Savanna expands business

SAVANNA Tobacco says it has conquered the Matabeleland region and has now set its eyes on foreign markets, particularly Ivory Coast and Sudan.

Report by Nqobile Bhebhe

The company’s chief operating officer Tongesai Zvaravanhu last week said Matabeleland provinces were now contributing up to a third of Savanna’s business.

“The Matabeleland region market is very important to us as it accounts for between 25% and 30% of our operations. We value our customers in this region,” Zvaravanhu said.

“What we have seen in terms of our product acceptance, it’s actually better in the southern region. In the past years that we have been operating here, we have recorded significant growth in the region.”

He said as part of their expansion drive, Sudan and Ivory Coast were their next business frontier, adding that they would penetrate the two markets using third parties.

“We have established distribution networks in Sudan and Ivory Coast and we are confident of generating and sustaining business there,” he said. “Our presence is all over the Sadc region.”

Savanna Tobacco’s installed capacity has grown to 4,5 billion cigarette units per annum in its 10-year existence, with Zimbabwe consuming more than a quarter of this.

Zvaravanhu said the industry is pleased with tobacco output from farmers.

“We are proud that tobacco production output is growing over the years and this year we hear that 170 million kilogrammes output is projected. So we are never short of raw materials,” Zvaravanhu said.

Statistics from the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board last week showed that 93,4 million kg were sold.

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