Innscor weathers Covid-19 storm


The Covid-19 outbreak has had limited impact on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange listed manufacturing and retail conglomerate, Innscor Africa Limited, which reported solid volume growth in the quarter to March 31, 2021 across the bulk of its units.

All units except Associated Meat Packers performed well compared to the same period last year.

Consequently, the expansive group is planning to roll out three Texas Meats outlets in Harare in an effort to ensure the division makes profit in the next reporting period.

“The group delivered pleasing volume growth over the comparative period. Volume recoveries across the protein, mill-bake, packaging and beverage value chains continued to be realised, supported by ongoing investments into capacity expansion and enhancement initiatives,” company secretary Andrew Lorimer said.

He said volume growth, balanced with competitive pricing, operating cost control, and working capital management remain key focus areas in a highly dynamic operating environment. 

Volumes in the bakery division   increased 28% in the cumulative nine-month period compared to the same period in prior year.

Volumes achieved in the third quarter were also ahead of both the previous two quarters and comparative prior quarters.

“Despite still being below previous norms, the ongoing improvement in volume levels is pleasing.

A number of operational and investment initiatives are underway in the business to further enhance capacity and operational efficiencies,” Lorimer said.

Innscor’s agro-processing unit National Foods Limited’s cumulative nine-month aggregate volume growth remains steady at 14% over the comparative period.

Lorimer said the maize division has had a particularly challenging year, owing to substantial volume of maize meal imports that affected the local market. Volumes were also affected by the resultant market adjustments following the removal of the subsidy programme.

Volumes at Colcom were 19% ahead of the comparative prior period, with strong performances being recorded in both the fresh and processed categories.

A further investment into the pig herd in the form of additional grower facilities and enhanced genetics continue to yield positive results for the operation, Lorimer said.

Irvine also registered solid volume performance during the reviewed period.

Table egg volumes increased by 12% over the comparative period, with a similar growth being achieved in the day-old chick.

Volumes in frozen poultry were 3% above the comparative prior period.

Natpak delivered a  21% increase in aggregate cumulative nine-month volumes.

The Rigids and Flexibles divisions both delivered firm nine-month volume performances over the comparative period, whilst further capability enhancements drove volume growth in the corrugated division of 30% over the same period. 

Volumes in the sacks division remained flat. The company reported a 42% volume growth at Prodairy.

Volumes at Probottlers and Profeeds increased by 39% and 22% respectively.

Trade through the “Profarmer” network continues to gain momentum as the retail division expands its local footprint, whilst demand for the recently introduced “Nutrimaster” fertiliser range strengthened during the quarter. 

Probrands also recorded 37% volume growth in the nine-month period under review with all core product categories contributing positively to this result.

The operation continues to expand its popular “Ideal” condiment range.

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