By Alois Vinga
ZIMBABWE Stock Exchange (ZSE) listed diversified firm ART Corporation’s sales volumes went down 17% due to Covid-19 restrictive measures which choked the smooth flow of business.
In a recent trading update, the group’s company secretary, Abisai Chingwecha said sales volumes went down in many of the business’s segments.
“The group’s overall volumes for the quarter declined by 17% compared to the same period last year due to trading restrictions during the lockdown period. Export earnings for the quarter decreased by 8% compared to prior year,” he said.
He said year to date overall volumes for the nine months ended June 30, 2020, decreased by 3%.
The batteries’ business segment managed to meet export orders and improve product availability in the local market after sales volumes recovered from a 44% reduction recorded in April to an overall decline of 6% for the quarter compared to the prior year.
During the quarter under review, the paper business segment continued to rely on imported paper as local collection volumes slumped in line with reduced economic activity but sales volumes declined by 40% compared to the same period last year.
The declines are attributable to logistical challenges on imports owing to Covid-19 restrictions.
Softex tissue volumes declined by 14% as a result of an inconsistent supply of raw materials from the mill.
The group also suffered a 71% decline in the Eversharp pen volumes due to the closure of schools.
In terms of financial performance, the group’s revenue for the quarter grew by 132% in inflation-adjusted terms and 831% in historical terms.
The business continued to focus on exports in the region, with the battery exports increasing by 22% during the period on the back of improved product availability.
The Kadoma tissue exports declined by 38% due to movements in the domestic currency which adversely affected competitiveness.