Meikles embarks on properties facelift

TINASHE MAKICHI

Zimbabwe Stock Exchange-listed Meikles Limited is refurbishing its properties across the country as part of plans to attract high net worth tenants, an executive has said, as the group seeks to maximise on its assets.

The properties earmarked for a facelift used to house the group’s now defunct departmental stores operations including Greatermans, Barbours and Meikles Mega Market.

Meikles Limited executive chairman, John Moxon, confirmed the latest development to Business Times this week, saying the group was eyeing high net worth tenants.

“Meikles Limited will finally have a portfolio of renovated investment properties with excellent tenants. Each property is well located,” Moxon said.

In Mutare, the properties have been redeveloped in part and when complete in the second quarter, it will be fully let to leading retail and fast-food outlets, he said.

The Masvingo properties will have largely banks and retail outlets, while Bulawayo properties will be redeveloped during this year to house Pick n Pay.

But, the rest of the ground floor and part of the first floor will be developed for retail fast food and bank space with a shopping mall concept, Moxon said.

Moxon said the Harare’s Robert Mugabe and Orr Street property will be fully developed this year and Pick n Pay will take up all of what used to be the department store.

This will be a substantial development.

The existing TM in Orr Street will be divided into several retail and service outlets.

The Gweru property, Moxon said is already fully developed with a Pick n Pay and other retail outlets ready to occupy the property.

Meanwhile, Meikles Limited said it has also completed building internal power generation capacity and work on 1.8MW solar farm at Tanganda’s Ratelshoek, the group’s biggest estate.

The group’s export-oriented projects at Tanganda are now being implemented, but will require additional borrowings, which is not considered desirable.

This therefore means the sale of Meikles hotel will avoid the necessity to borrow for these projects and proceeds from the sale are expected to be introduced into group segments.

In its financial results for the year ended September30, 2020, Meikles’ inflation adjusted top line stood at ZWL$11.2bn, which was a 8% decline from the same period in prior year due to the devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The group’s operating profit during the reviewed period declined to ZWL$660.4m from ZWL$1.1bn reported in the same period in 2019.

Inflation adjusted group profit after tax  also declined to ZWL$189m  from ZWL$2.1bn reported in prior period  owing to the  adverse impact of the monetary loss of ZWL$1.1bn arising from the US$ denominated bank and receivable balances.

“The group’s statement of financial position remains strong despite Covid-19 disruptions during the period under review,” Meikles Limited said.

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