HARARE, August 5 (The Source) – Meikles Limited slashed its annual loss by 44 percent to $19 million in the full year to March from $34,8 million previously, driven by a strong performance in its retail units.
The group’s total revenue grew 10 percent to $454 million.
Its retail subsidiaries, TM and PicknPay supermarkets recorded a10 percent growth in revenue to $395 million as volumes increased on on the back of a growth in customer count of 7 percent. The supermarket chain earnings before interest, tax depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of $15,9 million from $9,3 million last year.
TM and PicknPay’s performance sharply contrasts to that of rival OK Zimbabwe, which registered 48.9 percent decline in EBIDTA to $9 million.
South Africa’s PicknPay owns 49 percent of TM Supermarkets, Zimbabwe’s second largest retail chain. Meikles owns 51 percent of TM.
Meikles Mega Mart registered a 28 percent increase in revenue to $22 million.
Tanganda, the tea business unit saw revenue grow by 6 percent to $22.4 million driven by volumes of bulk tea sales.
The hospitality unit recorded a 4 percent decline in revenue to $15,8 million.
Meikles operates two five-star hotels in Zimbabwe, the Meikles in Harare and its 50 percent-owned Victoria Falls Hotel. African Sun owns the other 50 percent.
The group also incurred impairment loss of $2,8 million on its South Africa’s Mentor Africa Limited investment due to devaluation of the Rand.
“The group will continue pursuing the recovery of sums due by government, cost reduction efforts, strong marketing and margin control. Where possible, short term loans will be converted to medium term loans. Market appetite for this conversion has improved,” said chairperson John Moxon in statement accompanying the company’s unaudited financial results.
The group has previously stated that it is owed $90 million by the central bank.
Meikles said the foreign partner for its mining venture, Centar Mining, a Guernsey-based investment group created by former JP Morgan banker, Ian Hannam had exited the country but gave no reason.
The two formed Meikles Centar Mining Limited in 2013, with Centar planning to invest up to $500 million into the business.