ZIMBABWE – Ariston Holdings Limited, a diversified agricultural firm in Zimbabwe, is upbeat of maintaining a growth trajectory in the second half of the current financial year following a 50% growth in revenues for the six months ended March 31 2019.
The listed agriculture concern recorded growth in revenue to RTGS$7.96 million from $5.31 million posted realised during the comparative period driven by better pricing being achieved on export crops.
Despite an increase in after tax profit to $0.79 million compared to $0.028 million for the prior period, operating expenses grew by 249 percent, reflecting the effect of the depreciation of the RTGS$ against the US$.
“The majority of the group’s suppliers were quoting prices in RTGS$ at an implied rate higher than the official interbank rate, which contributed to the growth in operating expenses,” chief executive Paul Spear said.
The company which operates six estates in the country with investments in fruits, tea and nuts majorly for export noted that mature crops destined for the export market had not been harvested at half year, reports The Herald.
At the close of the half year, 19 percent of macadamia crop had been harvested and sold while tea production for the six-month period improved by 6 percent to 1 954 tonnes…
Harvesting and selling of stone and pome fruit had been completed as at half year which spurred production volumes by 37 percent to 1 207 tonnes compared to 881 tonnes for prior year
At the close of the half year, 19 percent of macadamia crop had been harvested and sold and full year volumes are expected to be in line with prior year.
Tea production for the six-month period improved by 6 percent to 1 954 tonnes from 1 851 tonnes achieved in the prior comparative period with full year production volume also expected projected to be equivalent to prior year’s.
Harvesting and selling of stone and pome fruit had been completed as at half year which saw production volumes rise 37 percent to 1 207 tonnes compared to 881 tonnes for prior year.
The company however, anticipates increase in expenses due to cost of repairs for tropical Cyclone Idai damages which mostly affected some of Ariston’s businesses.
Paul Spear said the firm was working on rebuilding the damaged infrastructure at an estimated cost of US$1.5 million.
“The positive trends shown in the first half of the year are expected to continue into the second half of the year.
“Due to the cyclical nature of our agricultural model, the majority of our harvesting and selling activities occur in the second half of the year.
“Export prices for macadamia and tea are expected to remain stable at current levels. The introduction of the interbank market rate will ensure that the Group’s export revenues are reflected at market related fair value when reported in RTGS$,” said Spear.