Truworths Slowly Moving Out Of The Woods

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By Alois Vinga

LEADING clothing manufacturer, Truworths, is slowly moving out of the woods after sales volumes recorded a positive trajectory for most of the year.

Presenting the group’s financial performance recently, the company’s chief executive officer, Bhekithemba Ndebele said units sold in the last quarter had recorded a significant increase.

“Units sold in the fourth quarter were 18, 1% up from -23, 3% units sold in the first half of 2021 and -59, 3% sold in thirds quarter.

“The closure of the business in January and February resulted in a loss of sales for the 2 months. In the absence of a relief package, the business incurred the full operating costs for the months of January and February which resulted in a Trading Loss for the quarter and half year,” he said.

He said during the review period, the lockdown in January and February prompted the factory  not to receive the specialised winter fabrics for garment manufacture as the retail chains relied on purchasing the limited and non-exclusive ranges from local manufacturers. Stock turnovers were good and there were no markdowns. Gross margins were firm.

“The credit book grew by 153% and 85% of the customers were in good standing and able to purchase compared to 80% in the prior year. The doubtful debt allowance as a percentage of gross debtors was 6,7% compared to 13,4% in the prior year,” said Ndebele.

However despite late recoveries, total comprehensive loss/income for the period was ZW$67,6 million.

“The business remains focused on growing profitability sustainably. Consumer Incomes have not recovered to pre-devaluation levels hence credit granting will remain cautious and the emphasis will remain on increasing cash sales participation.

“Any future hard lockdowns will obviously have a negative impact on business performance,” added Ndebele.