Nqobile Bhebhe,Senior Business Reporter
INNSCOR Africa Limited group is upscaling its investment portfolio in Bulawayo as the new US$25 million fully automated manufacturing facility is expected to be operational before year end.Added to that, the firm is installing a new flour mill set to be commissioned early in the new calendar year.
The investments will result in increased production capacity, enhanced product quality and are expected to add significant improvement in overall manufacturing efficiencies, board chairman Mr Addington Chinake said in the group financial results for the year ended June 30.
Outlining the group’s operations review for the group’s bakery division, National Foods, Mr Chinake said a growth in annual loaf volumes of 19 percent over the comparative year was recorded in the bakery unit.
That was achieved on the back of improved loaf quality, and a renewed focus on the sales and distribution functions.
He said the operation was restructured in the final quarter of the financial year into its core components of manufacturing, sales, and distribution and this gives the company confidence that this will further improve loaf quality, enhance production efficiencies, and allow for significantly improved market-reach.
That’s where the Bulawayo investment comes in, he said.
“Investment is well underway at a US$25m, new world-class, fully automated manufacturing facility in Bulawayo, and this site is expected to be operational before the end of the 2022 calendar year.”
Further plant automation enhancements will follow in the Harare plant, he added.
Within the Flour Milling division, volume growth was muted against the comparative year, primarily as a result of constrained local wheat supply and cost-push pressure emanating from higher international wheat pricing.
The group continues with its considerable local contract farming schemes, and in support of this, a new flour mill is being installed in Bulawayo, with final commissioning expected to occur early in the new calendar year.
The investment will result in increased production capacity, enhanced product quality and a significant improvement in overall manufacturing efficiencies, he added.
Meanwhile, the firm plans to roll out new product lines, increase production capacity and significantly improve product quality as it prepares a further US$56 million of additional investment in the 2023 financial year.
In the 2021 financial year, the company embarked on an ambitious US$70m investment initiative which ended during this year.
“The group embarked on an ambitious US$70m investment programme in 2021, with this initiative having reached completion during the year, a further US$56m of additional investment is planned for the forthcoming financial year,” he said.
Mr Chinake said the 2023 financial year will see a considerable number of projects being commissioned across the group, enabling production capacity increases, adding new product categories, significantly improving product quality and further enhancing production efficiencies.
The group, he said, delivered an extremely positive set of results for the financial year under review with revenue jumping 49 percent to $290,78 billion compared to the same prior year period, as firm demand saw significant volume growth.
The performance achieved has been driven by a continued focus on broadening product ranges, significant investment into modern manufacturing processes and technologies, extending production capabilities, and ensuring product and pricing relevance across the market spectrum.
A final dividend of US$1,56 cents per share was declared and the board has also declared a final dividend totalling US$453 588 to Innscor Africa Employee Share Trust (Private) Limited.
Article Source: The Chronicle