Edgars records 111,4% growth

Leading clothing retailer Edgars Stores Ltd recorded 111,4% growth in turnover for the first-half of the year driven by increased credit sales and improved production from its manufacturing unit.

The group said a wider merchandise assortment had resulted in increased profitability.

Revenue rose to $20,548 million in the six months to July from $10, 255 million in the same period last year.

In a statement accompanying the group’s financial results, Edgars chairperson Thembinkosi Sibanda said despite the Express chain having faced stiff competition from both formal and informal traders, it achieved growth of 26,2%.

“While this growth is modest against the results in the credit chain, it was well above inflation and GDP (gross domestic product) growth, indicating a slight improvement in market share,” he said.

Sibanda said improvement in productivity in the manufacturing unit had been slow, but steady with a 33, 5% improvement from prior year.

“Measures taken are now starting to take effect and the second-half (and beyond) should produce a profit though it will not erase the first-half losses,” he said.

Edgars recorded a 94% increase in retail sales for the year ended July 2011 to $19,6 million from $10,1 million last year same period. The firm’s trading profit grew 1 028% to $2,3 million in the first six months of the year.

Basic earnings per share went up 20 cents from a loss of 25 cents per share in the comparative period of 2010.

Sibanda said financing costs had a large impact on earnings that grew by 180%. Average cost of borrowings improved to 14,6% in June from 18,2% at year end.

“In August we opened a state-of-the- art Edgars store at Joina City, Harare, and plans are in place to open more stores this year,” said Sibanda

The number of debtors’ accounts grew to 133 598 from 111 199 at the year end. Debt collection rate averaged 25% for the period peaking to 29% in June.

“We will continue to monitor and evaluate credit-worthiness in the face of increased competition from financial institutions,” added Sibanda.

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