Once troubled paper giant, Art Corporation, has posted a profit of $65.3 million in the six months ending March, but profit attributable to shareholders was reduced to $56.7 million after the company paid a deferred tax of $7.9 million in addition to the taxation for the period of $675 000.
The company was, however, unable to declare a dividend because its cash flow position remained tight because of increased working capital requirements due to the devaluation of the Zimbabwe dollar as well as, of course, the fact that it had paid off its tax liability.
Art said all its operations remained profitable though at lower levels than had been expected, but the paper manufacturing division continued to be the main profit contributor.
It says the first six months of its financial year were very difficult largely because of the devaluation of the Zimbabwe dollar, depressed demand for paper products throughout the world, low spending power on the domestic market, high rates of inflation and the shortage of hard currency in the traditional regional market.
“These adverse factors have, unfortunately, continued to affect all our businesses into the second half of the financial year,” the company says.