Agro-industrial concern Ariston Holdings Limited recorded 80 percent profit slump in historical terms attributing it to the reduction in the average selling price of macadamia and lower macadamia nut yield in current year.
The group in its Full Year (FY) 2022 financial results also attributed the sluggish performance to the mismatch arising from exports revenue where Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) retention continued to be paid at a rate significantly lower than the rate being charged by local suppliers resulting in real erosion of value.
A net profit for the year of ZW$ 66.2 million was achieved from ZW$ 338 million previously.
“Unfortunately, due to the effects described above on the macadamia market size and demand, the average selling price declined by 21% when compared to the prior comparative average price. As a result of covid 19 lockdowns, the Chinese market remained largely unavailable to the rest of the world resulting in an oversupply for nut cracking market with a decline in average selling prices,” said the Group.
Tea production volume in the current year continued on an upward trajectory with a 15 percent increase to 3,158 tons from 2,748 tons in the prior comparative period. Improvements made through automation of certain production tasks released labour for harvesting resulting in improved production volumes.
Export tea sales volumes improved by 10 percent signaling a slight recovery in the tea market after the declines suffered with the onset of Covid 19 pandemic disruption.
The average export tea selling price declined by 1 percent when compared to the prior comparative period.
“Current year average selling prices for local tea sales improved by 12% in USD terms whilst volumes declined by 16% when compared to the prior comparative period,” the group said.
In the period under review, significant investment was made into planting new macadamia orchards, as well as completing the fencing of all macadamia orchards in the Group.
Irrigation equipment was rehabilitated and an additional centre pivot was installed at Kent Estate so as to fully utilise dam water. Further, the tractor fleet was expanded to maintain operations.
Lastly, another upgrade of the macadamia drying facility was implemented so as to increase capacity to the match the current macadamia production volumes.
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