Border Timbers Limited’s revenue has slumped 23% to ZWL$629.2m during the six months to December 31 2020 from ZWL$813.6m realised during the comparative period last year due to the effects of Covid-19 which caused disruptions and logistical challenges.
In a statement accompanying the result, Border Timbers Judicial Manager Peter Bailey said production was held to standstill during the first quarter as people movements were tightly restricted to combat the spreading of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Lumber production was lower compared to prior year due to disruptions in production and logistical bottlenecks that were caused by Covid-19 lockdown restrictions in the first quarter of the financial year.
“Demand for lumber remains very high both in the local market and the export market and treated poles reflect a decline in production and sales volume compared to prior year, this was because of lower demand during Q2 of FY21 and the adverse effect of the Covid-19. However, measures are in place to further develop the export market with a view of increasing sales volumes,” Bailey said.
He said the business environment has remained on the improvement path mainly due to the local currency which has been relatively stable as well as inflation which registered a decline for the half-year under review.
The relaxation of Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, extension of trading hours and free movement of people improved the operating conditions and production of the business during the second quarter to December 2020.
He said the gazetting of Statutory Instrument 185 of 2020 during the half year under review on dual pricing policy was extremely encouraging on the business front as it ensured flexible business pricing strategies which significantly improved value preservation.
In the outlook, Border Timbers expects the Covid-19 pandemic to continue as most countries in the regional markets are grappling with the second wave of the virus which has been reported to be more dangerous than the first wave.
The company remains cautiously optimistic about the current financial year with focus being placed at replacing some of the obsolete equipment, which is expected to improve efficiency.
Annual replanting of the forest has commenced and is according to the plan on the backdrop of good rainfall which has been experienced so far.