By Alois Vinga
LISTED packaging manufacturing firm, Nampak has recorded volumes increases across segments despite a number of economic challenges confronting the organisation.
Presenting a trading update for the first quarter ended December 31 2021, Nampak’s group chief executive officer, John Van Gend said despite foreign currency shortages and logistics bottlenecks the firm’s revenue was 83% ahead of prior year.
“Nevertheless, the group remained profitable with historical trading profit being 27% ahead of the previous year. Net working capital is positive. The Group had a cash holding of $599 million at 31 December 2021,” he said.
At the Hunyani Corrugated Division, volumes for the first quarter were 43% up on the prior year with the major contributor to growth being attributed to the late season of tobacco box orders from the previous financial year.
“Volumes in the commercial sector were 3% below the prior year period as a result of paper supply challenges despite a strong order book. This is expected to continue for the rest of the financial year due to world paper shortages.
“Cartons labels and sacks division was 23% below the previous year period, largely due to lower flour bag sales and tobacco paper sales. There were also machine downtimes and paper supply challenges,” said Van Gend.
In the plastics and metals segment, Mega Pak volumes stood at 2% below the prior year period with demand in the large injection market exceeding available capacity but was however choked by raw material shortages.
The packaging maker also bemoaned unreliable electricity supply at Ruwa which affected both the available plant capacity and operational efficiencies.
At the CarnaudMetalbox, volumes grew by 2% compared to the prior year quarter period as the business relied largely on local agents for the supply of plastic raw material.
“Higher HDPE bottle volumes being 10% up on the previous year period were aided by a 4% growth in injected closure volumes. Metals volumes were down 13% mainly due to tin plate shortages,” added Van Gend.