REVENUE at plastic pipe manufacturer Proplastics Limited increased by 5% to US$16,1 million in the nine months to September 2023, compared to the corresponding period in 2022, buoyed by an uptick in export business.
According to the company’s trading update, sales volumes rose by 25% to 4 987 tonnes on the similar period in 2022.
“Though volumes increased, there was a general slowdown between the months of July and September, which is traditionally our peak period,” Proplastics board chairperson Gregory Sebborn said in a trading update.
“Exports, for the period under review, recorded significant growth, contributing 13% to total sales. Active markets were Malawi contributing 70%, Congo at 15% and Zambia 15%.”
Sebborn said raw material supply was stable throughout the period and as at end of September, the business held significant stocks of PVC resin, to ensure uninterrupted supply of the product on the market.
He said the pricing of resin continued to be more stable compared to the same period in 2022 and post the COVID-19 pandemic and later the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
“The foreign creditors position has also improved with overall creditors having been reduced by 25% from the close of the previous year (2022). The business remains profitable although operating at subdued levels,” he said.
“The new factory remains well capacitated and efficient to convert orders within the shortest time possible. The plastic tank manufacturing project was successfully commissioned during the period under review and products are now available in our branches.”
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Sebborn said preparations for work on the solar project to power the plant were underway and was set to be completed within the quarter to pave way for the installation.
He said the project would be implemented over the next six months and would mitigate against current power outages as well as improve the carbon footprint of the group.
Sebborn said the business was reasonably optimistic going into the last quarter, anticipating modest demand for products across all market segments on the domestic market.
“The trend of transacting more in USD is forecasted to continue up until the end of year and well into next year. The factory remains capacitated to convert all orders, both local and exports, and has sufficient raw materials in stock as well as to ensure consistent supply of the product on the market,” he said.
“The business remains alive to any opportunities that may arise in the environment in the aftermath of the harmonised elections.”