ZIMBABWE – Simbisa Brands, Zimbabwe’s largest fast-food restaurant operator has opened a new branch in Redcliff town in the Midlands province of Zimbabwe, as part of a business expansion drive.

The new outlet housing the company’s three brands, Chicken Inn, Pizza Inn and Baker’s Inn, is part of its expansion programme, which seeks to see the company opening more branches across the country by year end.

“Today Simbisa Holdings operates more than 230 stores across the country. Simbisa Holdings is growing and is scheduled to open more stores before year end,” said Simbisa marketing manager, Fortunate Mushongande.

The new store has offered more than 40 jobs opportunities to the locals, an addition to the over 3,000 individuals employed at the Quick Service Restaurant countrywide.

Before the new branch, Redcliff and Torwood residents had to drive to Kwekwe, about 20 kilometers away to get their favourite dishes.

The Simbisa investment comes in as a boost to Redcliff Municipality, which is in the process of relocating its central business district to the highway.

Simbisa Brands records triple digit rise in revenue

In the group’s half year period ended 31 December 2020, the company reported a 101% rise in the group’s half year revenue for the period ended 31 December 2020 to ZWL 8 billion (US$22.1m) from ZWL 3.9 billion (US$10.7m) of the corresponding period in 2019.

The growth in earnings was reflected in its home country Zimbabwe, recording a 44% rise in revenue mainly driven by a 56 percent increase in average spend despite customer counts falling by 7% year on year.

In the rest of the region, whilst revenue fell by 14% in USD terms, driven by a 19 percent decline in customer counts offset by a 6 percent increase in average spend, translation into Zimbabwean dollars reflects a 500 percent growth.

Restrictive trading conditions prevailed in the six-month period under review, with Simbisa Kenya trading on 33% less counter trading hours compared to the prior year period.

Through aggressive marketing campaigns, value offerings and new store openings, the decline in customer counts was a more moderate 23% year on year and the impact on revenue was partly offset by an 18% increase in average spend, a result of increased deliveries with a higher basket value.

Its Zambian business faced challenges from significant exchange rate weakness and inflation rise putting pressure on consumer disposable incomes, increasing the cost of imported raw materials and impacting key costs for the business.

However, aggressive marketing and brand specific promotions achieved a 7% year on year increase in customer counts against the prior year same period.

Difficult operating conditions, temporary store closures during the restructuring exercise and the permanent closure of one counter in Mauritius led to a 10% year-on-year decline in customer counts.

Improved average spends realised through increased delivery contribution resulted in a more moderate 7% year on year decline in local currency revenue.

In Ghana, revenue remained flat on prior year and through significant efforts put into cost containment, operating profit improved significantly, growing 355% year on year.

Simbisa Namibia’s revenue was down 17% versus prior year with customer counts falling 22% year on year. Management’s success in rebasing costs resulted in a 51% improvement in the restaurant operating profit versus prior year.

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