OK Zimbabwe registers loss (08-08-07)

ZIMBABWE Stock Exchange (ZSE) retailer OK Zimbabwe said it registered an operating loss in the month of July 2007, the company revealed in a trading update at its AGM held in Harare yesterday.
Though the company was not at liberty to quantify the monetary value of the loss, the price freeze me

ant that in spite of OK exceeding the volume growth target for July mainly due to panic buying by consumers, there was no commensurate appreciation in value.
The company also highlighted that it was very low on stocks with consumers helping create the shortages through rushing to buy any commodity that they consider basic as soon as they see it in the shops.
The retailer said fuel shortages have also contributed to the unavailability of products on the shelves. Without it, products cannot move around as manufacturers are failing to meet the demands by retailers with country branches suffering the most.
In the first quarter to June 30, 2007 sales went up 17 215% against the comparative period and exceeded budget by 3 000%. Sales growth was also ahead of overheads.
Shrinkage levels as at the last stock take were 0,6% and much lower than the traditional 1% average.
Store expansion is envisaged and a number of sites are at various stages of negotiations.
Mabvuku and Glen View sites have already been secured with the City of Harare. Another store is targeted in Manicaland.
Major refurbishments have been completed at OK Gweru and OK Second Street will convert to a Borne Marche outlet.
ABC Holdings’ US$20 million share swap deal with the International Finance Corporation has reached an advanced stage with the regional financial powerhouse warning its shareholders to deal prudently with its shares pending finalisation of the deal.
The impending transaction seeks to raise funds to finance the group’s ambitious regional expansion programmes and working capital for the bank’s subsidiaries.
If approved the transaction will witness IFC extending its seven-year loan to ABCH, which together with the subscription, will result in a total of US$20 million additional debt and capital being raised.
The group, which currently has 132 568 680 shares in issue, will cede 14 729 853 ordinary shares to IFC as part of the deal.
In a statement last week, ABC said it “wishes to advise shareholders that it has entered into negotiations which, if successful, will have a material impact on the company’s share”.
“Accordingly, shareholders are advised to exercise caution in dealing in the company’s shares until a full announcement is made.”
ABCH’s union with IFC will result in the pooling of expertise in areas such as risk management and advisory services.
Furthermore, the broadening of the shareholder base will afford the group access to lines of credit, specialists training while enhancing ABCH’s ability to undertake large projects. African Banking Corporation’s reinforced capital base will result in a greater degree of security and comfort for the group’s business partners.
The planned investment into business operations will also result in a greatly enhanced range and quality of service that the group avails to its customers.
In June ABCH deferred its extraordinary meeting to consider the deal with IFC to August with a view to finalising an operational framework for the transaction.


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