ZSE-Listed furniture and electronic retailer, Axia Corporation Limited’s inaugural Group Chief Executive Officer, John Koumides has retired after nearly seven years at the helm with Group Finance Director Ray Rambanapasi elevated to steer the ship going forward.

Axia brands include TV Sales & Home, Transerv and Distribution Group Africa across Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi.

“The Board of Directors of Axia Corporation Limited would like to announce the retirement of the Group Chief Executive Officer Mr John Koumides with effect from 31 December 2022,” said the Group.

“He played a leading role in the growth of the Group during his tenure, ensuring that our extensive knowledge of the African business environment particularly Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi helped us meet our customers and beneficiaries at their points of need.”

Koumides oversaw the Group’s unbundling process from Innscor Africa Limited in 2016 becoming its first CEO playing a major role in its growth as one of the retail and distribution sector’s biggest players in country. Koumides’s growth strategy has been largely centered on a robust store network expansion across the country which has seen TV Sales & Home having 49 retail sites totalling 29,279m2 located countrywide and has a staff complement of 176.

However, at the time of his retirement the Group has been undergoing a tough period characterized by high interest rates which affected its local currency debtors books although it has since re-introduced the US-debtors book which is relatively performing well.

Rambanapasi’s biggest headache will be to redeem volumes declines across all the Group segments which significantly waned in the latest trading update for its first quarter (Q1-23) to September.

At TV Sales &Home volumes decreased by 19 percent in Q1 compared to the same period previous year due to the restrictive pricing pressures experienced in the first two months of the quarter. Transerv volumes were also down 9 percent owing to pricing pressures as inflation weighed heavily on consumer power.

At DGA Zimbabwe, volumes were 27 percent below the prior comparative period as a result of the dampened demand in the formal sector and management’s decision to stop supplying some customers to manage the risk on the extent of debtor balances. On the regional front, DGA volumes were 3 percent ahead of previous period. —263Chat

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