RioZim Q1 revenue up 43%

ZIMBABWE Stock Exchange-listed mining concern RioZim Limited’s operating profit for the first quarter was up 117% to $390 million compared to a loss of $2,3 million on the back of improved revenue, the company has announced.

Report by Tarisai Mandizha

During the period under review, turnover increased by 43% to $22,655 million from $15,808 million last year despite facing an industrial action at the start of the year.

Speaking at the company’s annual general meeting yesterday, RioZim chief executive officer Ashton Ndlovu said the group still managed to achieve a 43% growth in turnover over last year quarter as a result of metal sales and revert sales at Empress Nickel Refinery.

“Disruptions which lasted for over four weeks ruined operations and affected the results of the first quarter resulting in lost revenues of approximately $4,5 million,” said Ndlovu.

Ndlovu said while the company’s performance improved during the period under review, it continued to be saddled with a $91 million debt.

Local banks, which the company owes $60 million, are the major creditors. RioZim group treasurer Bhekinkosi Nkomo said the group had managed to reduce
the amount owed to banking institutions to $42 million.

Nkomo said the company was expecting to generate $8,6 million cash in total and $7,7 million before the end of year from the sale of reverts to Xstrata.

Ndlovu said the group was in the process of negotiating with banks to return the remaining loans to tenure of between 24 to 36 months.

The RioZim boss added that plans are underway to cut more jobs in a bid to improve the company’s efficiency.

“At the moment there are 33 employees down from 113 employees.

“This number will be reduced to 20,” said Ndlovu.

He said the approved retrenchment exercise completed had resulted in cost savings of approximately $2 million per year.