SOUTH AFRICA – Botswana based retailer, Choppies Enterprises Limited has resumed trading on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) after a two-year hiatus.
Choppies, which has a primary listing on the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) and secondary listing on the JSE, was suspended from the local bourse in November 2018 after it delayed releasing its financial results.
The lifting of the suspension follows the extensive engagement with the JSE after the local bourse BSE recommenced the trading of the company’s shares on its board on the 27 July 2020.
This was after the company published its audited financial results for the years ended 30 June 2020 and 30 June 2019 as well as their interim results ended December 2019.
“Following extensive engagement, the JSE has agreed to lift the suspension of the company’s shares and to recommence trading on the JSE from 13 November 2020,” the company said in a statement.
The retailer found its-self in the quagmire after allegations of fraud surrounded the company relating to how it had conducted and recorded stock takes at its SA-owned stores at the time and its Zimbabwe businesses.
In 2019, it announced an investigation by an EY forensic team, which uncovered accounting irregularities.
“Following extensive engagement, the JSE has agreed to lift the suspension of the company’s shares and to recommence trading on the JSE from 13 November 2020.”Choppies Enterprises Limited
In a twist turn of events, the company saw its then auditor PwC terminate its working relationship due to the retailer’s risk profile, reports Iol.
Choppies struggled to find new auditors until Mazars took it on in February 2020 more than 7 months after the FY19 year end.
The group was also affected by the COVID -19 outbreak coupled with the lock-downs in the countries it operates which added to the hold up of results.
Apart from recovering its reputation, the retailer is also making strides to improve its balance sheet.
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).
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.
It is continuing with its operations in Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Namibia.
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