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M&R downsizes

Roadwin Chirara

MURRAY & Roberts Ltd (M&R) is downsizing its Zimbabwe operations as part of a survival strategy under difficult economic circumstances.

rial, Helvetica, sans-serif”>The company, which has interests spanning various industries such as construction and horticulture, has also opted to consolidate some of its local operations instead of spreading its wings regionally as was the case previously.

In an interview M&R chief executive officer Canada Malunga said the company had realised the challenges Zimbabwe was facing and had thus put in place measures designed to ensure its continued operation.

“We believe the economy is facing some challenges and will begin to stabilise in the period 2005/6. The company has had to put in place measures to sustain operations up to the period when things begin to pick up,” said Malunga.

He said although M&R’s construction business was facing challenges, the company was still committed towards the business unit and would thus continue to look for business where possible.

“Although the construction business is depressed, we are still very much committed to the sector in the long-term and thus the need to consolidate some of its operations,” Malunga said.

He said during the past years the company contributed significantly to the construction sector and needed to continue its presence in that area of business.

He said the exercise would see the company reducing its current work force in a move that would have a positive impact on its current wage bill.

“We are not only looking at our human resources but also putting measures in place that avoid the company duplicating its functions in the sector,” said Malunga.

He said the company had identified opportunities in the sector and was currently involved in projects that would have a significant contribution to earnings.

“We are currently involved in major projects and have also identified some opportunities in the sector of which we are negotiating,” said Malunga.

He said some of the company’s business units had performed well in light of the economic challenges.

Malunga said generally the group was pleased with its financial results which saw turnover increase by 276% to close at $113 billion.

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