ART posts $1,2 million loss

HARARE - Distressed stationery and battery maker Amalgamated Regional Trading (ART) incurred a $1,2 million loss in the half year March 2014 compared to $286 000 profit realised in prior comparable period.

During the period under review, revenue went down 7,5 percent to $14 million from $15,2 million.

The group said the depressed performance was due to competition from imports.

Margins also declined to 31percent from 34 percent on the back of liquidity constrains while operating expenses increased $4,6 million from $4 million. Finance costs went down to
$725 000 from $877 000.

The group’s batteries division revenues declined 6,5 percent due to lower volumes in both Zambian and Zimbabwean markets.

Stationary division’s volumes and revenues were ahead of last year’s by 18 percent and 15 percent respectively.

The paper manufacturing subsidiary’s went down 25 percent, with capacity utilisation decreasing from 82 percent to 72 percent.

The group said it expects the liquidity constrains to persist in the short to medium-term, resulting in reduced productivity.

Cash generated from operations stood at $1,26 million while the group said it had adopted a cash conservation strategy.

No dividend was declared. — Business Live

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