Dumisani Nsingo, Senior Business Reporter
ZIMBABWE Stock Exchange-listed manufacturer of roofing and piping material, Turnall Holdings has stalled the upgrading of its non-asbestos plant at its Bulawayo factory due to lack of working capital.
Turnall Holdings managing director Ms Roseline Chisveto said plans for the upgrading of the company’s plant have been temporarily shelved due to insufficient funds.
The company started the plant refurbishment estimated to cost $300 000 late last year and had anticipated completing the project early this year.
“The plan to upgrade is still very much alive although it has stalled due to lack of working capital. The upgrade also requires a huge component of foreign currency,” said Ms Chisveto.
The delay in upgrading the plant has also affected the company’s prospects of exploring its targeted export markets.
“The plan to return to the South African, Mozambican and Botswana markets is based on the upgrade of the non-asbestos plant, which is the most preferred product. Once the plant upgrade has been done the company will be able to aggressively pursue exports with economically viable products,” said Ms Chisveto.
Turnall lost the South African market after the 2008 asbestos ban in that country.
“Currently the company has been exporting AC products to Zambia and there are good business prospects,” said Ms Chisveto.
Last year the company launched its cement fibre product called Ecosheet. Apart from manufacturing the traditional corrugated sheet, the company uses PVA and cellulose fibre to produce a diversified product range which includes ceiling, fascia and barge boards.
“Ecosheet has done exceptionally well in the market with acceptance levels now reaching over 90 percent for the last 12 months since its launch,” said Ms Chisveto.
Turnall said it was working on its going concern status after its auditors Deloitte and Touche, who were re-elected at the AGM, indicated that its current liabilities exceeded its assets by $11 million in the year to 31 December, 2016.
Turnall, which re-stated its financial results for 2016 after a re-negotiation of some liabilities reported a pre-tax loss of $1,7 million, adjusted from the $6,3 million loss initially reported in May.
The company said although it was struggling to pay its creditors, it had agreed payment plans to clear its debt.