OK Zim reports strong quarter despite Covid-19 headwinds

LIVINGSTONE MARUFU

Listed retail group, OK Zimbabwe Limited, reported a strong performance in the third quarter (Q3) to December 31, 2020 despite the pandemic headwinds which have destabilised the operating environment.

Many companies have bemoaned the negative impact of Covid-19, which has ravaged businesses and left many enterprises on the edge.

But, the company secretary, Margaret Munyuru, said OK Zimbabwe remained adequately stocked and profitable in Q3.

Revenue for the group grew 27% in Q3 and 3% during the financial year.

Munyuru said sales volumes grew 7% for the quarter but were below prior year by 15% for the nine months.

The year-to-date volume is negative; this is an improvement from the retreat by 26.9% reported for the half year ended September 30 2020.

“The group continues to operate profitably and margins for the third quarter were consistent with the performance reported for the half year of 2020,” Munyuru said.

She added: “The relaxation of the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions improved operating conditions for the business during the third quarter to December.

The extension of trading hours and the traffic resulted in increased footfall into the stores.

The retailer was able to access the foreign currency from the forex auction system to stock up the shop and made goods readily available.

This led to a relative stability in the market.”

In January this year, the government imposed extreme Covid-19 measures, following a serious surge in infections.

This, she said, would likely impact on the retailer’s performances in the near term.

“The Covid-19 pandemic is expected to persist up to the end of the financial year and beyond and whilst the curtailment of non-essential business activity and restrictions on people mobility impacts both the supply chain and customer activity in our stores.

The company has engaged suppliers to ensure the availability of merchandise for trading in the stores.”

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