At first glance, the picture looks dismal. Volumes are down because of reduced agricultural activity. Turnover is adversely affected by price controls and reduced margins on some tobacco chemicals that are subsidised by the Tobacco Growers Trust. Growth in turnover of 148 percent is below inflation.
But the figures tell a different story. The results of Chemco just like those of Hunyani and parent company TSL show that despite the cries from industry, companies are making a killing.
Turnover for Chemco in the six months to April stood at $4.4 billion, more than that for the entire year ending October which was $3.9 billion. Its turnover for the first half of last year was $1.8 billion.
Net profit for the first half of this year was $1.1 billion, up from $190.8 million during the first half of last year and $694.5 million for the full year to October.
But despite these good figures, the company laments that “the outlook remains uncertain in view of the lack of direction with regard to fundamentals surrounding availability of foreign currency, fuel, fertiliser, and concerns over security and tenure on farms”.