Businessman Phillip Chiyangwa is known for flaunting his wealth and religiously updates friends, fans and foes alike on any latest addition to his growing fleet of exclusive cars.
BY NDAMU SANDU
Early this year, the flamboyant businessman was in the news after adding a new toy, a Hummer H2 Limo Transformer to his fleet, ensuring that the bragging rights remain within his plush Borrowdale mansion.
But financial results of his company, Zeco Holdings brings to the fore the other side of Chiyangwa. The once flourishing engineering concern is “coughing badly”, struggling to stay alive and is now the established “sick man” of the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE).
Zeco now exists on the bourse just to make up the numbers: Its shares last exchanged hands in February 2012. In 2013, the company was ranked as the worst governed listed counter by the Institute of Chartered Secretaries Administrators of Zimbabwe due to its failure to release financial results on time and hold annual general meeting of shareholders.
Its financial results for the year 2014 painted a sorry state of affairs. The results were published in June after the three months stipulated time-frame which listed companies are supposed to comply with.
In a statement accompanying the company’s financial results, Chiyangwa, who chairs the board, apologised to stakeholders for the delay in publishing the audited results for 2014.
“This was due to extra work and time required to ensure full disclosure relating to the discontinued operations,” he said.
The group, a holding company for Delward Engineering and Critall Hope, saw its revenue falling to $500 518 from $604 526 in the comparable period in 2013.
Zeco said it had discontinued Zimplastics after it became unviable with no prospects of recovery.
Cost of sales — which is the direct costs attributable to the production of the goods sold by a company — were up to $382 407 from $291 764 in the prior year despite falling revenue.
Zeco had cash and cash equivalents of $129 down from $8 393 in the prior year. Cash and cash equivalent refers to the value of a company’s assets that are cash or can immediately be converted into cash.
Contrast Zeco’s performance with its largest shareholder, Chiyangwa.
When he bought his fancy $500 000 car, the businessman said the acquisition was in line with his standards.
“When people hear about these figures, they scream and squeak, but to me that’s the standard. The talk about being extravagant doesn’t apply because I am living well within my means,” he was quoted as saying.
In March, Chiyangwa told The Standard that Zimbabweans tended to employ the waiting attitude whereby they blamed the economy, politicians and environment but themselves for failure to succeed despite being an educated nation.
He said one needed a correct mindset and a positive attitude that tells one that they will succeed at all costs.
“I believe that if we were all innovative, progressive and determined to make it, our country would be far much better than it is now. Otherwise, how am I thriving in the very same economy that you keep whining about?”