LISTED manufacturer and distributor of agro-implements, Zimplow Limited, has recorded mixed trading patterns during the first quarter of 2014 with key agricultural divisions recording positive growth while the mining, construction and bolts and nuts business units experienced a downturn.
Speaking at the company’s annual general meeting in Harare recently, Zimplow chief executive officer Zondi Kumwenda said group profitability for the quarter was negatively affected by the downturn in Barzem and CT Bolts.
Kumwenda said earthmoving machines, lift-trucks and generators at Barzem were 70% down from last year while tractor volumes from mechanical agricultural division of Farmec were 12, 5% above last year.
“The business unit has had a very unusually slow start to the season. Most construction and mining activities started late due to late rains, but even after the rains activity still remain subdued at the back severe liquidity issues,” Kumwenda said.
“Additionally service hours are down by 33% as most of our export labour has been placed.”
He said there was a further improvement in April which was pleasing and current statistics reflect that we have regained our previously lost market share in the higher horse power range.
Kumwenda said workshop hours were also up by 52% from prior year, Northmec tractor sales remained subdued although workshop hours were up 51% on last year.
In the period under review, Mealie Brand total implements volumes were up by 38% over last year and CT Bolts volumes were disappointing again, recording an overall reduction of 24% from last year.