Bindura bounces back

Ngoni Chanakira

BINDURA Nickel Corporation Ltd (Bindura) has achieved an after tax profit of $74 billion compared to a loss of $31 billion incurred previously.

rial, Helvetica, sans-serif”>In its annual report for the period ending December 31, Bindura said while progress was made in the implementation of an occupational health management system, linking medical surveillance to work-place exposure monitoring, using guidelines adopted from Anglo American plc, the effect of the HIV and Aids pandemic continued to impact negatively on operations.

HIV and Aids is currently accounting for at least 3 000 deaths weekly in Zimbabwe.

Bindura said its profit before tax of $86 billion includes an exceptional item reported at half year, resulting from the realignment of the Zimbabwe dollar, along with measures undertaken to protect its ability to continue as a going concern.

The group achieved an after tax profit of $74 billion compared to a loss of $31 billion incurred in 2002.

The group’s nickel sales for the year amounted to 7 109 tonnes compared to 6 746 tonnes achieved in 2002.

The average price achieved, at US$4,23 a pound, improved by 38% on last year.

World consumption of primary nickel grew by 6,2% in 2003 reflecting the rapid growth of Chinese stainless steel demand.

Bindura supplies 41% of its product to Japan, South Africa (30%), Europe (18%), the United Kingdom (9%) and 2% to the local market.

“Nickel demand is expected to remain strong in the short term with prices staying firm,” Bindura said. The productive sector funding at an interest rate of 30% recently introduced by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe is a welcome relief but remains significantly short of the group’s requirements.”

The company said the high inflation rate continued to put pressure on costs.

“This has been exacerbated by the massive increase in electricity and rail tariffs and the recent increase in import duty,” Bindura said.

“Current revenue from exports, when translated into Zimbabwe dollars, is not adequate to sustain the business in the long-term. This is largely due to the fact that the exchange rate is not moving in line, which adversely impacts on revenue.”