ZIMBABWE Stock Exchange-listed retail group Meikles Limited, says it has been forced to reduce operating hours due to the excessive power outages.
The country has been reeling under rolling power cuts of up to 21 hours daily after the Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) ordered the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC), a subsidiary of Zesa Holdings, to scale down operations at the Kariba South Hydro Power Station due to low water levels last year.
“Electricity supply challenges worsened during the quarter under review leading to increased use of generators and in some instances reduction in operating hours,” Meikles secretary Thabani Mpofu said in a trading update for the third quarter ended December 31, 2022.
The company’s sales volumes for the supermarkets were down by 16,49% for the quarter but were resilient to the challenges in the operating environment and grew by 2,50% for the nine months period ended December 31, Mpofu revealed.
Meikles saw an improvement in the hospitality segment when room occupancy increased by 9,85 and 18,43 percentage points for the quarter and nine months, respectively.
“Revenue per available room increased by 94% and 210% in US$ terms for the quarter and nine months, respectively.
“Group revenue grew by 40% and 58% in inflation adjusted terms for the quarter and nine months, respectively. In historical cost terms, group revenue grew by 399% and 411% for the quarter and nine months, respectively,” Mpofu said.
He added that all the group’s operating subsidiaries generated positive cash flows during the period under review.
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During this quarter under review, the supermarket segment under Meikles completed and opened two new stores along Simon Mazorodze and at the Madokero Mall.
“Branch network expansion and refurbishments are funded from operating cash flows,” Mpofu said.
The group is optimistic about its prospects despite the challenges in the operating environment.
“The group’s financial stability remains strong with cash and bank balances amounting to more than US$19 million at the end of December 2022,” he said.
Mpofu said the group had no bank loans.
“Both expansion and replacement capital expenditure plans continue to be implemented as the group has adequate financial resources at its disposal,” he said.