Zimbabwe’s stationery business has continued facing challenges with schools continuing closed.
Investor into the pen and paper industry, Amalgamated Regional Trading (ART) reveals that there are mixed challenges in Zimbabwe’s economic environment.
ART Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Milton Pedzi Macheka says, “The paper and stationery sales volumes are expected to remain subdued.”
“Measures taken to contain costs, harness foreign currency from exports and domestic free funds, whilst scaling down investment to preserve cash will enable the Group to sustain operations.”
ART’S paper divisions, Kadoma Paper Mills and National Waste Collections were adversely affected by the COVID 19 pandemic and the measures instituted to contain transmissions by the Government according to the CEO.
“Sales volumes recovered from the low prior year levels by 46% at Kadoma Paper Mills and 69% at National Waste Collections mainly due to improved power supply,” Macheka says.
“The business performance however was affected by the high cost of raw materials, fuel and electricity.”
“Waste paper imports were increased as availability of paper in the local market remained a major challenge,” Macheka went on.
ART also owns Zimbabwe’s known ballpoint pen brand, the Eversharp 15M.
Macheka says, “Eversharp volumes declined by 22% as the scholastic market segment continued to be affected by the pandemic.”
“Management’s efforts to grow the export and the non-scholastic markets enabled the division to breakeven during the period.”