Diversified listed group, Meikles Limited yielded to headwinds propelled by the COVID-19 pandemic to post an earnings decline of 7 and 8 percent in inflation-adjusted terms for the quarter and nine months to December 2020, respectively.
Sales volume at the supermarkets segment declined by 4 percent and 22 percent for the quarter and year to date respectively, relative to same period of the previous year.
Business hours were reduced consistent with lockdown regulations put in place by authorities to curb the spread of the virus.
For the agriculture segment, bulk tea production benefited from early rains and grew by 41 percent and 6 percent for the quarter and year to date, respectively.
Bulk tea production was 17 percent behind last year as at the half year ended 30 September 2020.
“In volume terms, bulk tea export sales were behind last year by 8 percent and 10 percent for the quarter and year to date, respectively. Average bulk tea export price for the quarter of US$1.39/kg was on par with the average price achieved same period last year but was 6 percent behind last year for the year to date,”
Packed tea and coffee sales volume grew by 24 percent and 18 percent for the quarter and year to date respectively.
Profit after tax for the quarter, exceeded same period of last year in both inflation-adjusted and historical cost terms, the Group said.
The Group is however expecting revenue for the financial year to remain depressed owing to the impact of the second wave of COVID-19 likely to affect its hospitality business.
“Whilst the Group’s main segments are classified as essential service and continue to operate, revenue is likely to be affected by reducing volumes to the end of the financial year and beyond,” the Group said.