© ART Corporation (Art) says it has halved its foreign currency exposure to US$2 million during the year ended September 30, 2019, largely due to increased export receipts.
The diversified group’s financials show that exports grew five percent during the year despite an 18 percent overall decline in volumes.
“The challenges in the economic environment are expected to persist in the short term as inflation and foreign currency volatility will constrain trading. The group will continue to defend its market share whilst exploiting new export markets,” said Art chairperson Thomas Wushe.
He said continued foreign currency shortages and persisting liquidity constraints affected the group’s trading, resulting in overall volumes reducing by 18 percent on average across the business units.
Wushe said export volumes for batteries and paper increased by four percent and seven percent respectively on the back of consistent product availability and increased selling effort in Zambia and Malawi.
“Volumes for solar and industrial batteries increased by 12 percent from prior year as opportunities in the local market could not be fully exploited due to product supply gaps,” he said.
The Art boss further indicated that Softex’s drive to expand its product range yielded positive results as hygiene volumes increased by eight percent from prior year.
“Included in income is $157 million relating to the revaluation of assets in an attempt by the group to fairly present the Statement of Financial position,” he said.
During the year under review, revenue increased to $267 million due to price increases effected in response to the increased cost of production.
Net borrowings at $23,767 million were contained as increased cash sales and concerted collection effort on receivables enabled the group to minimise pressure on cash resources.
Wushe said the group spent $8,2 million with focus being on critical projects and improvements. He said the company will continue to defend market share whilst exploiting new export markets and opportunities existing in the hygiene, solar and industrial battery segments.