Eveready East Africa #ticker:EVRD has registered an after-tax loss of Sh116.4 million for the full-year ended September 2018, down from a profit of Sh267 million even as chief executive Jackson Mutua quit the firm.
Mr Mutua told Business Daily on phone that on Thursday was his last day in office, with the company having already settled on former head of corporate services Margaret Odhiambo as his replacement.
“I need to take a break. It has been extremely demanding and tiresome. It is like a General to war,” Mr Mutua said of his exit that came at almost same time as that of ex-chairperson Catherine Ngahu.
Eveready’s loss came on the back of sales revenue shrinking by 26 percent to Sh251.7 million and in the absence of the Sh452.4 million one-off gain booked in the previous financial year from the sale of its prime property in Nakuru.
The firm’s outgoing CEO said the performance was further weighed down by an extended electioneering period, a tight credit market and increased competition.
“Our revenues declined by 26 percent driven largely by our inability to access key markets in Quarter One as a result of trade uncertainties associated with protracted electioneering period,” said Mr Mutua.
During the financial period, Eveready undertook various cost control measures, leading to a decline in overhead costs by 38 percent or Sh123 million to Sh217.5 million.
Chairperson Lucy Waithaka says the board will still implement more programmes to further shed off costs.
“Our focus in the coming year (ending September 2019) will be achieving the right balance between revenue generation, margin enhancement and cost minimisation,” said Ms Waithaka.
Eveready has restructured the business model from the manufacture of third party brands and now focuses on the Turbo brand to grow revenue.
The firm has been pushing to grow sales for its Turbo brands launched in 2016 after fallout with Energizer. The American firm had given Eveready exclusive rights to distribute its products. This was a major risk for the company since the arrangement with Energizer creating control over product distribution and company margins, Mr Mutua said.