By Alois Vinga
LISTED giant cement manufacturer Khaya Cement has commended monetary authorities for keeping in place a tight policy stance on the back of key measures which have spurred productivity in the critical sector.
Presenting the group’s performance for the six months ended June 30 2023 this week, Khaya’s board chairman; Kumbirayi Katsande commended the positive impact of the enforced policy measures.
“The first quarter of 2023 witnessed a continuation of the positive effect of the tight monetary fiscal stance adopted which was aimed at stabilising both the foreign currency exchange rate and the prices of basic commodities. The interventions implemented resulted in the following positive effects on economic performance; annual inflation declining from 101.5% in December 2022 to 75.2% in April 2023,” he said. He said despite inflation rates increasing as the year progressed on the back of exchange rate instability, the group enjoyed benefits such as the increase in the foreign currency retention rate from 75% to 85% which effectively increased cash generation.
The decrease in the bank lending rate to individuals from 100% per annum to 75% per annum which resulted in increased purchasing power for individual home builders was also commended.
As at the reporting date, the company’s current liabilities exceeded current assets by ZWL 45,858,122 and the company reported a net comprehensive loss for the period of ZWL 265,239,239 largely attributable to a hard currency loan payable balance and the resulting exchange losses.
Due to the prevailing uncertainties in the economic environment and the critical need to ensure that adequate working capital is maintained in the business, the directors did not declare a dividend.
“We welcome and support efforts by Government and regulatory agencies to stabilise the macro-economic environment and maintain the viability of the cement industry,” added Katsande.