How Zimbabwe listed construction firms are cashing in on growing infrastructure spending


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Zimplow

Barzem, a division of Zimplow, is the local agent of CAT earthmoving equipment. In the half year to June, the company doubled the number of earthmoving units sold.

“Our outlook is positive supported by a firm order book and good leads in the construction and mining industries.” Barzem achieved a profitability growth of 88% in real terms. It has sold CAT units to CMED and DDF, the government agencies leading some road projects, as well as to PPC and Masimba.

Barzem will have some strong competition soon, when John Deere’s construction equipment unit opens in Zimbabwe.

Willdale

In August, the brickmaker reported that it had sold 33% more bricks in the three months to June than it did over the same time last year. Sales were up 30% since the start of the year.

“Demand remains relatively high, driven by housing development and infrastructure projects,” the company said. “Ongoing construction of housing units in the market will continue to drive volumes towards a profitable year.”

Turnall

Turnall, which makes roofing materials, asbestos pipes and other products, reported a 21% increase in sales volumes and a 28% in production in the June half-year.

“Plans are underway to resuscitate the asbestos plant in Harare to reduce cost of transferring the product from Bulawayo to Harare,” the company said.

Lafarge

The cement company this week reported a 25% increase in revenues, mostly driven by volumes growth in the dry mortars business. The company commissioned a new dry mortars plant in March, which increased annual output from 7000 tonnes to 100 000 tonnes.

Not only are Zimbabweans building more, they are also spending more on quality. This is partly why in August, the company said demand for dry mortar products – such as lime-based finishings, tile adhesives and skim coats – had risen by over 100%.

The company is building a new cement milling plant. This will double cement production capacity to 800 000 tonnes per year.

Cafca

The company makes cables used for electricity and telecommunications, supplied for domestic and industrial customers at home and in the export market.

In the six months to March, Cafca sold 41% more than what it sold over the same period last year.

“Sales are buoyant in the following sectors – mines, retail, construction and industry,” Cafca says.

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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