Zimbabwe Stock Exchange listed company, Ariston Holdings Limited revenue for the year ended 30 September 2017 improved to US$11.0 million from US$9.2 million recorded in prior year.
According to the group chairperson Alexander Jongwe, gross margin for the year improved to 31% from 18% in prior year with operating expenses declining from US$4.4 million to US$4.3 million, a 2% saving in the current year.
“Operating expenses declined from US$4.4 million to US$4.3 million, a 2% saving in the current year.
“The Group posted a profit before interest and tax of US$0.4 million as compared to US$2.5 million that was recorded in 2016.
“Finance costs incurred during the period were down to US$1.9 million from the US$3.6 million incurred in prior year due to changes in the Group’s borrowings profile in terms of both cost and tenure.
“Management continued to restructure the Group’s borrowings profile during the period under review, and as a result, the Group obtained a lower average cost of borrowings of 8% per annum coupled with longer terms on borrowing facilities.
“Subsequent to year-end, the Group obtained approval for conversion of the remaining short-term borrowings into a facility with a lower cost and longer tenure,” said Jongwe.
He added that Kent Estate successfully grew commercial maize and seed maize in line with the annual cropping plan.
“Kent Estate successfully grew commercial maize and seed maize in line with the annual cropping plan. In the period under review, 610 tonnes of seed maize was delivered to seed houses.
“This was a big improvement from the 133 tonnes delivered in 2016. At the same time, commercial maize grown in the period under review was delivered to the Grain Marketing Board (GMB).
“Banana production improved marginally with volumes going up from 739 tonnes to 790 tonnes for the year and the average selling price remained in line with prior year.
“Poultry production for the 2017 financial year stood at 743,850 which was 18% below prior year’s production.
“The sufficient dam levels ensured adequate water supply for irrigation and as a result of this, overall tea sales volumes increased by 16% from 2,048 tonnes to 2,389 tonnes in 2017. Export tea sales volumes at 1,367 tonnes were 17% up on prior year volume of 1,167 tonnes,” he said.
Ariston Holdings Limited has interests in horticulture activities in Zimbabwe- operating Southdown Estates, Claremont Estate, Kent Estate, and FAVCO.
Southdown Estates division is involved in tea, macadamia nuts, avocados, and bananas while Claremont Estate grows pome and stone fruits, passion fruits, potatoes, and trouts. The Kent Estate division engages in growing horticultural crops, as well as in poultry and livestock production activities.