SOUTH AFRICA – Pick n Pay Stores, South Africa’s third largest grocery retailer, has appointed senior executive Lerena Olivier as the new chief finance officer (CFO), effective September 6, 2019.

Oliver will replace Pick n Pay’s long serving CFO, Aboubakar Jakoet, who the retailer announced in April will be retiring after 34 years with the group once a successor had been appointed.

Oliver has been a senior executive within Pick n Pay’s finance division for the past eight years.

She currently heads Pick n Pay’s reporting and finance team, and has a strong background in finance, risk management, strategy, accounting and tax.

With 18 years of experience with JSE-listed companies in the retail sector, the company is confident that “her expertise and experience equip her extremely well for her new role as Group CFO.”

The retailer said that Jakoet will continue to serve in a non-executive capacity on the Pick n Pay board.

The appointment comes at a time when the group is considering to expand into new markets, adding to its already established presence in South Africa Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Eswatini, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

While presenting its financial results for the 53 weeks period to March 3rd 2019, Pick n Pay said it had started building a store in Nigeria, which would open in 2019, and it planned to open two more in that market.

The retailer reported a profit after tax of US$114.74 million (R1.65bn) in the 53-week period, compared to US$90.4 million (R1.3bn) in the prior 52-weeks while on a pro-forma basis, net profit was up 19.9% as turnover grew 7.1% coupled with improved margins.

It said the group had maintained its focus on the objectives set out in its long-term plan of building a leaner and more cost-effective business

“Over the past six years, a relentless focus on improving cost and operating effectiveness has enabled the group to invest in a winning customer offer through lower prices, more attractive promotions, better and more innovative products.

“The group continues to build a stronger and more resilient business in Zambia, and remains confident of the long-term growth prospects of this business, notwithstanding a currently difficult trading environment,” Pick n Pay said.