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Zimplow flexes muscle

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AGRO-INDUSTRIAL concern Zimplow has flexed its muscle, making key appointments at Tractive Power Holdings (TPH) following its recent takeover of the company.

Report by Bernard Mpofu, Chief Business Reporter

TPH yesterday announced that former Zimplow chief executive Zondi Kumwenda had been appointed group chief executive officer taking over from Charles Nyambuya with effect from December 1. Nyambuya will retire from TPH effective November 30.

Zimplow bought 57,21% shareholding of TPH from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s Finance Trust of Zimbabwe after the central bank shed off its quasi-fiscal activities to focus on its key functions.

Kumwenda is expected to steer the group to new heights.  In the financial year ended August 31, TPH recorded a dip in after-tax profits to $691 000 weighed down by finance costs compared to $1,6 million in the prior year. Finance costs rose to $855 057 during the period under review from $451 226 due to borrowings.

“The year under review has been most challenging for the group, with the economy remaining hamstrung by tight liquidity constraints, high interest rates and subdued performance by key sectors of agriculture and manufacturing,” read a statement accompanying the financial results in part.

“The group expects to rationalise its operations following the acquisition of a controlling stake in the company by Zimplow Limited. Trading volumes are expected to improve due to a number of projects in mining, road and dam construction expected in the new financial period.”

Revenue rose to $42 million during the period under review from $36 million driven by growth in earthmoving machines and lift truck unit sales.

TPH has three divisions—Barzem, Farmec and Puzey&Payne.
Barzem focuses on earthmoving equipment while Farmec deals with tractors and implements. Puzey&Payne holds French carmaker Peugeot’s franchise in Zimbabwe.

Meanwhile reports show that TPH is set to dispose of its loss-making motoring subsidiary Puzey&Payne as the group streamlines its operations.

TPH early this week issued a cautionary statement, saying it was involved in negotiations that could have a material impact on the company’s share price.

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