TSL Limited plans to add other cereals and related value-adding activities as part of its diversification exercise after successes in producing maize and soya beans.
BY VICTORIA MTOMBA
“The group has successfully produced its first crop of maize and soya bean, marking the beginning of our broader plans to diversify agricultural operations beyond tobacco. Plans are underway to add other cereals and related value-adding activities to the expanded agro operations,” TSL said in a statement accompanying the financial statement for the six months ended April 30, 2015.
Profit from operations during the period was $1,7 million down from $3,5 million recorded in the same period in 2014. Revenues for the group during the period under review were 4% below same period last year to $24,4 million.
“Key factors impacting group revenues and profitability were the late start to the tobacco selling season and a general decline in levels of liquidity in the market. Associate companies meanwhile, have been negatively impacted by a combination of weak demand and challenges in the cigarette manufacturing industry,” the group said.
It said volumes for Tobacco Sales Floor Limited were 39% lower than the same period last year due to the delayed start of the selling season and softer prices at the onset although the unit retained 50% of the market share.
“We remained focused on service efficiency and cost containment while the efforts started last year to introduce new services to growers have begun to yield positive results. Revenue from contract auctioning has meanwhile remained strong and is growing and the effect of this will be to minimise the impact of a reduced national crop,” the group said.
The group is expecting higher revenues in the second half of the financial year although a smaller national crop was projected.
TSL Properties had a solid performance during the period under review and revenues were up on ongoing long-term contracts and contribution of the new warehouses which were fully let.