Eveready East Africa Limited is owed Sh11 million by the financially troubled Uchumi Supermarkets, the firm’s managing director, Mr Jackson Mutua, has revealed.
The debt, according to Mr Mutua, was part of the Sh77 million the company recorded as a loss in 2015.
However, he said that so far the former battery manufacturer had been able to recover Sh5 million from the supermarket chain.
Uchumi is currently facing serious cash flow problems, forcing it to close down several stores across the country, among them its Nakuru and Kisii outlets.
The supermarket chain owes its suppliers more than Sh3.6 billion, while its total liabilities have surpassed its assets by nearly Sh200 million, putting the once successful retailer in a negative equity position. “Uchumi Supermarket was one of our key accounts, which contributed 60 per cent of our sales,” said Mr Makau.
While fielding questions from the company shareholders during the 49th annual general meeting in Nakuru, Mr Makau said the firm does not operate accounts in any of the troubled banks.
To shore up its profits, Mr Makau said the company, which has reduced its financial loss for the year under review by Sh100 million, has introduced at least four products within the household segment. They include bulbs, car batteries, under the brand name Turbo, and pens.
The Turbo battery is a partnership with the Chloride Exide of Egypt, while the rest of the products such as a bleaching agent under the brand name cholorox are manufactured locally.