By Alois Vinga
LISTED agro-industrial concern, National Foods (NatFoods), says inflation containment measures introduced by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) would result in a sound economic performance despite the obtaining challenges.
Presenting a trading update for the period ended March 2022, NatFoods company secretary, Leigh Howes, said volume momentum for the third quarter slowed, with an increase of only 3% relative to prior year partly due to inflationary pressures.
“Whilst consumer demand remains solid, it has clearly been impacted by the recent resurgence in inflation. To this end, we welcome and support the measures taken by the authorities to control inflation,” she said.
The remarks coincide with a recent admission that there is need to exercise patience and due by the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) following a meeting with the RBZ.
“We have subsequently met with the RBZ governor, John Mangudya and would like to highlight the outcome of our meeting. The CZI wishes to relay the following specific matters discussed with the Governor and the assurances given on the same:
“The de-dollarisation is going to be a process and no rushed return to an exclusively Zimbabwe Dollar or USD environment is planned, and there is no intention to ‘raid’ foreign currency balances,” CZI president, Kurai Matsheza said.
Meanwhile, during the review period, NatFoods recorded 4 % volume growth, 16% stock feeds, -11% maize , snacks 10%, cereals 52% and overally 3% growth.
The group is carefully managing its pricing strategy, doing its utmost to minimise the impact on consumers by moderating prices to retain volumes as the Harare Cereal and Bulawayo Flour mill projects continue to make steady progress and are expected to be commissioned mid- 2022 and early 2023 respectively.
“Given the ongoing uncertainty around the ultimate impact of COVID-19, it is not possible to assess, with absolute certainty, the full impact it will have on the Group’s financial performance for the year ending June 30th, 2022.
“At present, the financial status of the Group remains healthy, and the impact of the COVID-19 has not created any issues from a solvency or liquidity perspective,” added Howes.