ZIMBABWE – Innscor Africa Limited, an expansive manufacturing and retail conglomerate in Zimbabwe, has registered a 41% decline in full year profit earnings to ZWL 4.397 billion despite a 35% increase in revenue.
During the period, the diversified group has attained a revenue of ZWL 66.9 billion, achieved on the back of volume growth across all businesses, coupled with the introduction of new products, increased capacity utilisation in existing and new categories, access to a growing informal market and a market-sensitive pricing strategy all aligned to provide a pleasing result.
In terms of individual business review, under its mill-feed-bake operations, the bakery division improved its volumes by 36% against the comparative year.
This was a pleasing result, and was enabled by a reliable and consistent supply of key raw materials, coupled with cost stability, and which allowed for pricing consistency.
At Profeeds, volume performance continued to strengthen throughout the year, with stockfeed volumes closing 31% ahead of the comparative year and day-old-chick sales volumes increasing 47% over the same period, with both categories being bolstered by improved protein demand and recovery across the poultry value chain.
The business finalised an investment into a fertiliser blending plant in October 2020, operating under the “Nutrimaster” brand.
While, the Profeeds retail network under the “Profarmer” brand continued to expand its footprint and broadened its range of agricultural and adjacent product offerings during the year.
Protein segment benefitted from increased product demand
Its protein segment which comprises of Colcom, Irvine’s and Associated Meat Packers (“AMP”), also registered significant volume growth.
The Colcom Division, comprising Triple C Pigs and Colcom Foods, delivered a 34% growth in aggregate volumes against the comparative year, with processed product volumes increasing by 54% and fresh product volumes increasing by 15%.
A 10% growth in overall pigs slaughtered was achieved, while production efficiencies arising through improved genetics and diet enhancements resulted in average pig mass improving by 12% over the same period.
Upstream investment into a new pig production unit is in development and, together with additional manufacturing capability, will contribute to continued volume growth in the new financial year.
Irvine’s delivered pleasing growth across all three of its core categories, with table egg volumes closing at record levels, and being 8% ahead of the comparative year as additionalproduction capacity was brought online.
Frozen chicken volumes saw a 21% improvement versus the comparative year, while day-old-chick volumes increased 29% over the same period as demand across the small-scale poultry market continued to recover.
At AMP, volume growth of 6% above the comparative year was relatively muted, and impacted by COVID-19 lockdown restrictions which significantly reduced trading hours.
Notwithstanding volume performance, the business continued to perform extremely well from a profitability perspective, successfully adjusting to the fluid environment.
National Foods garners 15% volume growth
Meanwhile at its agri-industrial concern, National Foods, volume performance on an overall basis closed 15% ahead of the comparative year, with strong growth realised within the flour, stockfeeds, groceries and snacks divisions.
The Flour Milling division recorded volume growth of 43% over the comparative year, supported by strong consumer demand, especially within the pre-pack category.
A project to upgrade the Bulawayo site with a new state of the art flour mill is underway, and this line is expected to be commissioned during the latter part of the 2022 calendar year, enabling significant capacity and product quality improvements.
The Stockfeeds division delivered a 33% increase in volumes versus the comparative year, with the stronger local demand for protein products, and increased demand from small-scale poultry production, being key determinants of the overall performance.
The business has commenced a 3-year phased upgrade to the Aspindale plant in Harare, which will result in a significant modernisation of the existing plant installed in the early 1990s.
Volumes within the grocery division increased 74% against the comparative year; this substantial growth was achieved largely in the rice and salt categories enhanced by competitive pricing.
The Snacks and Treats division continued to deliver strong volume growth showing a 57% increase against the comparative year.
Notwithstanding the good volume growth across the various divisions within National Foods, the year under review was exceptionally challenging for the Maize Milling division.
Volumes decreased 32% against the comparative year, with the decline largely attributable to intense competition from imported maize meal.
Its other light manufacturing and services division comprising of Natpak, Prodairy, Probottlers and Probrands, attained a 32%, 48%, 43% and 28% volume growth respectively.