BULAWAYO — One of the country’s major bakeries, Lobels Bread Holdings, has seen bread production at its Harare plant going up 20% to 250 000 loaves a day after the successful installation of $5,8 million semi-automated machinery in the last quarter of 2013.
The baker, which almost collapsed under the burden of $14 million debt, has been rehabilitated by a consortium of banks.
The firm is battling to claw back market share, having lost ground to Innscor’s Bakers’ Inn and Proton Bakeries.
Lobels Bread chief executive officer Ngoni Mazango said major shareholders were seeking additional capital this year to further increase output at both the Harare and Bulawayo bakeries.
“In Bulawayo, we are producing an average of 100 000 loaves per day, but we are seeking more capital to improve production this year, although I cannot say much at the moment.”
He said the company now owned by banks NMB, FBC, CBZ, Capital Bank and Metbank — under the vehicle Altiwave — was forced to seek the capital from outsiders as the country was facing a shortage of cash in the economy.
“Banks are struggling as well so it means seeking the capital from other alternative sources.”
He said power outages were pegging back production at the company’s two bakeries.
“We are sometimes forced to use 100 litres of fuel per hour to power generators which is very expensive.” — The Source