The Sunday News
Dumisani Nsingo, Senior Business Reporter
ONE of the country’s leading packaging products manufacturer and supplier, Polyfoil has come out of judiciary management after five years and appears bullish about its future prospects as it embarks on a diversification drive aimed at growing its business.
Polyfoil managing director Mr Brendan Beaumount said the Bulawayo-based company had procured machinery as part of its diversification strategy aimed at reaching long-range financial goals while minimising risk. The company was placed under judiciary management in 2013 as it struggled to pay its creditors and came out on 15 September.
“For us the future is looking at ways of diversifying into new products. We have installed in the last couple of years some new equipment and we have plans for other new equipment that’s on its way and will be with us in the next six months. I think the big factor is to try and help in terms of import substitution, so that we help in the forex side for country,” said Mr Beaumount.
He said the new products were targeted at food and beverages manufacturers.
“We are targeting retail, manufacturers of food products, some of the multinationals to be able to give them a local option,” said Mr Beaumount.
He said the company has over the last two years invested $450 000 towards replacing part of its obsolete machinery as well as acquiring new equipment for its diversification programme. Mr Beaumount also said the company was working on modernising its factory in the next five years as part of efforts to withstand competition.
“We have got our plans laid up for the next four or five years. There is Capex (capital expenditure) that we would like to do, which would modernise our plant and be able to make us more competitive in the face of foreign competition,” he said.
The company is also expecting to resume exports in the region, before its demise it used to export to Zambia.
“Exports, it’s obvious it’s an area that we are going to explore especially with the current situation and we are looking at Zambia and Malawi,” said Mr Beaumount.
He said the introduction of Government’s import management programme which saw the removal of certain targeted products from the Open General Import Licence capacitated industry, although a number of products were still being smuggled into the country.
“I think we all benefited (from the import substitution programme) in the industry but there is still some product that is coming in from outside the country but we continue to work as an industry to protect ourselves and at the same time we need to be able to supply the market with quality packaging and fair prices and be able to meet the capacity of our customers who demand that. So that’s also very important that is why we want to diversify to justify the same,” said Beaumount.
Polyfoil are manufacturers and suppliers of carrier bags, bread balers, clear bags, ice bags, refuse bags, baler bags, roller meal bags, shrink wrap, black sheeting, clear sheeting, tubing, tobacco liners and branded packaging. Polyfoil started operations in 1964 as a sole trader and ventured into manufacturing in 1985. The company has a workforce of more than 50 employees. It also has a distribution centre in Harare.