Botswana’s leading retail group, Choppies Enterprise Limited, which also operates several stores in the Southern African region, has posted a profit of P103, 2 million for the half-year to December 2014. This represents an increase of two percent compared to the previous reporting period.
In a statement posted on Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) on Wednesday afternoon, the group said revenue increased to P3 billion, up 20 percent compared to December 2013. As always, Botswana operations led growth for the retail titan. “The positive topline performance from increased sale volumes was partially offset by continued deflationary pressures due to the rand’s weakness and falling commodity prices,” said the company in a statement signed by Chairman Festus Mogae and Chief Executive Ram Ottapathu.
During the period under review, the company introduced new points of sale in outlets for efficiency.
At South African operations where it owns 31 stores, Choppies said performance also improved but not without challenges. The company said trading post-Platinum belt labour troubles remains challenging. “The situation may continue in the foreseeable future,” said the statement.
A fruit and vegetables distribution centre was opened in Rustenburg in December to serve the South African market. Strong growth was also recorded in Zimbabwe where the group entered the market last year and where it also opened Choppies a distribution centre. “Continued strengthening of the US dollar had a deflationary impact, and we expect this to continue for the rest of the year,” the statement said.
Going forward, Choppies said it would continue opening more stores in Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe. “We are continuing to evaluate a possible secondary listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in 2015 in order to access new investors,” said Choppies.The supermarket chain has a market capitalisation of P4,6 billion on the Botswana bourse. At the close of markets on Wednesday, the company was trading at 397thebe. No interim dividend has been declared as per company policy.