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Meikles in mega expansion drive

Meikles in mega expansion drive

Business Reporters
MEIKLES Limited has lined up various expansion projects across its entities which are aimed at increasing its revenue base.

This comes after the group successfully concluded negotiations with Government over amounts owed to it by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.

According to information availed by the group, its retail unit is set for a major expansion drive under various brands which include the opening of five stores under the Pick ‘n’ Pay brand.

Pick ‘n’ Pay is set to open its second city centre store at Joina City while overall the group will open five stores this year.

Among the new stores, two will be in high density areas; Chitungwiza and High Glen.

The group is also set to refurbish TM Borrowdale, Harare Street, Victoria Falls and Pick ‘n’ Pay Kamfinsa while there are plans to set up a brand new shopping centre.

More Meikles Mega stores will be opened in Mutare, Mabvuku, Kwekwe, Kadoma, Chinhoyi, Bulawayo, Bindura and Chitungwiza.

The group said it would also branch out its department store with the opening of Barbours Borrowdale and has also introduced another retail chain called “M” Stores which are specifically cash-focused. Meikles Limited has already opened “M” Stores in Avondale and another one along Robert Mugabe Road.

On the hotels, the group said the refurbishment and renovations of Victoria Falls Hotel will be done early next year.

Meanwhile in a trading update yesterday, the group said it had reached an agreement with Government for the repayment of the debt owed to the company by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.

“Shareholders are advised that recent developments in negotiations with Government over sums due to the Group necessitate an update and shareholders are also advised that basis on which funds are to be recovered has been agreed.”

Meikles was owed about $90 million by the central bank, a debt that was accrued as way back as 1998.

In terms of operations, the group said revenue for nine months to December 31, 2015 went up 12 percent to $347 million from $310 million of the prior year comparative.

Overall margins together with operating income margins at 21,8 percent were marginally better than those of the previous period of 21,2 percent. Expenses expressed as a percentage of turnovers decreased to 19 percent from 21 percent.

EBITDA for the period increased $9,5 million relative to the previous period.

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