Since President Cyril Ramaphosa’s first national address on measures to combat Covid-19 nearly two weeks ago, the Edcon Group’s CEO announced that the business finds itself in deep financial trouble.
CEO Grant Pattison said the group finds itself “in unchartered waters and in a time of great uncertainty,” adding that its turnover has declined 45% since the same period last year.
A statement released on Thursday explains that for the month of March, Edcon will also be R400 million below forecast.
The coronavirus pandemic has not helped the group’s already constrained finances, with the statement explaining that the company only has sufficient liquidity to pay salaries, and cannot honour any other accounts at the moment.
The 21-day lockdown means Edcon is projected to lose a further R800 million in turnover and will mean “an additional significant shortage of cash by end of April”.
Pattison said what Edcon was experiencing was “an early indicator” of what challenges lie ahead for government and business after the lockdown.
He added that the timing of the lockdown could not have been worse, as traditionally, the months of March and November are time periods of “constrained liquidity”.
At the moment, Pattison said Edcon was concentrating on hunkering down until the lockdown ends, and would be working with government and stakeholders for possible assistance.
He concluded by remaining cautiously optimistic, assuring they would not be giving up.
“I hope that we will all emerge from this with an opportunity to repair the collective economic damage wrought by Covid-19.”
The Edcon Group operates Edgars, Jet and CNA, and runs the Thank U programme.
(Compiled by Nica Schreuder)