Choppies reports single digit rise in revenue boosted by business consolidation, restructuring

BOTSWANA – Southern African retailer, Choppies Supermarket having operations in Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Zambia has posted positive results for the year to end June 2020 despite the COVID-19 pandemic which cost the company about P190 million (US$16.4m) in revenue.

The super market chain operator managed to increase its revenue by 1% to P5.421 billion (US$468m) and gross profit by 3% to P1.253 billion (US$108.1m).

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According to reports by News Day, it raised its gross margin from 22.7% to 23.1%.

The solid performance comes on the back of a period of consolidation and restructure, improved corporate governance and the withdrawal from non-performing operations in markets including South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, and Mozambique.

“We have traded strongly following the exit from certain markets and the impact of COVID-19 and hyperinflation in Zimbabwe.

“We are particularly pleased by the strong growth in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) and our ability to consolidate our continuing business in Botswana, Zambia, Namibia and Zimbabwe,” said Choppies Chief Executive Ram Ottapathu.

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The supermarket chain said the bottom line was adversely affected by the discontinuation of its operations in the named locations.

Its Profit for the period grew by 1 314% to P98.9 million (US$8.5m) from last year’s P6.9 million (US$560k) but the gains were offset by loss of P469.5 million (US$40.7m) incurred from discontinued operations.

The group recorded a total loss of P371 million (US$32m), this was down 14% on the P429 million (US$37m) loss it incurred in 2019.

Its EBIDTA improved by 109% with operating profit by 126% to P208 million (US$17.95m).

Earnings per share grew by 767% to 8.1 cents; and basic headline earnings per share increased by 227%.

“We are particularly pleased by the strong growth in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) and our ability to consolidate our continuing business in Botswana, Zambia, Namibia and Zimbabwe.”

Choppies Chief Executive – Ram Ottapathu.

Ottapathu said the board continued to act in the best interests of the business and shareholders with a strong focus on debt reduction.

He indicated that all legal and forensic investigations facing the company regarding accounting irregularities were completed and there were no reported irregularities found in the recent financial results.

“Recognised corporate governance policies and structures are now in place. This continues to be the main focus areas for the board.

“I am confident that the actions we have taken will reposition Choppies as the preferred retailer for mass grocery and financial services in the countries in which we operate, thereby maximising shareholder value,” he said.

The Botswna headquartered supermarket resumed trading on the Botswana Stock Exchange after a 20-month suspension following the company’s failure to publish its financial results.

The Botswana based retailer finally released its long awaited audited financial results for the year end-June 2019 on 24th July 2020.

It is still waiting to resume trading on Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) where it has a secondary listing.

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