Agriculture anchors Meikles’ Q3 earnings as exports trail 

Tapiwanashe Mangwiro
Harare – Meikles Limited recorded impressive performances in the agriculture segment for the third quarter ended 31 December 2020, with bulk tea production volumes scaling up 41% in the quarter and 6% year to date from what the company said was due to early rains.
This is despite that bulk tea production at HY21 ending 20 September 2020 was 17% behind the prior year same period.
Bulk tea exports were lower due to logistical problems caused by Covid-19, as this saw export volumes plunge 8% and 10% in the quarter and year to date respectively. This is despite tea exports price of US$1.39/kg in the quarter was at par with Q3 2020 financial period price, but 6% lower on the year to date comparison.
“Packed tea and coffee sales volume grew by 24% and 18% for the quarter, and year to date respectively,” the company said.
Group profit for the quarter ended 31 December 2020 closed above the recorded profit for the same period last year in both inflation adjusted and historical terms, according to company secretary Thabani Mpofu.
However, on the overall group revenue was down 7% in the quarter and 8% year to date weighed down by reduced performance on the retail and hospitality front.
Supermarket segment saw volumes of sales dip by 4% in the third quarter despite the festive frenzy. In the year to date performance the company’s supermarket sales volumes were down a hefty 22%. Despite the fall, it was a better performance from the HY21 ended 30 September 2020, 31% plunge, meaning sales volumes improved by 9% since then.
Meikles anticipates a growth in exports and further growth in the agriculture segment as the Group said it’s dams were full and ready for irrigation. This also comes with the readily available energy source after the company embarked on its solar project to prevent any value chain mishaps.

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