CFI records volume growth across segments

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By Alois Vinga

LISTED diversified agricultural concern, CFI Holdings has managed to record volume growth across segments during the first quarter period ended December 31 2023.

In a recent trading update, the group revealed that during the period, sales volumes for the Retail division’s key revenue drivers increased by 16% to 21,453 tonnes from 18,446 tonnes sold in the comparative prior year period.

 Improved fertilizer sales followed the price reduction to normal levels following the price spike in the prior year as a result of global supply chain disruptions emanating from the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.

In the Agrifoods division, sales volumes for the quarter at 9,832 tonnes were 18% above the 8,313 tonnes sold in the prior year.

The significant achievement in a difficult operating environment was due to improved product availability resulting from strategic agreements with suppliers of key raw materials.

“Victoria Foods’ wheat flour sales volumes at 3,916 tonnes remained almost stagnant against the prior year level, registering a 3% growth from 3,802 tonnes. This was attributable to stable wheat supplies during the quarter,” said CFI.

However, significant growth was curtailed by intermittent power outages. Maize meal volumes, on the other hand, grew by 10% from 1,497 tonnes to 1,647 tonnes due to improved raw materials supplies.

Glenara Estates potato harvest doubled to 2,989 tonnes from 1,468 tonnes for the prior period on the back of improved seed supplies.

Average selling prices achieved for the crop dropped by 8% from the prior quarter mainly due to a glut in the supply of the crop on the market.

The Estate’s cattle breeding and pen fattening activities continued under Joint Operations with reasonable success.

Overall, the group’s inflation-adjusted revenues for the quarter, at ZWL159,8 billion were 544% higher than ZWL24,8 billion in the comparative prior year period.

“Weather experts project that the 2023/2024 agricultural season will receive lower than normal rainfall induced by the El Nino phenomenon set to reduce agricultural output in the region.

“Management is tasked with imploring strategic raw material procurement strategies to sustain operations, whilst also diversifying its retail lines away from dependence on agro-inputs. Overall, the Group anticipates the FY2024 economic outturn to remain challenging, and ongoing cost containment measures will continue to be implemented,” added CFI.