MANUFACTURING concern Amalgamated Regional Trading (ART) Corporation’s capacity utilisation improved to 69% from 59% buoyed by investment in capital equipment as the group seeks to maintain its presence on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange.
Limited investment in the manufacturing sector and failure to replace antiquated equipment has seen sector wide capacity utilisation dropping to 34,3% from 36,5% last year.
South Korean firm, Taesung Chemical Co, through its wholly owned subsidiaries Cranbal Investments, Silvermine Investments and Zadmab (Private) Limited, now holds 55,33% of ART after it bought out minority shareholders early this year.
ART, narrowed its loss position to US$590 000 for the full year to September from a loss of US$1,1 million reported in prior comparative period on growth in revenue and cost cuts.
The group recorded revenue of US$29,8 million, an increase of 4% compared to same period last year. Volume growth, according to group chairman Moses Chundu, was registered in battery, tissue and pen sales in the domestic market while marginal decreases of 3% in volumes were recorded in pen export sales and battery sales in Zambia.
“The group has shown an improvement in performance in all business units after the installation of the new equipment,” Chundu said.
“The manufacturing units are now strongly positioned to compete with imports and the increased capacity in all the units has ensured that the group is ready to exploit growth opportunities in its markets.”
Operating expenses, the company said, were down 8% after the group streamlined its operations.
“A mandatory offer to minorities in terms of the ZSE rules and regulations was done by ART’s major shareholders in April 2015 which resulted in the major shareholders increasing their stake to 63,7%. The group intends to remain listed on the ZSE,” Chundu said.-Bernard Mpofu