National Foods posts solid performance, Covid-19 dampens outlook

Author Name
Rugare Mukanganga
Markets 2 months ago

For the three-months ended September 2021, National Foods volumes improved across Group segments, with a 24% improvement to 143,000 metric tonnes in the period under review.

  • Overall up 24%
  • Flour up 5%
  • Stockfeed up 29%
  • Maize up 25%
  • Pearlenta Nutir-Active up 75%
  • Down-packed unit up 59%
  • Snack demand up 81%
  • Biscuits up 16%

In the flour unit, the Group says that demand was firm in the period and millsmostly ran at capacity, supporting a 5% volumes growth.

Small-scale producer poultry demand in the period boosted stockfeed volumes 29% while in the Maize unit, volumes recovered 25% from the previous year’s comparable quarter. For Pearlenta Nutri-Activ Instant porridge, volumes were up 75% the quarter, and in the newly setup Down-packed unit volumes were 59% ahead of the prior year.

The Group went on to note that as Covid-19 lockdowns eased, Snack demand improved by 81% and in the Biscuits category, volumes grew 16%.

Operation highlights 

Excellent Maize volumes were recorded in the 2020/2021 farming season, and a similar outlook is expected in the ongoing wheat harvesting season. The Group says that its two major capital development projects are back on track, with the Bulawayo Flour Mill scheduled for commissioning in the tail-end of 2022.

What lies ahead

Demand and volume uptrends in the face of rising inflation is commendable. Looking ahead, preliminary regional rainfall forecasts indicate a second consecutive year of positive to above-normal rainfall for the upcoming farming season. However, the national inflation outlook, underlying uncertainties surrounding Covid-19 and the expectation of more infectious variants dampen the performance outlook in the three-months to December 2021 and the half-year period to June 2022.

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