Where in the world can a company make a profit of over 8 000 percent in just six months? Only in Zimbabwe, the beleaguered Southern African country which is reported to be teetering on the brink of collapse while those who have stuck it out are making a killing.
New technology company Celsys, which was listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange last year, made a net profit of $28 billion in the six months to January, an 8486 percent increase from the $326.1 million it made during the same period last year.
Sales shot up from $1.3 billion to $54.2 billion while operating profit increased from $554.6 million to $31.2 billion.
More than 70 percent of the profit came from Celsys c-phone the payphone division. It distributed over 1 500 payphones during the period and has a full order book for the next six months.
Celsys comms which sells handsets and lines had to suspend credit sales of handsets because of declining disposable incomes. While this used to be the company’s major revenue driver, the rapid expansion of the c-phone division has seen the comms division now only contributing 15 percent of profits.
Celsys print which produces recharge cards for cellular phone operators as well as company cheques is also doing well.
A new division Celsys IT was established during the period. The division rents out ATM machines to banks on a fully-maintained basis.
The company says though it funded sales of its payphones out of borrowings, its gearing was 23 percent with interest cover at five times at the close of the half year.
It also says it had benefitted from the productive sector facility offered by the central bank which offers cheap loans at 30 percent interest. It had secured $6 billion under the scheme greatly reducing its interest burden.