Proplastics decries post-elections era stagnant policy environment  

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By Alois Vinga

LISTED pipes and fittings products manufacturer has decried the lack of a radical economic policy shift in the post elections era casting a dark cloud moving into the near future.

Presenting a trading update for the financial year ended December 31 2023, the company predicted that the year ahead is likely to remain subdued.

“The trading environment is likely to remain subdued, with liquidity constraints, in the short to medium term. There seems to be no signifi­cant shift in policies after the election period and the challenges that the business has been grappling with will largely remain unchanged,” the company said.

This situation, added to the region’s El-Nino induced drought will both negatively impact the economic performance at large.

Despite the challenges, the company managed to keep its head above the waters with turnover for the full year growing by 22% to US$ 21,3 million from US$ 17,4 million in the prior year underpinned by a 22% increase in sales volumes compared to prior year.

The contribution from the recently commissioned new plant was signifi­cant and should continue anchoring sales volumes going forward. Exports sales recorded a 102% growth, with a contribution of 11% to total sales. The group secured some lucrative contracts in the region some of which will continue into the new ­financial year.

Cost of Sales rose up by 47% with gross profi­t margins dipping 13%, mainly on the back of reduced selling prices in the face of competitive pressures in the market as well as the aligning of costs as the business moved to a USD functional currency.

“Raw material pricing is anticipated to remain stable during the year, from a pricing point of view as well as availability. This will augur well for the business as it will ensure an uninterrupted supply of product to the market. Although the supply of electricity is relatively stable now, this remains a risk for the business,” the company added.