ZIMBABWE -Zimbabwe’s Quick service restaurant (QSR) group, Simbisa Brands Limited is targeting to open 15 new outlets across the country this year, at an estimated cost of US$3 million,

According to Warren Meares, Managing Director Simbisa, the move is a way of further consolidating their local market share.

“Last year we opened 21 outlets across the country and we spent more than US$6 million. This year we have plans to open about 14 or 15 outlets. We are looking forward to spending about US$3 million on those outlets,” he said.

Zimbabwe’s economic environment is marked by hyper-inflation, shortage of foreign currency, acute power outages, price distortions, poor infrastructure and general economic uncertainty. But Meares said they have confidence in the country’s economy.

“Yes, drought might be a challenge but we will find ways to continue surviving,” he said.

Last year the fast-food giant opened outlets in Harare, Bulawayo, Gwanda, Kadoma, Chiredzi and Gweru among others.

Simbisa operated as a business unit of Zimbabwe’s largest company by revenue, Innscor Africa, before it was unbundled and listed separately on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange in 2015.

The company operates fast-food brands such as Chicken Inn, Pizza Inn, Creamy Inn, Baker’s Inn, Fish Inn, Galito’s Africa, Nando’s, Steers and Vida E Caffe and delivery service, Dial-a-Delivery.

Besides Zimbabwe, it also has operations across Sub-Saharan Africa, with a total of 145 counters in Kenya, Zambia, Ghana, Mauritius, Namibia, Swaziland, Malawi and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Simbisa Brands Limited’s profit for the year ended June 30, 2019 jumped by 134% to US$32 million despite a decline in total customer count.

Despite of that, Zimbabwe which is its largest market suffered a net foreign exchange loss of ZW$2.7 million (US$7,400) due to inflationary pressures, foreign currency challenges which led to erosion of consumer spending as prices of goods and services skyrocketed.

As a result, Simbisa recorded a 5% decline in customer count in Zimbabwe but registered 6% growth in regional operations. Overall group customer count went down 2% to 54.7 million during the year under review.

Despite the challenges in Zimbabwe, the market remained a significant revenue driver contributing 65% of total revenue.

Zimbabwe market’s revenue increased 79% to US$255.1 million. Same store revenue increased 72% versus the prior year.

Total group revenue came in at US$390.8 million, which represented 91% growth on prior year of US$204.7 million.

Profit before tax jumped 148% to US$49.8 million from US$20.1 million achieved in the prior year. An operating profit of US$64 million was recorded which was 128% above prior year.

At US$32.4 million, profit for the year was 134% above the US$13.8 million achieved in the comparable period.