Listed Williamson Tea Kenya Plc has reported a net half-year loss of KSh 65.9 Million. This is compared to a loss of KSh 85.1 million posted over a similar period last year.
“We do not envisage much change going forward and it is unlikely we will make up our crop deficits in the months to March 2020 or that prices will rise,” said G.K Masaki, the company secretary of Williamson Tea.
The size of its balance sheet grew from KSh 7.9 million in 2018 to KSh 8.3 million in the first half of this year.
“With our crops on average 15% below last year, we may have expected prices to rise to compensate for some of the crop loss. Aside from a brief period, this has not materialized as enormous carry-over of unsold stock from other tea producers negated a prolonged dry weather spike in prices.
Therefore, the double problem of lower crops, lower prices and weak market forces – too much supply and insufficient demand has resulted in the results provided for the past 6 months,” said Masaki.
He said efforts by the firm to improve its own quality have been successful but attempts to persuade buyers to benchmark its farms at a superior price level remains work in progress.
“If a buyer’s job is to procure the maximum amount of tea at the cheapest possible price, it is not a challenge to achieve this in the current market. However, we continue to strive to position our teas in the higher customer category,” said Masaki.
Williamson Tea Kenya Plc has tea farms located in Kaimosi, Kapchorua, Tinderet and Changoi. It also engages in property investment activities and the sale and servicing of generators through its subsidiaries.
Some of its tea brands include Kenyan Earth, Earl Grey, Green Earl Grey, Pure Green, Duchess Grey, Purple Blush, Mint Garden, Ginger Grove, Earl Grey Purple, Purple Matcha and Green Matcha.