A 54 percent expansion in revenue from the Zambian subsidiary hiked Funeral Services Group (FSG) profit after tax (PAT), the group’s financial statements showed. Revenue bulked up by 13 percent to P98 million from P86 million recorded in the previous trading period, according to the year ended 31st December 2012.
“The group made significant investments in Zambia and has established itself as a prominent market player in Lusaka,” said the group Managing Director Mike Nikolic. He also told BG Business that the group opened yet another branch during the year at Ndola, which commenced operations in January 2013. “We are expecting the growth to further enhance the group’s performance and unlock value and returns for our shareholders,” he said confidently.
Zambia’s population is seven times that of Botswana and Nikolic is aware of the opportunities the 14 million people bring to FSG. Zambia has a life expectancy of 43 years, much lower than 53.2 percent in Botswana.
The country has an HIV/AIDS prevalence of 14 percent among to adults of 15 – 49 years age group, according to available information.
Nikolic added that the market is very good in Zambia, given that the country is still developing and there are still demands for some products and services. “Zambia is also stable politically, hence a sustainable business environment,” he said also adding that the country’s larger population also comes in handy.
Consequently, the Zambian revenue according to Managing Director Mike Nikolic resulted in the company’s profits after tax also growing to P27 million, from the P22 million recorded during the 2011 period, which is equivalent to a 23 percent growth. Meanwhile, Nikolic said the Botswana operations also did well despite challenging economic conditions.
He said uncertain economic environment especially in Europe and other developed countries, negatively impacted Botswana economy due to a decline in revenue from mineral imports. However, with challenging market conditions expected in 2013, the group, whose 29 percent of shares are owned by Botswana Life, is also looking to sustain growth and diversify their services and products during the current period.