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Meikles Hospitality Business Buoyed By Return Of Foreign Visitors

Meikles Limited, a listed diversified group, received a significant boost to its hotel division from the rebound in international travel after nearly two years of stagnation due to the COVID-19 pandemic that impacted the sector.

In its latest quarterly update to June  2022, the group said hotel room occupancy for the hospitality segment increased from 11 percent to 35 percent as guests responded to relaxation of travel restrictions.

Of the group total guest, foreigners constituted 90 percent of the guests mix.

“A growth of 24 percentage points in comparison to the same period in the previous year benefiting from the continued easing of both local and international COVID-19 restrictions. The average room rate and revenue per available room grew by 36% and 327% in US$ terms respectively. The guests mix for the period was 90% foreign and 10% local,” said the group.

The advent of the pandemic threw a massive blow to the tourism and hospitality sector as governments across the world put stringent travelling restrictions to contain its spread.

This led to limited businesses for the group as restrictions on domestic travel were also implemented.

This year has seen an improvement in travel following decision by authorities to relax international entry COVID-19 restrictions amid notable decline in the number of reported cases nationwide.

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Vaccinated travelers are no longer obliged to present a pre-departure test as long as they show proof of a complete vaccination scheme.

Meanwhile the group’s retail division recorded growth in volume, revenue, and profit growth despite the tough trading conditions characterized by inflation.

Sales volume for the supermarket grew by 39 percent for the period compared to the same period in the previous financial year.

“Stock levels in the stores remain adequate despite disruptions on supply chain arising from both international and local factors.”

Group revenue grew by 88 percent in inflation adjusted terms as profit before tax was 79 percent up on the same period of the previous year.

“The growth in profit before tax was boosted by exchange gains realized on US$ denominated cash balances held by the Group’s subsidiaries. Exchange gains on the Group’s US$ 19 million cash balance from the disposal of the investment in Mentor was ZWL 6.7 billion and is included in other comprehensive income.”

Operating subsidiaries generated positive cash flows during the period under review. The Group’s financial stability remains strong supported by significant US$ cash balances.

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