in-class farms together with solid manufacturing practices, aims to efficiently produce products, while conforming to international food safety standards.
“This strategy continues to support a proudly Zimbabwean brand, with high-quality and good-value products for consumers,” said Lorimer.
The extensive range of products supports a multitude of businesses within the community and provides key value items within the retail trade. This, with Colcom’s sales strategy of going “further, deeper, wider”, aims at bringing the whole product range within reach of every consumer nationwide.
Source: Business Weekly