Beta bricks targets 15 percent output increase

Clay brick and tile manufacturer, Beta Holdings is targeting a 15 percent increase in brick output in 2016 at 155 million bricks after having invested over $5 million into operations in the last three years. Group Chief Executive Godfrey Manhambara in an interview after the company’s ISO certification handover ceremony said the $5 million investment was spread across business but mainly used in upgrading infrastructure and acquiring new equipment.“In the last three years we spent over $5 million on upgrading infrastructure, strengthening the Logistics unit, ground equipment as well as moulding and clay processing,” he said.

Beta Holdings currently has three operating units namely Bricks, Beta Tiles and Beta Logistics.

Mr Manhambara said brick production is heavily dependent on market demand and at between 80 percent and 90 percent, brick output is averaging 15 million bricks per month. He said in terms of brick market share, the company is leading at 60 percent. Nearest competitor Willdale is on just over 100 million bricks per year after its $3 million recapitalization

Mr Manhambara said the company’s vision at the moment is to grow a presence in the region and extend dominance locally. The group is currently operating in Zambia where it is selling products through a partnership with a Zambian company.

The CE said in the medium to long term, the company is looking at setting up manufacturing plants in Zambia. “Our plan is to manufacture in Zambia. We are currently identifying land and clay areas in addition to other licenses. We expect to commence between 2017 and 2018.

In addition to the Zambian market, Mr Manhambara said the company is looking at expanding its presence in Mozambique where it is currently supplying products in Tete province alone. “We are already looking at entering Chimoio province as we consolidate our product supply in the region,” he said.

In the Tiles unit, Manhambara said the company is targeting to double 2016 production output to 6 million tiles from 3 million produced in 2015.

On the Logistics business, the CEO said investment is on a continuous approach having invested close to $3 million last year in acquiring eight new trucks. He said an additional four trucks are expected next month.

Speaking on the certification, Mr Manhambara said that will enable the group to be identified in the region within its expansion plans.

DQS South Africa, is a subsidiary of DQS Germany, an international ISO Certification company recognised in over 40 countries worldwide. Mr Manhambara said the group will leverage on the international certification to expand and do business in various countries in the world. The certifications are on Management systems and on Occupational Health and Safety management. – Wires

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