HARARE, September 29 (The Source) – Listed hospitality concern, Meikles Limited, says its revenue went up by 20 percent in the five months to August, driven by increased sales and margins in key units.
John Moxon, the group’s executive chairman, on Tuesday told the company’s annual general meeting that sales increased by 15 percent in the period under review compared to the same period last year.
“Interest expenses went down while trading expenses went up by nine percent,” he said adding that mostly TM/Pick N Pay supermarkets expenses increased while expenses for other entities went down.
“TM sales went up 17 percent and this means our market share is growing as no other supermarket has recorded this significant growth in the past few months,” he said.
Meikles attributed the growth in sales to affordable prices and promotions being run by the supermarket chain.
The group’s retail division saw sales increasing by 13 percent – similar to last year – while overall sales went up 53 percent.
Moxon said the group was also working on opening new shops under Meikles retail division between October and January next year.
The group’s retail unit is made up of Meikles Mega Market, Meikles Stores and Barbours.
“Meikles Stores in Mutare will be redesigned to accommodate both the Stores and Meikles Mega Market divisions in the space currently occupied by Stores alone,” he said.
Moxon noted that the group’s hotel division also performed above expectations with occupancy at the flagship Meikles Hotel growing four percent while turnover also jumped five percent compared to the same period last year.
“In Victoria Falls, occupancy went up two percent but sales were down 16 percent mainly as a result of the 15 percent value added tax (VAT) on accommodation,” he said.
Early this year, the Zimbabwe government introduced a 15 percent tax on foreign tourists’ accommodation.
The move has, however, received a lot of criticism from various tourism stakeholders.
Moxon also said that Meikles’ agricultural concern, Tanganda, was well on course with its expansion programme.
“Tanganda has installed state-of-the-art packaging machinery in Mutare, which will improve quality and reduce costs. As packed tea offers higher margins, this will help achieve Tanganda’s objective of increasing the ratio of packed to bulk tea from 25:75 to 50:50,” said Moxon.
“Tanganda’s intention is to grow market share through concerted commercial efforts in South Africa in particular, as well as other SADC countries with the potential for expansion across the region being actively explored.”