Last year, the group reported a bottom-line of US$3,7 million from turnover of US$19 million achieved from the sale of 63 000 skins.
Kamundimu said Padenga would produce around 43 000 skins in the current financial year.
However he said the price increases on the skins would ensure that turnover and profits would not decline.
The drop in culling skins is largely because the group had not carried over any skin stocks from last year. A total 17 495 skins had been carried over from the beginning of last year.
As part of its growth strategy, Kamundimu said the group was still looking at entering the alligator farming industry in the US, as well as entry into the Porosus production in South East Asia. Of the 23 species of crocodile found in the world, only 5 are commercially utilised on a significant scale, he said.
These are the alligator US, Niloticus found in sub-Saharan Africa, Porosus in South East Asia and Australia, Siamensis in South East Asia and Caiman in South America. Zimbabwe produces the most Niloticus skins accounting for 39% or 80 000 of the culling crop, SA is on 30% with 60 000, Zambia at 15%, Mozambique 12% and Kenya 2%. Africa’s total production is at 203 000 skins.
The group was currently growing a breeder herd, which would make it self sufficient in egg production by 2014/2015.
Padenga currently supplies two of the five top-tier crocodilian leather tanneries worldwide. Kamundimu said the company was the only Nile producer selling skins on a light table grading basis.
He said one of the tanneries, HCP, was working with their principal to increase the proportion of Nile skins used in the production of premium quality ladies handbags.
In terms of meat, Kamundimu said the group has a 9kgs export yield per crocodile.
It also has bilateral approval to selected European countries.
He said: “There is a niche market for crocodile meat as the meat has very low volumes in terms of other meat trade. Padenga is the leading crocodile meat supplier in the world market.”
Kamundimu said the group would look to value-add meat products in terms of portion packing and specialised cuts, as well as the utilisation of all by-products like oil and blood.
He said there was minimal need for financing. The group employs just under 600 workers. — Staffwriter.