Harare, (New Ziana) – Retailer, OK Zimbabwe said on Thursday it recorded a 15 percent slump in sales for the nine months ending December, 2019 compared to the same period in 2018 as consumer demand remained soft.
The predicament of the retailer is being faced across the fast moving consumer goods sector as a combination of a depreciating local currency, increasing prices and low salaries plays havoc on industry.
Even the festive season, a period of high activity in the retail sector, failed to steer sales.
“While there was relative stability in the exchange rate during the quarter to December, 2019, product prices continued to increase albeit at a slower pace,” OK Zimbabwe said in a trading update.
“The stores were adequately stocked for the festive season but demand was subdued reflecting the impact of continual erosion of incomes as a result of hyper inflation.”
The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange listed retailer said its revenue for the quarter, on an inflation adjusted basis was up 10 percent, and up 513 percent on a historical basis.
“Profit margins for the third quarter were consistent with the performance reported for the half year ended 30 September, 2019,” it said.
In the outlook, the retailer said focus will be on cost containment and opening of new stores in areas where it is not present.