By Staff Writer

HARARE – Meikles says it has sufficient resources at its disposal to fund the planned capital expenditure and challenges arising from Covid-19 implications.

The group, in a trading update for the third quarter and nine months ended 31 December 2020, said operations were adequately stocked during the festive season as its supply chains benefited from increased trading hours and improved access to foreign currency from the auction system.

Inflation adjusted revenue declined by 7% and 8% for the quarter and nine months to date, respectively.

Sales volume at the supermarkets segment declined by 4% and 22% for the quarter and year to date respectively, relative to the same period of the previous year. However, sales volume for the year to date rose by 9% from 31% decline as at the half year ended 30 September 2020.

For the agriculture segment, bulk tea production benefited from early rains and grew by 41% and 6% for the quarter and year to date, respectively. However, bulk tea production was 17% behind last year as at the half year ended 30 September 2020.

In volume terms, bulk tea export sales were behind last year by 8% and 10% for the quarter and year to date, respectively. Average bulk tea export price for the quarter of US$1.39/kg was on par with the average price achieved in the same period last year but was 6% behind last year for the year to date. Packed tea and coffee sales volume increased 24% and 18% for the quarter and year to date respectively.

After tax profit for the quarter ended 31 December 2020, it surpassed the same period of last year in both inflation adjusted and historical cost terms.

“Whilst the group’s main segments are classified as essential service and continue to operate, revenue is likely to be affected by reducing volumes to the end of the financial year and beyond,” the company said.

The group expects growth in export crops in the forthcoming financial year due to good rains received.

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