HARARE, September 23 (The Source) – Regional grocer Choppies says revenue in its Zimbabwe operations rose to $82 million (BWP 863 million) in the full-year to June 30 despite declining disposable incomes, and plans to continue expanding its footprint in the country.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBIDTA) from the operations was also higher at $2,9 million (BWP 30 million) after the group increased added seven new outlets to 20 during the year.
“The dollarized Zimbabwe economy remains fragile. Average basket sizes dropped considerably but footfall growth was very strong indicating a growing popularity of the Choppies brand,” said the group in its financials released on Tuesday.
At group level, Choppies revenue increased to $567 million (BWP 5,95 billion), 19 percent higher than last year with 64 percent derived from its Botswana operations at $363 million (BWP3,8 billion).
Net profit stood at $18,8 million (BWP197 million) with earnings per share up by 20 percent to $1,63 (17.11 thebe).
It reported a loss in South Africa where it operates 37 stores, mainly in the North West where pressures facing the country’s mining sector have hurt household finances.
Overall, Choppies has 129 stores across Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa and plans 35 new outlets by end of 2016.
It raised $42,85 million (BWP 448 million) from its secondary listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in May which it used to lower its debt and increase its cash holdings.
In May, the company entered Kenya, through the acquisition of Ukwala Supermarkets — a group that has 10 supermarkets — which is yet to be approved by that country’s competition authority.
It is also facing ‘a few months’ delays in rolling out in Zambia and Tanzania.