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POWERSPEED Electrical Ltd’s turnover for the four months to January is ahead on the same period last year while trading is in line with expectations although operating circumstances are difficult for the retail sector. The company has adopted a long- term profitability strategy which will be achieved by a combination of strategies including extension and improvement of its branches. Efficiency will also play a significant part in the growth strategy.

Powerspeed chief executive Mr Hilton Macklin told the company’s annual general meeting yesterday that the expansion of branch network which includes increasing the floor size and number of branches, will only be carried out in line with measures to contain costs.

Extensive renovations are currently underway at the company’s branches.

He said each branch’s cost to turnover ratio currently stands at between one and three percent, which is within the acceptable standards set by the company.

Since the last AGM the company has opened two branches in Southerton and Westgate.

“Our long term plan is to achieve substantial growth in terms of footprint,” said Mr Macklin.

Mr Macklin said the company is making steady progress on the solar business. Powerspeed is setting up a pilot solar energy production plant in Zimbabwe in partnership with a Swiss clean energy firm, Meeco Group.

He said the ZETDC and the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority had approved the project but negotiations on the finer details are in progress.

“We are negotiating with ZETDC and the regulatory authority on the interconnections with the grid. The project has been approved but only technical details are yet to be finalised,” said Mr Macklin.

In the full year to September 2014 Powerspeed reported that revenue rose 18 percent driven by retail sales after increasing products on offer by as much as 40 percent.

Revenue, mostly from electrical goods, increased to $33 million in the year to September from about $28,6 million in 2013.

Last year the group added three more branches in Harare, Gweru and Chinhoyi while retail space was expanded in Bulawayo, Chiredzi and Masvingo.

Source : The Herald