By Alois Vinga
LISTED retailer OK Zimbabwe has hailed stable product supply for both local and imported products which spurred revenue and volume growth in the three months ended June 30, 2020.
Presenting the trading update, OK Zimbabwe company secretary Maragaret Munyuru attributed the improved product supply to strong economic fundamentals.
“Product supply remained stable on the back of improved availability of foreign exchange liquidity accessed through the auction system by our supply partners for both local and imported merchandise. The business environment for the quarter under review continued to be characterised by Covid-19 induced restrictions. However, these restrictions were less severe compared to the same period in the prior year,” Munyuru said.
During the period under review ,the group resumed its flagship OK Grand Challenge Promotion which had been temporarily suspended in 2020 due to Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.
The group’s stores were adequately stocked during the quarter as supply partners moved timeously to fulfil growing demand. Revenue for the quarter grew by 263% in historical terms and by 49% in inflation adjusted terms.
Volume performance was aided by a surge in aggregate demand across key product categories with sales volume growing by 48% over the same corresponding period in 2020, attributed to a recovery from more stringent prior year Covid-19 restrictive regulations and the success of the OK Grand Challenge promotion.
However, Munyuru bemoaned the increases in Covid19 cases at the beginning of the winter season which prompted authorities to respond by further tightening the lockdown restrictions and reducing business trading hours from an average of 11 hours to 7,5 hours per trading day.
Added Munyuru: “We have intensified our alertness and responsiveness to the spike in Covid-19 infections and will continue to implement protocols to ensure the safety of the communities in which we operate. The Covid-19 pandemic is expected to persist in the foreseeable future and this will affect businesses across the sectors. The accelerated national vaccination program is quite commendable as it gives hope that the virus will be contained in the medium term.”