SOUTH AFRICA – Choppies, the Botswana based and JSE listed multinational grocery has reported 22% growth in both sales and net profit and its share price rose 8.3% to US$0.21 for half year results.

The trading statement was expected to be announced earlier in March 21 but delayed due to verification and valuation procedure which the retailer indicated was to be done in conjunction with the new external auditor, PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Revenue climbed 22% high to US$579.2 million while net profit increased to US$6.73 million for the six months ending December 2017.

Most of its revenue was gained from Botswana operations which raised revenue of up to US$232.01 million while South Africa followed close with US$211.83 million, Zimbabwe US$87.76 million then other regions including Zambia contributed US$47.20 million.

Choppies said in Botswana, they maintained their market share and continued to improve efficiencies despite the subdued economic environment in the country.

Zimbabwe continued to perform better with improvement but this was offset by depressed economic conditions.

“Increased benefits of scale and other efficiencies will improve further as we expand our footprint in this region,” said a statement from the company.

In SA, Choppies said significant improvement in the North West stores resulted in like-for-like revenue growth of 43%, bringing it to profitability and this trend was expected to continue in the last half of the year.

To take on retail giants Shoprite and Pick n Pay, acquiring eight additional stores in KwaZulu-Natal to expand footprint in Southern Africa and improve benefits of scale and other efficiencies.

The grocery is said to be gaining market share in SA and recently it entered Mozambique and Namibia to add to its operations in Botswana, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Kenya and Tanzania.

“The opening of new stores and distribution centres in other regions is in accordance with strategies adopted by the board. In the six-month period, three stores were added in Zambia,” the group said.