Radar plays down hefty profits


Kenneth Schofield has not only filled in the shoes of Chris Schofield as chairman of Radar but he seems to have inherited the humour that he packed in his company reports.

Though some quarters might view it as being in bad taste it sure makes a difference and brings life to the reports.

In his report for the six months to December, he says although the results of Radar look impressive at a cursory glance “like so much else in our tortured country, what lies beneath is a little more sobering”.

Turnover for the six months was $6.8 billion, $1 billion more than the company realised during the year ended June 2002.

Operating profit soared by 679 percent from $192.8 million to $1.5 billion while net profit increased from $143.8 million to $689.1 million.

The net profit was up 233 percent in US dollar terms.

UBM traded strongly because of strong demand for building materials for medium and low-density housing. The only problem was the shortage of cement.

Schofield says, “with the effective closure of cement manufacturers, government policy would seem to indicate that housing people is a wasteful consumption of resources”.

Macdonald Bricks also did well but was adversely affected by shortages, or nonexistence, of fuel, coal and spares.

All divisions of CIH exceeded budget with only National Fencing and Hogarths depressed because of lack of major contracts.

Border Timbers maintained its market penetration despite the destruction of 700 hectares of plantation.

Though the company seems to have done well, he says, this pales when one considers that one bulldozer desperately needed by Macdonald Bricks costs $360 million while one skidder at Borders Timbers costs $300 million and group IT requirements immediately need $720 million.

On the outlook he says, it is absolutely impossible to forecast on the future of tomorrow, let alone six months.

“Will we continue with a farcical exchange rate policy, totally irresponsible social rhetoric and isolation as a pariah nation, or will there be a genuine effort to ensure firstly that what remains of this country’s ability to produce and trade is able to do so within an enabling environment, and, secondly, that some basis for future investment is found?”

He goes on: “If the group is not to decay, and ultimately founder, we must continue to invest in the future-whether that future is productive equipment, trees, IT systems or, no less importantly, people. Radar will make these investments with the conviction that there is a future and that Radar will be part of that future.”


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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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