CONFECTIONERY maker Lobels Bread Holdings is working towards increasing its baking capacity for both the Harare and Bulawayo factory to meet the rise in demand for bread, a company official has said.
Lobels chief executive officer Ngoni Mazango told journalists in Harare yesterday that the group was looking at increasing capacity by 100 000 loaves of bread a day in the capital and also plans to increase capacity to 150 000 loaves a day in Bulawayo by end of December.
Mazango said in Harare the company was currently producing 240 000 loaves of bread a day as compared to 30 000 loaves of bread a day in 2012.
“In Bulawayo we are only producing 85 000 loaves a day, but we have the capacity to do 100 000 loaves a day,” he said.
“We are working towards increasing capacity in Bulawayo and should be up and running by end of December. In Harare we have since planned to increase new capacity of 100 000 loaves a day and will be commissioned in April 2015.”
He said currently the company had a 38% market share and was targeting to reach 45%.
“We are currently not covering the whole country, but after April we should cover the whole country.
“We believe we are seeing the need to keep on investing. Our sales are good depending on the product we are getting into the market,” he said.
He said Lobels had 910 employees as compared to 520 previously.
Lobels was once the leading bread maker in the country and at its peak used to produce about 300 000 loaves daily.
But there was a sharp decline in production due to inadequate funding for retooling and supporting operations and competition also worsened the situation. In the past few years and well before the arrival of new investors, Lobels struggled with debt and had to close several times.
The company almost collapsed under the burden of a $14 million debt, but was rehabilitated by a consortium of banks led by CBZ Bank.