By Alois Vinga
LISTED agricultural concern, Ariston Holdings Limited, has suffered a 22% tea volumes export decline on the back of Covid19 related shipping logistics disruptions.
Presenting the group’s financial performance Ariston’s Chairman Alexander Jongwe said the export volumes did not perform so well.
“Export tea sales volumes suffered a 22% decline to 511 tonnes, while average selling price improved by 8% compared to the prior period. There was a slow uptake of export teas in the first quarter of the year due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on shipping logistics and costs,” he said.
The decline will choke the company’s foreign currency revenue generation capacity. Most companies in the country are currently taking advantage of exports to beef up their US$ earnings.
However the recent declines in Covid19 infections the world over which has seen most countries beginning to open up their markets to imports from other countries is likely to improve the company’s exports.
During the period, local tea sales volumes declined by 10% to 735 tonnes whilst the local tea average selling price increased by 21%.
Financially, the company suffered 14% decline in tea sales with gross profit margin declined to 34% compared to 63% in the prior comparative period
The group realised an inflation adjusted profit before interest and tax of ZW$94 million, compared to ZW$204 million in the prior comparative period after taking into account fair value adjustments, exchange differences, share of profit from investments in joint ventures and the monetary loss.
Macadamia 36% of the projected annual crop had been produced at the end of the current half-year, compared to 32% in the prior period. As at half year, macadamia production volumes were 4% above the prior comparative period.
“Indications are that the group will have higher yields than prior year, a softening in the export price of macadamia nuts but improvement in export tea price.
“The continued effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global supply chain coupled with the effect of the war between Russia and Ukraine will have a negative impact on the speed and cost of logistics resulting in increased input costs,” added Jongwe.