Ariston Holdings has been able to defy the disruptive impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on business operations worldwide, seeing the groups revenue jump by 64 percent to $425,5 million during the half year period to March 2021.
The upturn in revenue positively impacted on profitability; after the group reported operating profit surged 19 percent of revenue ($425 million) compared to a loss 19 percent in the comparative period last year.
The horticultural group said the revenue growth was mainly driven by an increase in sales of local products. Notably though, Ariston recorded a 37 percent decline in cost of sales during the period under review.
Ariston said the reduction in the cost of sales reflected measures implemented by the group aimed at containing costs, which resulted in gross margin improvement to 63 percent against 34 percent the prior year. The group achieved profit before interest and tax of $118 million compared to $30 million incurred in the same comparative period last year, while inflation adjusted interest expense grew by 66 percent.
According to herald.co.zw, export volumes improved by 10 percent to 656 tons while current period pricing retreated by 2 percent. Local tea sales volumes jumped by 73 percent but prices fell39 percent.
Ariston said at the end of the current half year period, 32 percent of the projected annual crop had been produced compared to a slightly higher output volume of 37 percent the prior year.
“In volume terms, the production for the current year was 419 tons, of which 215 tons had been sold. For the same period, in the prior year, 389 tons had been produced, of which 178 tons had been sold,” Ariston. “The current year yield for the macadamia crop is expected to be 18 percent ahead of the prior year.”
The fruit category’s production volumes of 2 288 tons for the current half year under review improved by 12 percent compared to the previous comparative period. It comprises stone and pome fruit.