Ishemunyoro Chingwere Business Reporter
DIVERSIFIED conglomerate, National Foods Limited, has forecast better economic fortunes for its business on the back of the new political dispensation ushered in November last year and confirmed at this year’s general elections.
In its results for the year ending June 30, 2018, and signed off by the group’s chairman Todd Moyo, which saw the group pocketing profit before tax of $21,21 million signifying a 23 percent jump compared to the previous year, the group notes better prospects.
Profit for the year rose to $17,174 million up from $13,706 million the previous year.
The country’s largest milling company, however, noted that for the prospects to yield fruit, authorities should immediately redirect efforts to solving all the problems bedevilling the economy.
President Mnangagwa has, since coming into office, pledged to champion economic revival from years of regression under the now popularised “Zimbabwe is open for business” mantra that has seen capital source markets warming up to Zimbabwe.
“The period under review witnessed significant political changes in our country,” notes Mr Moyo.
“Now that the critical election phase is behind us, it is imperative that attention is urgently directed at resolving some of the serious challenges facing the economy.
“Provided that meaningful solutions to these challenges can be found, we believe that there will be significant opportunities to supply a broader range of categories as economic conditions and the position of the consumer improve further,” he said.
Profit increase was largely driven by increased volumes for the year, up 7,1 percent compared to the preceding year.
The increase in volume was anchored on a strong showing in the flour division which registered a 28 percent jump which consequently also became the highest ever annual return in the company’s history.
Maize registered an 11 percent rise but the same could not be obtained in the stockfeed division which fell by 13 percent on the back of the deadly Avian Influenza which decimated the poultry industry locally and South Africa which is one of the largest poultry producers on the continent. Despite a repeat occurrence of the disease in South Africa’s North West Province in May this year, Zimbabwe has so far managed to deal with the virus and was declared Avian Influenza free by the World Organisation for Animal Health on January 31 this year.