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-The Herald

Listed mining and agriculture implements firm – Zimplow Holdings Limited’s performance for the first quarter to March 31, 2021 improved compared to same period last year on the back of encouraging trading environment.

The period under review was characterised by stability which was driven mainly by currency reforms and infrastructure projects. The prospects of a bumper harvest due to a good rainfall season was also an added advantage for the group. The Covid-19 induced lockdowns during the first two months of the year, however, had an adverse effect on equipment utilisation.

“The Group has had a very positive start to the year with the first quarter operating performance ahead of prior year. The Group experienced whole goods volumes growth across all business units except at Powermec,”

said group company secretary Charles Chaibva in a trading update for the quarter.

“However, general equipment utilisation capacity in the first two months of the quarter was effected by lockdowns following a second wave of Covid-19 infections afterthe festive period. “The Group took advantage of the encouraging trading conditions to reduce the impact of Covid-19 on the supply chains by securing liquidity and therefore ramp up inventories in preparation of the year ahead,”

said Mr Chaibva.

At Barzem volumes for the quarter were 13 percent ahead of prior year with the product mix largely skewed towards earth moving equipment for the infrastructure development sector, unlike in the prior year where 50 percent of the units came from CAT gensets and lift trucks.

Said Mr Chaibva:

“Overall aftersales performance, driven by a 34 percent performance growth in parts sales, has been ahead of prior year despite workshop volumes losing hours to Covid-19 lockdowns.”

Tractor volumes at Farmec doubled and implements were 76 percent ahead of prior year. Aftersales performance was 38 percent ahead of prior year.

CT Bolts volumes across the range grew by 24 percent compared to same period last year as the unit continued to develop new relationships and markets.

The positive rainfall season provided a platform for volumes growth at Mealiebrand with implements growing by 39 percent. Spares uptake improved during the quarter with 86 percent growth against prior year in the local and export markets respectively.

Powermec was significantly affected by reduced activity as a result of Covid-19 lockdowns which resulted in volumes falling by 33 percent on average at both the wholegoods and after-sales.

Mr Chaibva said the unit looks forward to improved performance following the easing of lockdown restrictions.

Going forward, the group will also among others pay attention to cost containment measures and capacity as the economic uncertainties remain due to Covid 19.

The vaccination programme currently ongoing also provides better prospects for the group in 2021.

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