Clothing retain chain Edgars Stores has reported an operating loss of $2.2 million in the first quarter to March 2016, as weak sales widened losses from the $1.6 million loss made in the first quarter of last year.
Unit sales were 2.1 percent lower on the comparative period and 19.4 percent behind budget.
Gross margin was lower than last year at 45.9 percent compared to 48.3 percent achieved in the same period last year.
Group managing director, Linda Masterson, said the lower margins were attributable to the increased sales contribution by the Jet chain and declining sales in the Edgars chain.
“Trading environment remains tough but we are performing well under the circumstances,” said Masterson while briefing shareholders at the group’s annual general meeting in Bulawayo.
She noted that during the period under review, no new stores were opened and they were planning to close two Jet outlets in Kariba and Chipinge.
The debtors book increased by 13.4 percent over last year as customers struggled to pay on time.
The number of accounts as at March stood at 257 058, with 67.7 percent being active compared to 72.1 percent last year.
Total borrowing were $14.8 million, of which $7.9 million was current and the balance payable after April 27.
Finance costs amounted to 4.9 percent of turnover to date while finance income was $2.8 million compared to $2.4 million for same period last year, she said.
Going forward, Masterson said the group they will continue to closely monitor the trading environment and review their targets accordingly.
“The group is still studying the recent changes to the financial markets brought about by the monetary authorities and will align the business accordingly,” she said.- The Source