NATIONAL Tyre Services (NTS)’s Chief Operating Officer Cleopas Makoni has quit the company to “pursue other interests”, businessdigest has established.
Makoni leaves the company after it returned to profitability after an aggressive marketing campaign that lifted turnover to US$4,9 million during the half year to September 2010. rs said Makoni’s last day in office was Friday January 28.
Dunlop Group managing director, Kennedy Mandevani is doubling as acting chief operating officer for NTS.
Mandevhana comes in by virtue of Dunlop’s sole shareholder — Apollo Tyres Ltd — holding a 45% stake in NTS.
Contacted for comment Mandevani confirmed that Makoni had resigned but would not give details.
“He resigned to pursue private interests. Currently there is no acting CEO as the Group managing director is running the company. He had been in the role for two years,” Mandevani said
Apollo Tyres Ltd — the world’s 15th largest tyre manufacturer — own Dunlop 100%.
NTS capacity utilisation is currently averaging 60% from below 30% in August last year due to increased production after the opening of more branches.
Turnover was at US$2,3 million during the comparable period in 2009. A diligent watch on overheads resulted in the company turning a US$119 465 operating loss during the last comparable period in 2009 into an operating profit of US$281 995 during the interim period ending September 2010.
Margins were kept at reasonably low levels in an increasingly price sensitive market.
In a trading update in December the company reported that there were high levels of quality on its products for the two months to November 30 2010.
“The market is responding positively to these initiatives and the company is repositioning itself in the market by capturing some of the lost market share,” said the NTS board in a statement. Capacity utilisation has improved due to the increase in the volumes of trade.
Last year the company’s distribution network was reinforced by the re-opening of the Masvingo and Gweru branches.
More branches could be opened this year subject to the availability of sustainable demand and working capital requirements, the company said. NTS had 16 branches nationwide but the economic-crisis forced closures had left it with only four branches.
There has been significant competition in the tyre sector, with a number of Chinese imports finding their way into the market and knocking down prices.
The NTS board last year said profits had been reinvested and management expected an increase in the company’s operating capacity and its utilisation.