BY MISHMA CHAKANYUKA
INDUSTRIAL holdings group, TSL recorded a 19% jump in revenue to $52,1 million in the full year to October driven by a strong performance of its agriculture-related business.
TSL has operations in agriculture, logistics and real estate.
Under its agriculture unit, the group enjoys a dominant position in the tobacco auction market through its subsidiary, Tobacco Sales Floor (TSF).
“The agriculture cluster performed strongly. The tobacco-related business benefitted from the growth in national tobacco volumes. The agro inputs business had a good year, given the reasonable 2017/18 rainfall season and its early procurement of product to ensure better availability. These factors resulted in marked volume growth,” the group said in a statement accompanying financial results.
“Overall, the farming operations had a good year, with the tobacco crop fetching better prices under the existing off-taker arrangement. Commercial and maize seed yields were down given disease pressures and the dry spell in January. The wheat and soyabean crop have fared reasonably well both in terms of yield and prices.”
Profit-after-tax more than doubled to $12,9 million compared to the $4,8 million recorded in the previous year.
Financing costs were up marginally from $1,2 million in prior year to $1,3 million as borrowings increased from $123,9 million to $130 million in the year under review.
The company’s logistics business realised high cargo volumes following the introduction of value-added services for fertiliser importers and volumes handled for existing tobacco merchants increased.
TSL further witnessed increased demand for warehousing due to the larger tobacco crop, which positively impacted the real estate operations.
The group also added that the major property upgrade projects that were deferred in the second half of the year will be undertaken in the 2019 financial year, creating new industrial warehousing space.
On the more significant development projects, the company will look to partner with investors.
Going forward, the group said it would leverage on local and international partnerships to bring significant efficiencies to Zimbabwe’s agricultural supply chains.
“We will work closely with producers and processors of agro-commodities to ensure that they can get the requisite inputs, commodity exchange services and the end-to-end logistics solutions at a price and manner that allows them to compete locally and regionally,” TSL said.
Directors declared an interim dividend of 0,70 cents per share.