BY MISHMA CHAKANYUKA
Meikles Limited posted a near 705% increase in profit after tax of ZWL$66 million during the financial year ending March 31, 2019, bouyed by growth from its retail division.
The profit after tax was up from ZWL$8, 2 million in 2018.
Meikles’ retail division revenue grew by 53,2% to ZWL$747,3 million from 2018’s comparative of ZWL$487,8 million.
The retail segment’s performance contributed 94,4% to the group’s total revenue of ZWL$791,6 million, from a 2018 comparative of ZWL$524,9 million.
“Increase in revenue and profit was achieved through growth in units sold and inflation-induced price increases. However, the segment was continuously
competitive in its pricing policies,” Meikles Limited executive chairman John Moxon said in a statement accompanying the results.
The group posted increased revenue in its agriculture division with a growth of 28,31% to ZWL$37,01 million and 18, 95% to ZWL$9, 1 million in hospitality.
Moxon said the agriculture segment’s export earnings from new crops grew by 96% from US$2,3 million to US$4,5 million during the period under review.
“As a percentage of total exports, the new crop contributed 25% up from 13% in the prior year,” he said.
“The contribution of the new crops to the segment’s export earnings is expected to increase to 60% within three years as these crops reach maturity.”
However, Moxon said Meikles Hotel was in need of substantial modernisation of guest facilities, electro-mechanical and plumbing infrastructure to restore it to
an internationally recognised five-star property.
The improvements would cost the company US$30 million, hence the move to sell the hotel to an international operator.
“The group does not consider that it is in a position to commit the necessary funds to the hotel and it is best for the future of the hotel to place its
development in the hands of skilled international operators,” Moxon said.
“Process to dispose of the hotel is in progress, hence the financial statements reflect the hotel as an asset held for sale.”
For Meikles department stores, revenue was down to ZWL$792 000 from ZWL$2,1 million the previous year due to the influx of cheap imports.
Losses in the corporate division widened to ZWL$2,62 million compared to ZWL$1,49 million the previous year.
Moxon said total comprehensive income increased to ZWL$118,3 million in the period under review from ZWL$8,2 million in 2018.