CFI grapples with acute maize, wheat shortages

Shakeman Mugari

CFI Holdings Ltd (CFI) says despite crippling shortages of wheat and maize on the milling business the company will manage to record better second half results.



face=”Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif”>The company this week said wheat supplies to its subsidiary Victoria Foods were around 50% of normal for this time of the year while another major input, maize supplies, were less than three days.


“In the current quarter, volumes in the milling business have been affected by the non-availability of raw materials,” said financial manager Mario dos Remedios.


Agrifoods currently relies on imported maize but there were constraints in sourcing the finance and logistical problems.


Dos Remedios said the company had experienced a marginal dip in business due to the shortage of key inputs such as maize and wheat.


Dos Remedios said volumes in the retail division were on course for recovery from the five-day stayaway.


“The retail division which includes Farm and City and Town and Country is recording growth in volumes and the margins have gained momentum especially on the hardware and services sector,” said Dos Remedios.


On the export front, the company said Ross, another division, obtained reasonable exports in countries north of Zimbabwe and it was aiming to expand the markets to increase the foreign currency earnings.


The group exports poultry products to Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda.


Volumes in the poultry division, Crest Breeders, had firmed on improved demand for day-old chicks from the domestic and export market.


Dos Remedios said the demand for table eggs had also improved.

Broiler production had also been constrained by the unavailability of maize and prohibitive costs of the imported inputs.


Dos Remedios said the company would meet management expectation and was confident the results would broadly be in line with market expectations.


“The second half usually contributes about 60% to the group while the quarter between October and March makes the remainder of the group earnings. We are on target despite the raw material shortages,” said Dos Remedios.


On the shelved proposal to merge some specific CFI divisions and related Innscor sections, Dos Remedios said the deal had been overtaken by events at the two companies.


“The two campanies have gone through some fundamental changes since the proposals and we feel the deal is no longer possible,” he said.


CFI shares yesterday traded at $88 on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange.

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