HARARE, December 3 (The Source) – Amalgamated Regional Trading (ART) narrowed its loss after tax to $590,000 in the full year to September compared to $1,1million last year on improved margins and factory efficiencies, the company said on Thursday.
The group recorded a four percent increase in revenue to $29,8million as it registered growth in battery, tissue and pen sales on the domestic market.
The batteries division achieved an operating profit of $1,237 million up from $967,000 in 2014. The division contributed 65 percent to group turnover and volumes of batteries sold in Zimbabwe were 17 percent higher than in the prior year.
The Zambia batteries distribution business was affected by the devaluation of the Kwacha, with volumes falling three percent from the prior year.
Eversharp revenues grew by 14 percent due to increased volumes in the local market. The business posted an operating profit of $340,000 compared to $422,000 in 2014.
The Paper division posted an operating loss of $387,000, an improvement on the prior year loss of $1 million. Softex brands volumes increased by 22 percent.
In statement accompanying company results on Thursday, chairman Moses Chundu said the group’s overall capacity utilisation had improved to 69 percent from 59 percent in 2014.
“The new equipment procured under the Taesung Chemical Company Limited facility was installed at Eversharp, Chloride and Kadoma Paper Mills during the year. The equipment has resulted in improved range, reduced cost of production and improved quality. Consequently the Group’s performance has improved with profits being consistently posted since January 2015,” said Chundu.
Operating expenses were down eight percent on prior year as the group streamlined its operations. A one-off restructuring cost of $634,000 was incurred during the year.