Nelson Gahadza Senior Business Reporter
RETAIL and distribution specialty group Axia Corporation Limited is building a new factory at its bedding manufacturing business Restapedic to increase production capacity to meet local and export demand.
Axia recently acquired an additional 11 percent in Restapedic to take its shareholding to 60 percent acquired in 2019 through its subsidiary TV Sales & Home from Maton (t/a Restapedic) for $2,5 million.
Group chief executive, John Koumides, told shareholders at an annual general meeting yesterday, that the bedding manufacturing unit, Restapedic grew by 26 percent year to date.
“We are in the process of building the new factory, which should see us extend our growth in volumes once we occupy the new factory, which at this stage looks like it will be about a year from now in October next year,” he said.
Mr Koumides said growth trends from the first quarter by and large continued in October and to November 2021, with the manufacturing business starting from a low base last year to grow in exponential terms achieving a 273 percent growth.
“So that’s a good sign, it’s a long way to go and still a lot more growth to come,” he said. He noted that the group had seen continued growth in TV Sales and Home, with the division’s volumes having grown 24 percent up to the end of October and the current month.
Distribution Group Africa (DGA) Zimbabwe first quarter volumes were down 29 percent primarily because the firm had lost the wholesale trade of the pro group business. However, it recovered well in October with 29 percent miles being reduced to 22 percent.
“The business actually made more profit in that one month by far than barely the whole of the first quarter,” Koumides said.
In the region, he said Zambia continued to struggle with their volumes being 27 percent down.
“They may really need to start to see something happening positively there but luckily against that we see fantastic growth in Malawi primarily due to the addition of the Unilever agency.
So volumes in Malawi are 62 percent up on last year,” he said.
He indicated that overall, the region’s volumes were up 26 percent.
At Transerve, Koumides said the business is still doing well, expanding its footprint.
“We are expanding the business and opening new shops in Victoria Falls and Shabanie next month and we are also to grow the business by at least 67 shops in the next two and half quarters,” he added.