Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe Limited has reported that heavy rainfall adversely affected their cement stocking patterns while partially contributing a four percent decline in full year sales to US$58.48 million from US$61.00 million in the prior year.
The leading cement manufacturer noted that sales decline was also caused by a reduction in volumes but was partially offset by the marginal price increase effected at the end of September to alleviate the impact of cost increases.
Group chairperson, Kumbirai Katsande said cash and liquidity situation constrained business transactions, especially in the first quarter which created a huge foreign currency payment backlog for some critical equipment and other production inputs.
“The limited availability of foreign currency resulted in the continued rationing of foreign currency allocations from banks.
“Regrettably, this situation created a huge foreign currency payment backlog for some critical equipment and other production inputs, resulting in the accumulation of foreign payables on the balance sheets of many companies.
“Consequently, many companies were forced to defer industrial and manufacturing upgrades as well as major critical repairs,” said Katsande.
He added that the group recorded a normalized gross profit of US$17.91 million from US$11.64 million in the prior year.