Zimbabwe-based conglomerate Meikles Limited has reported an 89.3-percent drop in profit at the end of its 2021 financial period owing to disruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic that impacted the group’s operating segments.
At the end of the group’s 2021 financial year ending on March 31, profit after tax slumped by 89.3 percent to ZWL373.3 million ($1.15 million), down from the ZWL3.5 billion ($10.9 million) in profit that the company reported in 2020. Meanwhile, revenue increased by three percent to ZWL28.4 billion ($88 million) from ZWL 27.6 billion ($86 million) in 2020.
Despite the resilience demonstrated by its top-line figures, the unprecedented effects of the pandemic severely impacted the performance of its hospitality segment. As a result, operating revenue was pressured significantly while profitability was eroded in the period under review.
Meikles is a Zimbabwean company with a diverse portfolio of investments in hospitality, retail, supermarkets, agriculture and financial services, operating under the leadership of Zimbabwean multimillionaire businessman John Moxon, the single largest individual shareholder, with 27,933,226 issued shares.
Meikles is a significant player in Zimbabwe. The group manages leading brands and subsidiaries such as Victoria Falls Hotel, TM Supermarkets, Meikles Stores, Tanganda Tea, Meikles Centar Mining and Meikles Guard Services.
Moxon, who serves as the chairman, disclosed that the group posted resilient financial performance in 2021 despite the pandemic, with its cash position improving substantially.
He noted that the previous year’s profit included a monetary gain of ZWL4.5 billion ($14 million), whereas the year under review has recorded a monetary loss of ZWL 725.2 million ($2.25 million), a decline of ZWL 5.2 billion ($16 million) from the previous year.
Despite the double-digit drop in profits, Meikles maintained its dividend stance as the board declared a final dividend of ZWL1.00 ($0.0031) per share, taking the total dividend for the financial year to ZWL1.85 (0.0057) per share, inclusive of two interim dividends of 0.425 (0.0013) per share each paid in December 2020 and May 2021.
The final dividend distribution will see Moxon pocket a total dividend of ZWL27.9 million ($86,750), taking his dividend earnings this year to ZWL51.7 million ($160,500).