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Lockdown chomps Turnall volumes



VOLUMES at the listed piping products manufacturer, Turnall Holdings Limited rose by just 1% during the first quarter of 2021 after government locked down the economy in January this year to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

The lockdown, which has since been relaxed, came after Zimbabwe’s industries spent most of last year closed as COVID-19 infections spiralled out of control. The group hopes the situation improves soon to resume exports which were affected as almost all foreign markets were under hard lockdowns.

In a trading update released yesterday, the firm said it was currently focusing on satisfying the local demand.

Turnall’s capacity utilisation increased to 60% during the review period, from 57% during the comparable period in 2020 after concrete products volumes increased.

Volumes for building products declined by 21%.

Building products, concrete and AC pipes contributed 51%, 48% and 1% of the volumes, respectively.

Turnall board chairperson Bothwell Nyajeka said the group expects a better second quarter performance, anchored on continued volume growth and cost containment.

“Volumes are expected to grow further in the 3rd and 4th quarter on the back of production efficiencies, aggressive sales strategy leveraging on a remodelled route to market.

“The business has adequate strategies in place to sustain continuity in the foreseeable future and protecting value in an operating environment that is improving and stabilising but challenging,” he said.

“Turnall’s exports slowed, largely as a result of regional lockdowns and consequent logistics disruptions. The group is focusing on satisfying local demand and will resume exports once the situation improves in the regional market.”

He said the group had put necessary procurement structures to ensure a continuous supply of critical raw materials that will translate to uninterrupted production for the coming quarter.

“Turnall looks forward to the roll out of vaccination programmes to give hope of a turnaround in the pandemic and improve overall economic performance, driven by the good agricultural season, continued stability in the exchange rate, stable inflation and improvement in the efficiency of the supply chain”  he said.

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