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Power outages, raw material shortages hit ART operations

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In a financial update for the third quarter to June 2022, the manufacturer said the exports and paper divisions volumes declined by 6% and 26%, respectively.

Tanyaradzwa Nhari ZIMBABWE Stock Exchange-listed stationery, paper and battery manufacturer Amalgamated Regional Trading (ART) Zimbabwe says its operations have been plagued by shortages of raw materials and recurrent power outages.

In a financial update for the third quarter to June 2022, the manufacturer said the exports and paper divisions volumes declined by 6% and 26%, respectively.

The revenue for the period under review declined by 28% in inflation adjusted terms.

“Export volumes declined by 6% as orders could not be met due to raw material shortages and the erratic supply of power,” ART said.

“The volumes for the paper division fell by 26% compared to the prior period with gains made in the first half being reversed due to raw material shortages, erratic power supply and major breakdowns at the mill.”

The company said its export order book remained firm but pointed out that viability was under threat from unfavourable policies and the requirement for exporters to pay for electricity in foreign currency given the prevailing market distortions.

“The auction market backlogs worsened, and raw material imports were sustained utilising foreign currency generated from trading,” ART said.

The volumes for batteries increased by 2% during the quarter compared to the prior year.

Eversharp volumes rose by 29% due to stability in demand and the improved foreign currency generation enabling timeous importation of inputs and the trading of supporting stationery lines while timber volumes increased by 5%.

The company is to proceed to work on projects such as the tissue mill and converting line in Kadoma which are set to be commissioned before the end of the year.

The installation of new tissue mills and converting line in Kadoma, it said, remained on course for commissioning before year end.

“The wastepaper collection network is being expanded in the region to improve raw material availability. The business continues to receive significant support from its funders,” the company said.

ART also announced the appointment of Steven Mupfurutsa as an independent non-executive director with effect from this month.

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