A GOOD start to this year’s tobacco marketing season has kindled optimism for conglomerate TSL, with chief executive Washington Matsaira expressing confidence in the company’s growth prospects.
Giving a trading update at the company’s AGM recently, Matsaira said TSL’s plans were on track.
“The group is in good shape, we are on the right track in restructuring the way forward for the company,” Matsaira said.
He said sales from contract farmers had commenced and the group was at an advanced stage in securing offshore facilities for purchase of golden leaf.
TSL is targeting 2,5 million kilogrammes in its tobacco grower scheme as the group seeks to improve service by following the value chain. TSL’s Tobacco Sales Floor division was expected to deliver between 150 to 160 million kgs this year, the same as last year.
“Future interest is growing and prices are strong,” Matsaira said.
Tobacco packaging division Propak had a strong start and was able to secure good contracts and arrangements with some hessian buyers who had moved away in recent years. After a very strong performance in 2012, the momentum in logistics remained.
“The immediate outlook is good and we are still looking for a technical partner,” Matsaira said.
The property division had a positive start to the year, with the space optimisation project largely complete after refurbishments at TSF, TSL and Propak, which would yield a 15% increase in warehouse space.
Matsaira said delisting of Chemco was in progress, while cost-cutting at Agricura had a positive impact on profitability.
Following its relocation in which there were some disruptions, Cut Rag continued to grow strongly.The properties division also had a good start to the year, with the space optimisation having been completed, resulting in a reasonable mix between in-house and third party tenants.