Diversified hospitality group, Meikles Limited, says refurbishment of its vacant properties is expected to start in the second half of the forthcoming financial year with potential tenants already showing interest.
This comes as the group closed its departmental stores such as Barbours. The group also operated Greatermans Stores, which also closed.
Executive chairman John Moxon, indicated potential tenants had lined up to take space in the department stores that have been vacant for some time now.
“Plans to renovate and upgrade the group’s property portfolio are at an advanced stage and the roll out is anticipated to commence during the second half of the forthcoming financial year,” said Mr Moxon in a statement accompanying the group’s financial results for the year to March 31, 2020.
“Several tenants have expressed interest to lease the properties, which had been left vacant following the closure of the group’s departmental stores.”
According to the group, an investment of $386,6 million was also made towards refurbishment of stores under the supermarkets division trading as TM Pick n Pay. This also included the construction of an upmarket mall in Marondera.
Meanwhile, the obtaining Covid-19 pandemic had stalled progress in the refurbishment of The Victoria Falls Hotel.
“The refurbishment of The Victoria Falls Hotel was due to commence in April 2020 but has been disrupted by the outbreak of Covid-19.
“The hotel closed in March 2020 when international travel and tourism stopped as countries implemented travel restrictions and lockdowns to contain the spread of the corona virus,” said Mr Moxon.
Although the hotel is currently closed and under care and maintenance, Mr Moxon indicated it has working capital resources to enable it to maintain its financial independence well into the calendar year. The Cape Grace Hotel is also in the same position.
During the FY20, overall group profit surged 336 percent to $1.4 billion compared to $320.6 million achieved in the prior year boosted by the disposal of Meikles Hotel.
Growth in profitability for the year was buoyed by a $118.7 million profit on disposal of the Harare hotel.
The disposal of Meikles Hotel was completed at the end of February 2020 and control was transferred to the buyer in March 2020.
Total comprehensive income for the year was $1.1 billion from $561.4 million last year, of which $790,8 million was attributable to the owners of the parent with the remaining balance of $340,7 million being for minority shareholders.
Group revenue for continuing operations grew 6 percent to $8.8 billion from $8.3 billion in the prior year.
Going forward the group will continue with expansion and renovation plans with a focus on Tanganda and supermarkets.
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