Zimbabwe Stock Exchange listed company Amalgamated Regional Trading Group profit before tax increased by 76% to $4 million as compared to $2,3 million recorded during the same period last year.
According to the group chairman, Thomas Ushe, financial revenue increased by 13% as a result of strong demand and improved product availability.
“Financial revenue increased by 13% to $33,5 million as a result of strong demand and improved product availability.
“An operating profit of $5 million was achieved for the year compared to $3,7 million posted in 2016 representing an increase of 36%.
“In turn, operating expenses increased by 23% mostly due to increased marketing and distribution spend,” he said.
He added that the group also achieved a profit after tax of $2,7 million compared to $1,9 million in the prior year.
“Overall the Group achieved a Profit after tax of $2,7 million compared to $1,9 million in the prior year. The Balance sheet grew by 25% due to increased profitability.
“New import substitution machinery valued at $2,1 million was bought and commissioned in the Chloride division whilst efforts were made to reduce the working capital gap.
“Consequently the gap reduced by 30% to $4,8 million. Cash generated from operations decreased by 38% to $3,4 million as significant cash generated was used to pay creditor obligations and correct working capital levels in the divisions.
“The Batteries Division achieved an operating profit of $3,8 million due to a 25% increase in factory sales volumes and 41% increase in sales volumes at Exide Express as the units realized the benefits of the new plant commissioned in September 2016.
“The division also benefited from the impact of Statutory Instrument 20 of 2016 and the foreign currency challenges which limited battery imports.
“The Zambia business recorded an operating loss of $67 000 due to low market uptake in 2017. The Paper Division achieved an improved performance recording a consolidated operating profit of $229 000 compared to a loss of $227 000 in 2016 as a result of factory efficiencies and improved sales volumes,” he said.
Ushe added that Eversharp continued to perform well.
“Eversharp continued to perform well, recording an operating profit of $916 000 compared to $763 000 in the prior year due to a growth in export volumes.
“The Mutare business recorded an operating profit of $138 000 against a loss of $3 000 in prior year. This was driven by a 23% increase in timber sales volume as demand for timber firmed,” he said.