Zimbabwe’s leading plastic pipe manufacturer, Proplastics Limited, has reported solid results across all segments of the business in the first quarter (Q1) to March 31, 2021 despite the negative impact of Covid-19 pandemic induced lockdown.
The company’s sales volumes for the reviewed quarter grew 93% compared to the prior comparative period.
Exports grew 71%, contributing 7% to total revenues compared to 2% reported in the prior comparative period.
“The strong performance was across all the segments of the business, namely irrigation, mining, merchants, civils and borehole drilling. The demand for the group’s products was strong in the quarter under review despite the impact of the of the lockdown in the first two months of the year,” Proplastics chairman Gregory Sebborn said.
As a result of the strong sales volumes performance, sales revenues responded positively and were 29% above budget and 187% ahead of prior year.
Sebborn noted that gross profit margins during the period were maintained at the same level as prior year despite the challenges in the availability and pricing of raw materials in the quarter.
With the new factory in full operation, production responded positively with plant availability of 94%, LTIFR of zero and utilisation of 80%.
The new factory and the new mixing plant are now fully operational from the end of 2020, thereby increasing production capacity and enhancing efficiencies.
Consequently, the business recorded a strong earnings performance for the quarter.
The current ratio improved to 1.44 from 0.71 in the similar period last year.
Gearing remained low at 4% while foreign creditors closed the quarter at US$585 000 compared to US$1.5m at the end of the year 2020.
Sebborn said the solid first quarter performance has set a tone for a strong performance in the first half of the year and with robust contingency plans put in place to ensure constant supply of raw materials and the lockdown subsequently lifted at the end of February, it is expected that demand for the group’s products will firm even further.
He said the business was, therefore, geared to meet the rising demand.