Amalgamated Regional Trading Corporation will post a loss for the half to March 31, 2014 after total revenue for the period fell by 8 percent due to depressed consumer demand and liquidity challenges.“Total revenue is down 8 percent on prior year. The half year results will be lower than expected, recording a slightly higher loss than had been projected,” Art’s group company secretary Mr Franklin Mukarakate said on Friday.
During the same period last year, Art Corporation achieved $16,9 million in turnover and a net profit of $286 000. According to the trading update battery and paper volumes were 10 and 13 percent lower respectively than the prior period last year.
“Stationary volumes, however, are ahead of prior year by 18 percent, coming off a low base in the prior year,” said Mr Mukarakate.
He was optimistic of a recovery in the second half of the year, underpinned by an anticipated increase in battery demand in winter.
He added that the group had also made progress on recapitalising the business, with the company spending US$1,8 million on new equipment.
“Delivery and commissioning of the equipment is expected later in the year with full benefits to be realised in 2015,” he said.
Mr Mukarakate said there were plans to restructure the group’s balance sheet and loans.
ART owns a number of businesses in Zimbabwe with distribution operations in Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa.