OK's earnings more than double

HARARE – Zimbabwe's second-largest supermarket chain by assets, OK Zimbabwe, recorded a 153 percent increase in full-year earnings in the year through March 2011 as the country's economy recovers.\r\n

The retailer’s headline earnings per share rose to 0.43 cents from 0.17 cents. Headline EPS, the main profit measure in southern Africa, strips out certain one-time items.

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OK said its revenue for the period amounted to $257.4 million, up from $187.5 million the previous year.

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The firm said it expects demand to grow marginally as the economy mends, although Zimbabwe’s high unemployment levels mean low disposable incomes.

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OK recapitalised its operations at the start of the financial year with a $15 million rights issue as well as a $5 million convertible loan.

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OK said the funds were used to refurbish its stores. The company had bought two stores from South Africa’s Massmart during the period.

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Zimbabwe’s economy is recovering under a power-sharing government set up two years ago by long-time ruler President Robert Mugabe and his rival Morgan Tsvangirai, now prime minister, after a decade of sharply declining output and hyperinflation.