HARARE, January 7 (The Source) – Agricultural concern Ariston Holdings slipped to an after tax loss of $1,7 million in the full-year to December from a profit of $1,5 million the previous year on declining revenues and ballooning finance costs and stopped operations at its trade division to stem the haemorrhage.
Revenue during the year declined by six percent to $11, 8 million while finance costs more than trippled from $890,000 to $2, 9 million.
The group, with an array of horticulture interests, said on Thursday that it had stopped operations at its loss making trade division FAVCO which had made cumulative losses of $7, 2 million since adoption of the multicurrency regime in 2009. The cost of unwinding this division amounted $3, 4million.
The group’s borrowings increased from $2, 8 million to $10 million with a weighted average cost of borrowings of 18.8 percent per annum.
Ariston’s Southdown Estates which is engaged in growing tea, avocados, macadamia nuts and bananas contributed $9 million to revenue from continuing operations, accounting for 76 percent of total group revenue. It swung to an operating profit of $2, 2 million from an operating loss of $45,000 last year.
Kent Estates revenue fell by 52 percent to $1, 1 million resulting in an operating loss of $1, 1 million.
The group’s Claremont Estates, which concentrates on growing Pome and stone fruit, recorded a 16 percent increase in revenue to $2 million driven by increased yields. Its operating loss narrowed from $900,000 the previous year to $300,000 in 2015.