CAIRNS Holdings Ltd had a satisfactory third quarter ended May 31, buoyed by an upturn in export markets, managing director Phillip Chigumira has said.
Chigumira said export volumes had increased on improved activity in Zambia and Malawi and the group had made inroads in Angola.
“We had a very good quarter as we have been seeing quite good volumes, especially in canning. I can’t say how much we are up on the second quarter but we expect a better last quarter if conditions on the ground do not materially change for the worse,” he said.
On the supply side, he said the situation had improved dramatically, especially in groceries where the group’s performance in the first half had been constrained by a lack of maize and wheat. Groceries product range includes Willards cereals and flakes, peanut butter, coffees and pasta. The division contributes 28% to the group’s turnover.
Commenting on the order book, Chigumira said there was capacity to do more as the group did not have a full book. But the managing director said the position was not worrying as the book was in line with budget expectations.
On the performance of the new mass-market sparkling wine, Mukuyu-Sante, Chigumira said the product kicked off very well and the company had established four mini-depots in a bid to take the product to customers. He said the launch of new products and revamping of existing ones was ongoing but it was premature to release the products to be launched or revamped.
In the six months ended February 28, Cairns recorded a 337% growth in turnover to $9,2 billion, driven mainly by the Cairns Foods division, which contributed 83%, while ME Charhon consolidated for two months contributed 8% with the balance coming from Paprika Successors. The share of profits of associate company, ME Charhon increased by 93% to $235 million. ME Charhon became a subsidiary in December 2002 when Cairns increased its stake to 60% from 37,5% effectively taking over management control.