ART Q1 operating profit at $1,4mln

ART Q1 operating profit at $1,4mln

HARARE, February 24 (The Source) – Amalgamated Regional Trading (ART) posted an operating profit of $1,4 million in the four months to January 2017 mainly as result of reduced operating expenses which were four percent below prior year.

Group chief executive Tapiwa Ameer told shareholders at the company’s annual general meeting that investments into the group’s operation are now impacting positively, particularly on efficiency of production.

“The impact of Chloride phase 2 and new equipment at Kadoma Paper Mills is now being felt on volumes and costs. As a result we are on course to meet our half year and full year profit projections,” he said.

In the four month period, turnover declined 7 percent to $10.4 million compared to $11.2 million in 2016 same period due to low lead exports and price adjustments in Zambia.

In terms of sales, the Paper Division had 10 percent increase but Softex volumes dropped 12 percent while Eversharp also recorded 8 percent decline.

Chloride Zimbabwe saw volumes registering a 4 percent increase to 70,537 units from 68,016 units in 2016 same period while Chloride Zambia was flat.

During the period, gross profit margins were 40 percent up from 39 percent in prior year. Ameer said cash flow remains tight because of legacy issues.

The group’s debt at $5.5 million improved from $6 million by September 2016. Gearing also improved to 31 percent from 54 percent in September last year.