TSL LIMITED chief executive officer Washington Matsaira said the company is broadening its logistics business with a view to launching operations in the sub-region.
Speaking at the company’s Annual General Meeting during the week, Matsaira said the restructuring of the unit had boasted it operations which was however still searching for suitable technical partners to further unlock value.
"Logistics achieved a 34 percent and 46 percent growth in revenue and operating profit has improved significantly," he said.
The company’s logistics operations have had a steady start to the year with management expecting a positive upturn on the back of a buoyant tobacco season.
"All units, over all, were slightly above last year and on track to meet the budget. We are confident the group should be able to deliver growth at the full year," he said.
Matsaira said the company also planned to expand its current real estate stock in response to demand in various parts of the country as well as at a regional level.
For the twelve months to October 2012, TSL said its revenue rose to US$31,9 million from US$29,4 million.
After tax profit of US$5,5million was achieved against US$1,79 million in 2011 as a result of tighter control on cost, restructuring of the group and the disposal of a unit in the firm.
"Growth prospects of the company are bright after following the start of the tobacco season which started well and the company is in the right track as planned," Matsaira said at the AGM.
Contract tobacco purchases had commenced at TSL Classic and the unit was on track to meet the budgeted production of 2,5 million kgs while negotiations for offshore facilities for the purchase of the green leaf were at an advanced stage.
"Future interest in tobacco growing is strong in both the large and small scale sectors," he said.
Matsaira added engagement continues with other key merchants in order for the unit to regain its market share.
Properties also had a good start to the year with the space optimisation having been completed resulting in a reasonable mix between in-house and third party tenants.
Matsaira said significant renovation and refurbishment works had been completed at most of the properties resulting in a 15 percent increase in warehouse space while expansion projects were due for completion in this financial year. He added that necessary funding had been secured.
He said the firm's focus was on putting up building blocks for strong revenue growth.
"Specifically, we made a commitment that we are going to focus on restructuring of TSL so that we would allow the group to realise its full potential. We have made very good progress in terms of restructuring and some of those companies reflect that effort," he said.
"On agriculture we have made immense progress with our growers' scheme. We have formed a joint venture that will work on tobacco end to end...grow the tobacco, process it and export it. We've made good progress.”
The group is also looking to fully utilise real estate in Mutare with Matsaira saying: "Mutare as an entry port into Mozambique is critical so we acquired some real estate (in the city) which is very strategic - right on the border. It gives us the capacity not only to handle goods but also to handle containers.”