Meikles courts international investor

HARARE - Diversified group Meikles Limited is courting an international investor to help spruce up its hotels ahead of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (Unwto) general assembly to be co-hosted by Zimbabwe and Zambia next year.

Local tourism stakeholders are set to benefit immensely from the event, expected to attract more than 5 000 visitors from 180 countries.

“We are in discussions with a large international hotel group, who will partner us in these new developments,” John Moxon, Meikles group chairperson, said in the group’s financials for the half year to September 30, 2012.

Moxon said shareholders will be advised of further progress at the opportune time.

The assembly, scheduled for August, 2013, will be held in the resort town of Victoria Falls.

The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange-listed group is currently refurbishing its flagship Meikles Hotel and Victoria Falls Hotel with the renovations expected to be completed early next year.

“Shareholders are aware of the proposed development in Lusaka, which has been delayed for various reasons, but we believe that this development may commence in 2013,” Moxon added.

Meanwhile, the group registered a $767 000 profit after tax during the half year recovering from a $5 million loss after tax reported same period prior year.

Moxon said the momentum of improvement in the current financial year will accelerate into the second half with October 2012 already indicating a positive trend.

In the group’s retail division, Moxon said the refurbishment programme of its TM Supermarkets (TM) chain will accelerate markedly in the next financial year driven by the successful launch of Pick n Pay Supermarket in Harare.

South Africa’s Pick n Pay recently increased its stake in TM to 49 percent.

“TM will focus on improving its merchandise mix to provide offering to the public at competitive pricing, but at the same time focusing on an improvement in gross profit percentage which although better than the previous year is still below our expectation,” Moxon said.

The group is also planning to open more new supermarkets in the future.

Moxon said the group is still to recover its $40 million deposit from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.

“We are aware that the Reserve Bank intends to accommodate us and we await confirmation of what form the refund of this sum will take and the timing thereof,” he said.

He also said the group expects to benefit from its investment in Mentor Africa Limited. - John Kachembere

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.