This comes despite critics projecting depressed earnings after business magnate Oliver Chidawu off-loaded his 32% stake in the company in February.
Chidawu cashed in about US$3, 2 million from the sale of 105 million shares. Earlier he had earned US$126 000 from dividends.
Exports income however increased by about 10% from the same period last year. The group’s revenue by division was Mealie Brand at 70%, CT Bolt -22% and Tassburg -8%.
“Mealie Brand implements volumes are up 33% over the last year with both the local and export market contributing to this increase. Local implements volumes are up 43% against the same period last year, while exports increased by 23%,” said Rusike.
Analysts said the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange-listed agricultural inputs manufacturer had been achieving exceptional performance in 2007 and 2008, helped by massive demand for agriculture inputs from the Reserve bank.
Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono ordered over 100 000 ploughs in 2008 during the mechanisation programme and Zimplow, as the largest player in the industry, got a huge share of the order, among other farming implements.
While local spares volumes were at the same level as those achieved last year, exports volumes increased by 27%.
“The rationalisation of the Bolt Plant from Tassburg is ongoing. To this end the Thread Rolling section has been fully installed at CT Bolts and is now operational,” Rusike said.
The factory produced 1 710 tonnes during the six month period, compared to 1022 tonnes last year. The group said the division had enough components to satisfy any possible upturn in business. CT Bolts’ turnover increased by 172%.
“Tight export margins, increasing operating costs and a loss from Tassburg of US$40 000 weighed down the operating profit. Local margins are at the same level as last year while average export margins are down,” Rusike said.
Zimplow said cost build up from steel rose 19% year-on-year and labour up 79% year-on-year contributing to decreasing margins.
Attributable profit for the period of US$312 464 was enhanced by a swing from an interest payable of US$20 096 in 2009 to interest earned of US$54 233 in the current year and a strong profit contribution from CT Bolts.
Zimplow says business will continue to be adaptive to the ever changing environment.
“The major part of this business is largely seasonal and hence affected by weather patterns. Management is optimistic that the three divisions will most likely reflect an improved position in the second half,” said Rusike.