SOUTH AFRICA –Massmart, Walmart’s subsidiary in South Africa, has appointed Mohammed Abdool-Samad as the chief financial officer effective August 1 2019, reports Business Day.

Abdool-Samad who is currently the chief finance officer at Illovo Sugar, will succeed Johannes van Lierop, who said will not extend his tenure with Massmart for personal reasons.

Abdool-Samad joined Illovo sugar in 2011 and has also previously worked in various executive finance roles within Anglo American.

He is a qualified chartered accountant of South Africa (CA (SA)) and holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal.

The Johannesburg Stock Exchange listed retailer, which has been struggling to grow volumes in the weak economy, saw its revenues grow just 2.9% to US$ 629.18 million (R90.9bn) in its previous financial year.

However, net earnings were down 35.4% to US$60.13 million (R868.7m) during the 2018 financial year as the retailer witnessed price deflation in some of the product lines.

During the period Massmart also restructured some of its business functions, while also moving two of its divisions’ head offices from Durban to Johannesburg aimed at cutting down its costs.

Massmart comprises four divisions – Massdiscounters (Game and DionWired), Masswarehouse (Makro and Fruitspot), Massbuild (Builders Warehouse) and Masscash (Jumbo Wholesale, Rhino Cash & Carry and Cambridge Food), operating 436 stores across 13 sub-Saharan African countries.

The company’s expansion plan across Africa remains on track reflected by 3.9% growth in total sales from stores outside of South Africa 3.9% during its previous financial year and plans to add 47 new stores between 2019 and 2021.

According to the retailer, the expansion will be executed in 12 African countries, but would be concentrated more in Kenya and Zambia.

“Zambia and East Africa are interesting to us because they’re not totally dependent on mineral resources like West Africa is,” Hayward said.

“Kenya and Zambia have quite strong tourism industries and little bit of local industries so the economic play there is a bit more robust,” said Guy Hayward, Chief Executive at Massmart.