LISTED roofing products manufacturer Turnall Holdings Limited (THL) investment in a new plant which will see an automated increase in production and enable migration from cement pipes has reached an advanced stage.

Presenting a trading update for the period ended September 30, 2021, THL acting company secretary, Ziggy Bikwa said the new project is now at an advanced stage.

“Innovation in products and services with an objective to offer continuous improvement in convenience and customer satisfaction through a rich product mix in roofing such as Slates, Ecotiles and Pantiles is a priority.

“The company is investing in a new model plant that will improve the product variation and automate production processes. The migration from Fibre cement pipes to Glass Reinforced Pipe (GRP) manufacturing is at an advanced stage,” he said.

During the review period, revenue in inflation adjusted terms reached 40%, down from 188% recorded last year, with sales volumes maintaining the 13% recorded in a comparative period this year.

Profit before taxation at 72% was lower than the 147% mark recorded last year.

Cumulative nine-months aggregate volume growth remained steady at 13% over the comparative period with fibre cement building products contributing 79% of the sales volume for 2021, a 7% increase compared to the same period last year.

Fibre Cement pipes contributed 2% of the year-to-date sales volume for the same period.

Concrete roofing tiles contributed 19% of total sales volumes representing a 6% increase compared to last year.

“Turnall’s exports slowed due to regional lockdowns, consequent logistics disruptions as well as higher local market demand which outweighed our production capacities. The company continues to expand its footprint in the SADC region,” said Bikwa.

Going forward, the THL foresees good prospects for growth in the construction industry particularly at local authorities’ level and national government projects amid optimism that the business will post better results in 2021 despite the many challenges prevailing in the economic environment.

“This will be achieved through volume growth, cost containment and further realignment of business processes,” added Bikwa.