Ariston profits down 52pc

HARARE - Listed horticulture concern Ariston Holdings (Ariston)’s profit after tax slumped 52 percent to $984 353 in the half year to March 2014 from $2 million realised in prior comparable period.

The group’s finance director Martin Dzviti said the depressed performance was due to increased borrowings.

During the period under review, borrowings increased to $14 million while finance costs grew by 48 percent to $1 million from $690 627.

Dzviti said they expect recovery in the second half of the year on the back of tea export sales at improved international prices.

“Traditionally, winter accounts for the bulk of blended tea sales. With a few exceptions, productivity throughout the group will be much improved and the investments already made in productive capacity will ensure that, without further investment, productivity will continue to increase in the years ahead,” he said.

The group’s revenue increased by 29 percent to $8,6 million from $6,6 million.

An operating loss of $606 000 was incurred, widening from a $365 000 loss recorded in the half year to March 2013.

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