CFI managing director Chris Amira says the group expects to exceed management targets in the year to September 30, buoyed by increasing volume growth in retail trading and some inroads into regio
“In the Poultry and Agrifoods division, we have been trading profitably and we hope to vastly exceed targets in the future boosted by exciting prospects in growing economies but details will be provided when we fully consummate these plans,” Amira said.
The group has targeted countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya and Angola where Amira said there was less investment but much greater return, which is United States dollar denominated.
The company has targeted north of the Zambezi in what Amira said was a deliberate shift to consolidate position in markets with comparative advantage rather than competing with countries like South and Botswana, where the group had planned to set up a hatchery.
The Botswana market would continue to be serviced from Zimbabwe but northern countries provided much more scope and much bigger population for exports.
The managing director singled out Agrimix, which he said was “trading exceptionally well in export markets”. Amira said though the local environment had increasingly become less competitive due to high levels of inflation and the spiralling costs of raw materials, business had generally been going very well.
The group now imports a significant proportion of its raw materials and animal feed inputs unlike in the past when the same quantities of raw materials and animal feed were supplied locally and this had pushed stock feed prices further up although a small hedge of exports and “a little advance purchase have come in handy”.
Local input supplies have reduced compared to countries such as Zambia which have become largely self-sufficient in raw materials.
Amira said consumers had reduced volumes at Agrifoods due to problems in pricing and affordability. Stocks at Victoria have improved marginally over the last week and the division was concentrating on toll milling where the company mills wheat allocated by clients.
The division has also diversified into other products such as snack foods which, according to Amira, are trading well.
He said the retail division, which comprises Farm & City and Town & Country, had been “doing well”.
There has been real volume growth in some product lines such as general hardware, building, crop chemicals and horticulture. This growth may also have resulted from an increase in market share as other players retreated. Dore & Pitt, the irrigation specialists, had also produced pleasing results.