Willdale records $3,6 mln revenue, scouts for export markets as competition tightens

Willdale records $3,6 mln revenue, scouts for export markets as competition tightens

By Chipo Musoko, HARARE, March 26 (The Source) – Brick-maker Willdale has recorded $3,6 million growth in revenue for the five  months to February this year, up from $2,9 million achieved during the same period last year driven by increased output, the company’s chief executive told The Source on Thursday.

Nyasha Matonda said sales volumes were up 49 percent to 27 million bricks from 18 million during the comparative period.

“We are targeting 100 million bricks for the whole year and this will give us some cover for the dry season,” he said.

He said the company, which  last year produced 45 million bricks was now targeting foreign markets following increased production in order to address the challenge of local competition including Chinese firms.

“We are looking at the Mozambican and Zambian markets,” said Matonda adding that nothing concrete had  been finalized.

Earlier, Matonda told shareholders after the company’s annual general meeting that production of green (wet) and burnt bricks had gone up by seven and 25 percent respectively.

“However, production volumes are below targets due to power outages further more during wet seasons production is very low,” he said, citing November to January as their wet period.

The investment  of $3 million into the operations last year, he said, had “positioned the company  to operate more efficiently and at a significantly lower costs than in the prior years.”

Last year the company acquired new mobile equipment which is more efficient thus reducing hiring costs, he said.

Matonda said demand for bricks had remained strong particularly for individual home developers despite economic challenges facing the country.

“Although there is still pressure on margins due to competition, we expect to manage such competition through high volume, high quality and low cost production which will give us flexibility in pricing,” he said.

He said Willdale was also planning to increase capacity utilisation to 60 percent from the current 40 percent.