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Chemco narrows loss

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Zimbabwe Stock Exchange-listed agro-industrial concern Chemco Holdings narrowed its loss before taxation by 26% to $486 188 for the half-year ended April 30, on the back of improved performance of its agro-chemicals unit.

Loss from operations for the period amounted to $386 355, while revenue totalled $3,1 million.

Turnover at its Agricura subsidiary was up 6% compared to the same period last year as volumes of agro-chemicals increased by 14% on the backdrop of improved product availability and fairly strong demand for herbicides and animal health products.

Agricura made a profit of $41 509 compared to a loss of $28 458 from the prior year.

“The first half of the year saw a slowdown in economic activity fuelled largely by the economy-wide liquidity challenges. The current winter cropping season has been depressed.

Group turnover from continuing operation declined by 3% from prior year,” reads a statement accompanying the interim financials.
“Margins remained relatively steady due to the improved product sourcing, albeit selling prices being dropped to regain competitiveness.”

TS Timbers turnover dropped by 14% and loss before tax stood at $213 352 compared to $54 789 achieved during the prior year.

Last year Chemco Holdings subsidiary, Agricor Limited, disposed off its non-core asset Premier Milling Company to Croco Holdings Private Limited to retire its expensive debt and create working capital for the group.

In June 2011, the company recorded losses that were mainly from discontinued operations, while losses from the continued operations were small and manageable.

The company indicated it had huge borrowings and would dispose of a core asset at Chemco to stop losses.

Chemco, in 2010, closed two loss-making divisions, Chemco Transport and Farm-A-Rama and Agpy through a management buy-out.

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