Ariston Holdings Ltd is looking at doubling its poultry production from prior year on the back of improved demand.
The group is targeting production of around a million birds after an 18% drop in 2017 from 2016 production. Poultry production for 2017 stood at 744 000 from 910 000 birds produced in 2016.
Ariston CE Paul spears told businessdigest on the sidelines of the company’s AGM on Tuesday in the capital that despite the decline, the company might be close to doubling output in the year to 1 062 000 birds.
Last year, Zimbabwe culled around 215 000 birds amid avian influenza fears at one of the country’s biggest poultry producers, triggering a shortage of table eggs and poultry products in the region.
Although Ariston gets its supplies from Irvines, Spears says his group was not affected by the bird flue.
“We were not directly affected at all. Irvines supply us with day old chicks. I’m sure they source from South Africa. Last year was just a down year, but we have set aside a million birds for this year as we believe it is an up year and Irvines clearly has the demand. They decide how much they want,” he said.
Poultry production for the year ended December 31 2017 contributed 4% to total revenue, down from 6% in 2016.
Revenue increased 19% to US$10,9 million from US$9,1 million in 2016. Ariston’s Capex investments are also seen at US$1,5 million in the year as the company continues to invest in various projects. Capex investments increased 120% to US$1,5 million from US$7,1 million last year.
“We continue to invest in our plantations as there has been an increased demand for local products on the back of foreign currency shortages,” he said.
Favourable business conditions saw Ariston narrowing its loss by 19% to US$1,7 million in 2017 from US$2,3 million in 2016.
Tea production volumes improved by 16% from the 2,048 tonnes in the prior year to 2,389 tonnes in current year on the back of improved irrigation. Export tea sales improved 17% to 1,365 tonnes against local tea sales improved by 16% to 1,022 tonnes. Macadamia production volumes improved marginally on prior year to 1,324 tonnes compared to 1,317 tonnes in 2016.
The company said improved quality resulted in the average selling price improving by 42% on the prior year