Sasini bounces back to profitability defying COVID-19 disruptions

Image source: Business Daily

KENYA – Sasini, Kenyan agricultural firm dealing largely in tea, coffee, macadamia and avocado production and export has reported a 48.32% rise in full year revenue for the period ended September 2020 to Ksh. 4.14 billion (US$37.6m).

The jump in revenue enabled the company to return to profitability earning 12.61 million (US$114,500), a recovery from 2019’s 337.74 million (US$3.06m) loss.

According to reports by Business Daily, the turn around witnessed by the group was spearheaded by rise in sales in both the local and international market, across most of its segments apart from macadamia.

In addition, a slightly slower climbing direct cost of 41.10 percent to Sh3.33 billion (US$30m) compared to revenue was realized.

The Nairobi Securities Exchange-listed firm has highlighted that mechanization, especially in tea harvesting helped cut administrative expenses by 13 percent.

“The benefits of mechanisation in tea harvesting coupled with a rigorous focus on cost containment helped us grow our cost of sales slower than our revenue, a desired result that we intend to carry forward with,” Sasini said in a statement.

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Sasini returns to profitability earning 12.61 million (US$114,500), a recovery from 2019’s 337.74 million (US$3.06m) loss.

The company’s coffee business fetched improved prices despite low production due to weather-related disruptions while the avocado unit also posted improved harvest and demand.

Sasini, however, lamented that a drop in tea prices at the Mombasa Tea Auction to less than US$2 per kilo watered-down by improved volumes during the year.

The macadamia business, on the other hand, was disrupted since January because of pandemic-related market closures in its major markets abroad.

“We continue to see great results from mechanisation in our tea operations which will bode well for us going forward, and our focus on cost containment remains as strong as ever,” the firm said, adding that it has put in place measures to ensure business continuity amid Covid-19 containment measures.

“We have continued our investments in our new avocado and macadamia business units to help us reduce our reliance on traditional tea and coffee businesses and these are progressing very well.”

Sasini, introduced new packaging for its products late last year, to enable them stand out and drive purchase decision making by customers.

The move was triggered by the firm’s quest of matching the quality of the product inside with consumer perception at first glance.

Though the bulk of its business is in the export market, the firm has several brands that are sold locally through its Sasini Retail Division which include Sasini Gold Tea (Pure Grade Highland Tea), Sasini Classic Tea (Fine Blended Highland Tea), Sasini Premium Tea, Sasini Instant Coffee, Sasini Kahawa Kamili (Ground Coffee) and Sasini Kahawa Number 1.

Other than upgrading the packaging, the company is revamping its retail business in a bid to promote consumption of the country’s leading export commodities.

To this end, the processing company is availing its products through a vast network of stores in the country i.e., grocery chains, supermarkets, independent consumer outlets, convenience stores and kiosks.

The diverse nature of these outlets gives them an opportunity to spread their products easily to the consumers they seek.

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