Pelhams appoints new MD

HARARE - Pelhams Limited (Pelhams) has appointed Middleton Chikowore as managing director following the acquisition of a 58 percent stake in the furniture retailer by Lifestyle Holdings (Lifestyle), formerly TN Financial Holdings.

Chikowore, previously working for Lifestyle, has a corporate finance background and is widely regarded as Tawanda Nyambirai’s right hand man.

Chikowore said the appointment was part of a strategy to fully leverage operations.

Oswell Masoha and Isaiah Mukudu were retained as chief executive and chief operating officer respectively.

“I think you will appreciate that the business has gone through a rough patch in the recent past and we are obviously glad the shareholder dispute was finally resolved. At the moment the thrust is to maximise on this festive period because about 40 to 50 percent of our turnover comes in during this period,” said Chikowore.

He added that Pelhams was now offering favourable credit terms of between 12 to 24 months along with top notch products.

“We have got a host of locally assembled products from our local suppliers as well as imported products from Malaysia, Brazil and South Africa. We are as aggressive as ever,” said Chikowore.

Mukudu added that the group was looking at strengthening its financial position in the short term and consolidating growth in the long term.

“We had lost a bit of ground and we would want to get back to a level where we have always been a market leader and then we can start looking at growth. We had identified areas like Hwange and Gwanda were we had a market that could support branches, but our aim is to re-establish these sites after strengthening our position,” said Mukudu.

Pelhams recorded a loss of $508 865 in the half year to September 30, 2012 recovering from a $586 000 loss incurred in comparative period prior year.

Credit sales plummeted to 65 percent of total sales compared to a prior year figure of 73 percent.

“The business is driven by an effective credit model and the inability to support this had the effect of reducing sales significantly,” said Nyambirai, Pelhams chairman. - Kudzai Chawafambira

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