The re-introduction of price controls on maize meal by the government and the intention to gazette the prices of other basic commodities is a complete reversal of the liberalisation programme and has further damaged the image of Zimbabwe in the eyes of the investing community.
Randalls Holdings, which was floated last year with the company forecasting a pre-tax profit of $54.6 million based on assumptions that inflation would average 16 percent, the Zimbabwe dollar would decline slowly, interest rates would be marginally above the rate of inflation, the country would have an average agricultural season and there would be continued investment in mining and construction, ended up more than $20 million short because of the economic and social turbulence that characterised its financial year ending March.
Rising costs which resulted in higher than expected overhead expenditure, labour unrest and the need to trim margins in order to compete saw Mashonaland Holdings’ profit at a standstill, declining marginally by 3 percent from $46.5 million to $45.2 million in the 12 months ending March.
Zimbabwe’s media, starved of any real competition since the collapse of the Daily Gazette, could be in for a big surprise.
It is very rare to get good news these days, but tea company, Tanganda, had an “exceptional” performance in the six months ending April with profit attributable to shareholders increasing six- fold from $10.6 million last year to $66.7 million.