I have pleasure in presenting the report for the financial year ended 31 March 2015.
Meikles Limited comprises six operating segments as follows:
- Financial Services
- Guard Services
Turnover for the Group increased by 8%. All segments contributed to the increase except for Agriculture, which was adversely affected by the decrease in world tea commodity prices. The increased turnover suggests growth in market share, a key objective that is expected to continue in the 2016 financial year, particularly in the retail segments.
Renovations to and the expansion of Group properties and operations increased depreciation costs. In addition, employee costs relative to turnover increased due to the need to employ personnel and develop their skills prior to their ultimate placement.
Interest charges remain at unacceptable levels, and reducing them will depend on the timing of the recovery of the outstanding RBZ debt.
The Group experienced currency exchange losses on its investment in South Africa due to the devaluation of the South African rand against the US dollar.
The Stores and Meikles Mega Market incurred substantial restructuring expenditure including regrettable – but necessary – reductions in employee numbers. This was partly a result of the Group being unable to access the debt due by the RBZ within the expected time frame, which meant the segment was unable to secure adequate investment in inventory and the resultant momentum. The Group expects to progressively overcome this problem in the forthcoming financial year, and believes Stores and Meikles Mega Market are poised for substantial expansion and a return to profitability…