ART to Dispose Underutilised Mutare Land


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DT Correspondent

HARARE: ZSE-listed stationery and battery manufacturer, Amalgamated Regional Trading Corporation (ART) says the company’s plans to dispose of underutilised land in Mutare are ongoing.

In a trading update for first quarter to December 31, 2023, ART chief executive Milton Macheka, says the group will continue its drive to reduce short term borrowings whilst exploring appropriate funding options for its growth initiatives for the core energy storage business.

“Plans to dispose of underutilized land in Mutare are ongoing. We are hopeful that ongoing engagements with the authorities on the implementation of policies that resolve the pricing challenges in the local market as well as measures that support exports will bear fruits.

“The Paper Mill curtailment strategy will focus on the integration of the units with the predominant use of local wastepaper to manufacture tissue for the local market. We envisage that by half a year the paper business will be a customer-focused single unit with a much lower cost base following the site rationalization.

“The economic environment is expected to remain complex and unstable. The Group will continue to implement difficult short-term measures to safeguard profitability and liquidity to enable the business to withstand an extended period of uncertainty,” Macheka said

Macheka added that the group faced worsening economic headwinds which impacted raw material availability, operating costs and liquidity. Power availability improved during the period.

Revenue for the quarter ended December 2023 increased to ZWL58,9 billion, 67 percent ahead of the prior year whilst in historical terms it stood at ZWL49,4billion 583 percent above the prior year.

Volumes overall were down by nine percent with significant reduction in Paper where the tissue converting unit was shut down for 2 months to allow for its relocation to Kadoma.

Export volumes declined by seven percent as paper exports were curtailed, to minimize the impact of the foreign currency surrender requirements given the prevailing unfavourable market rates.

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