Willdale scouts for export markets as competition tightens


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Brick-maker Willdale has recorded $3.6 million growth in revenue for the five months to February this year, up from $2.9 million achieved during the same period last year driven by increased output, the company’s chief executive said yesterday.

Nyasha Matonda said sales volumes were up 49 percent to 27 million bricks from 18 million during the comparative period.

“We are targeting 100 million bricks for the whole year and this will give us some cover for the dry season,” he said.

He said the company, which last year produced 45 million bricks was now targeting foreign markets following increased production in order to address the challenge of local competition including Chinese firms.

“We are looking at the Mozambican and Zambian markets,” said Matonda adding that nothing concrete had been finalized.

Earlier, Matonda told shareholders after the company’s annual general meeting that production of green (wet) and burnt bricks had gone up by seven and 25 percent respectively.

“However, production volumes are below targets due to power outages further more during wet seasons production is very low,” he said, citing November to January as their wet period.

The investment of $3 million into the operations last year, he said, had “positioned the company to operate more efficiently and at a significantly lower cost than in the prior years”.

Last year the company acquired new mobile equipment which is more efficient thus reducing hiring costs, he said.

Matonda said demand for bricks had remained strong particularly for individual home developers despite economic challenges facing the country.

“Although there is still pressure on margins due to competition, we expect to manage such competition through high volume, high quality and low cost production which will give us flexibility in pricing,” he said.

He said Willdale was also planning to increase capacity utilisation to 60 percent from the current 40 percent.- The Source

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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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