By Ndafadza Madanha
CROCODILE breeder Padenga holdings recorded a 26 percent in operating profit FY2016 on the back of increased volumes in skin sales and the 5 percent export incentive scheme introduced by the central to support exporters.
Addressing an analyst briefing Padenga CEO Gary Sharp said the company had received $1.3m as export incentive.
Operating profit was US$12.6m against US$9.9m recorded in 2015 while 47 909 crocodiles were culled representing a four percent increase against the corresponding period.
The company which has operations both in Zimbabwe and USA, said the local operations continued to be the mainstay of the group accounting for 88 percent of turnover.
Operations in the USA recorded a 143 percent jump in skin sales but overall performance was affected by a decline in prices for watchband size skins and the fact that 38 percent of the volumes sold in the period were of skins damaged earlier.
The USA unit recorded an operating loss of US$614 000 and US$1.6m loss before tax.
Sharp said over US$2m was spent in the USA to double its operational capacity.
Locally the company invested in a solar energy system to reduce fuel cost saving upwards of US$100 000 in fuel costs annually.
Another 40 pens were constructed to reduce stocking densities at critical periods thereby enhancing animal welfare.
Skin quality in the first grade improved from 96 in the prior year to 97 percent with a three percent decrease in skin size attributable to customer requirements.
However, its meat business had a challenging year owing to low demand for premium meat in Europe and depressed export prices.
Meat produced went down from 286ton to 265 with exports to Europe tumbling from 129tons to 81.
The Asian market was hit by an influx of cheap meat from Cambodia and Thailand resulting in the company failing to make any exports to the region against 18 tonnes that it exported in the prior year.