ZIMBABWE Stock Exchange-listed Edgars Stores Limited is on course to achieve a turnover of above US$65 million by year end following a 4,8% increase in sales units during the first four months of the year, the company’s managing director Linda Masterson said at an annual general meeting in Bulawayo yesterday.
Report by Gamma Mudarikiri
Masterson said by April this year, unit sales grew 4,8% above budget while retail sales jumped 13% up compared to the same period last year although the figure is the projected target.
The increase in sales was helped by a 2,5% increase in the number of accounts to 186 029 from the December last year figure of 181 029, while the debtors book marginally improved a percentage up to 77,5% in the period.
Masterson, however, said active accounts decreased to 73,7% compared to 78,9% recorded in the comparative period the previous year attributed to the fact that most customers were heavily indebted.
“Active accounts percentages are decreasing,” said Masterson. “This is because Zimbabweans have become much more indebted and may have incurred losses through failed pyramid scheme investments,” she added.
She, however, said operating profit was way above target although she could not give the actual figures, saying it was still too early to divulge such information.
Gross margins, however, decreased to 45,2% against a budget of 46,1% partly due to mark down action.
Masterson said the company has repaid all short-term debt and is servicing the medium term ones which resulted in finance cost declining by 41,4% from the period compared.
Masterson said the Edgars chain stocks were well balanced, while Jet was, however, slightly overstocked by 12 weeks by end of June.
She said that the company would continue on an expansion drive with a new Jet store expected to be opened in Harare by end of June, while five more premises have been secured of which one will be an Edgars Stores.
Edgars is targeting by year end turnover of between $65 and $67 million, trading profit of 15% of turnover, profit after tax of between $4,4 to $4,7 million and gross margins of 46%.