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Zimplow farm implement sales  up

Agroindustrial group Zimplow today said  revenue for the first four months to April 30 was two percent above the same period last year, with most of its units recording higher sales.

Chief executive Mark Hulett told shareholders at the company’s annual general meeting that the company’s Mealie Brand unit registered a growth of 1 370 percent in animal-drawn implement sales, chiefly exports.

The volumes of implements exported increased by 7 500 percent while local implements increased by 320 percent.

For the Barzem unit, despite a poor start due to backlog of foreign currency payments, intervention by central bank unlocked the bottleneck, resulting in a 450 percent growth in the number of CAT units sold in the four-month period to April compared to the same period in the prior year.

Hulett said the CAT powered generator set sales improved, with volumes 200 percent ahead of the comparable period last year.

The Farmec unit saw Massey Ferguson tractor sales improving by 182 percent relative to the same period last year, driven by a good 2016/17 rainfall season.

However, Hulett said for the Powermec unit, sales of the Perkins powered generator units continue to decline, with a 7 percent dip from the same period last year because of stable electricity supplies.

CT Bolts sales dropped 14 percent as a result of incessant rains at the beginning of the year which negatively affected activity in the mining sector, a key market for the unit.

Hullet said the group expects an improvement in working capital in the second half and a reduction in operating costs following a group restructuring exercise over the past two years.

Zimplow also expects to benefit from a number of capital projects lined up, including the Beitbridge-Chirundu highway project which will likely offer opportunities for its Barzem unit.

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