BATA Zambia Plc shoe company says prudent financial and cash flow has been solid since the beginning of the year owing to improved working capital management but has bemoaned the high cost of rentals.
The business performance of the company for the period ending June 30th, 2016, was 3 percent short of the previous year.
This is contained in the firm’s unaudited interim results for the first quarter of 2016 availed on behalf of the board by company secretary John Murathe who explained that the financial position and cash was solid owing to improved working capital management. Mr Marathe however said that rental costs had remained a challenge as the annual increment was not matching with its business growth.
“The rental cost continues to be a challenge as the annual increment is not matching with the business growth. We have enhanced strong measures on efficient operations and reduce overall cost.
Due to prudent financial and cost controls, the company’s financial position and cash flow has been solid since the beginning of the year. This is also due to improved working capital management,” he said.
Mr Murathe said that the performance was affected by the poor rainfall patterns experienced in Southern and Eastern provinces as well as the retrenchment of some miners on the Copperbelt, hence business was below expectation.
Meanwhile, Bata stores in Lusaka performed well and nearly sales of every store was above the previous year. He said that the shoe company had begun to see improvement in business in other provinces and the second season would help the firm recover lost ground.
Mr Murathe expected business recovery in the second quarter especially with improved and more exciting new products to offer the local market as well as through the imparting of product knowledge of sales staff members and the right skills on customer care.