Construction activity uptick to push up Willdale earnings

24 Nov, 2020 - 00:11 0 Views
Construction activity uptick to push up Willdale earnings

The Herald

Enacy Mapakame

Business Reporter

Listed brick making firm, Willdale Limited, is upbeat of an increase in earnings driven by increased demand for bricks as activity in housing development picks following the relaxation of Covid-19 induced lockdown restrictions.

The relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions has seen demand for products increase across sectors, while the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ)’s foreign currency auction system has also helped usher in a more stable business environment.

For Willdale, the company is geared to cash in on the enhanced demand and increased activity in the construction industry.

“The company remains ready to supply quality bricks to infrastructure projects. We anticipate sustainable profitability for the business into the foreseeable future,” said company secretary Mavuto Munginga in a trading update for the quarter to September 30, 2020.

“The opening of the economy following the relaxation of Covid-19 induced lockdown conditions, stability in key economic fundamentals and the renewed optimism in housing development, will spur demand for bricks into the future,” he said.

Willdale is already seeing improvements in performance following the easing of lockdown conditions with sales volumes for the quarter to September 30, 2020 jumping 49 percent above prior year driven by individual housing development projects.

This brought year to date volumes to 12 percent above prior year.

On financial performance, revenue for the quarter grew 24 percent compared to same period in the prior year driven by volume growth and price adjustments. On a year to date basis, revenue was 22 percent above same period in the prior year.

Generally, performance in the construction industry improved during the quarter under review on a more stable environment.

Cement maker, Lafarge recorded improved business following easing of lockdown conditions, which saw sales volumes for the quarter jump 7 percent above same period last year driven by recovery in the individual home builder market.

Chairman Kumbirai Katsande, said demand for cement in the construction sector jumped 34 percent ahead of the previous quarter following the reopening of the economy after lockdown.

The story was the same at Turnall, which saw increased demand for its products with third quarter performance above same period last year.

In a trading update, Turnall indicated sales volumes for the quarter were 11 percent above comparable period and 81 percent above the previous quarter, thanks to the improved business conditions following easing of lockdown restrictions.

Zimbabwe implemented Covid-19 lockdown effective March 30, 2020 to limit the spread of the pandemic, a situation that resulted in lost businesses as trading hours were significantly reduced.

However, Government relaxed some of the Covid-19 restrictions during the period, which helped to stimulate local demand for goods and services in the period.

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