BY Staff Reporter
Brick maker, Willdale, says its latest product, Topaz, will reposition the company in the market and go a long way in substituting imports.
Speaking at the product launch in Harare recently, Willdale chief executive Nyasha Matonda said the Topaz brick, which boasts of similar characteristics as bricks imported from Botswana and South Africa, was in great demand.
“The market has been invaded by imported products and as an industry, we had been put under pressure. People wanted that colour, so you would see that even during the times of foreign currency shortages, people were still importing that type of brick, yet it can be manufactured locally,” he said.
“So, we wanted to close that gap. The impact on the market of our last product was not very visible, but we think with this product, we can do much better”.
The firm is optimistic of better business prospects ahead, considering the amount of household and government infrastructure construction projects taking place in the country.
It intends to invest in the expansion of its product catalogue, covering new brick styles and colour.
It remains profitable despite having recorded a 22% decline in sales in the five-month period to February.
The company’s sales volumes were down 22% and 18% below prior year and budget, respectively, largely due to a mismatch between disposable incomes of clients and the prevailing prices.
Willdale said it was this year expecting to surpass its production targets as production figures in the five-month period were ahead of prior year, with low rains working to its advantage.