Choppies says Zim unit bounces back to profitability

Choppies says Zim unit bounces back to profitability

BULAWAYO, March 3 (The Source) – Regional retail group Choppies says its Zimbabwean operations have returned to profitability despite the difficult economic conditions that have slowed down consumer spending.

The Botswana-headquartered grocer will release its half year financial results ended 31 December on March 14 .

Chief executive officer Ramachandran Ottapathu said in a statement ahead of the results that Zimbabwe was among the operations that have returned to profitability.

“Group results were negatively affected by trading losses in new regions namely Zambia, Kenya and Tanzania. Despite difficult trading conditions in South Africa, focused attention resulted in an improvement with losses narrowing compared to 2016. The Zimbabwean segment, despite very difficult economic conditions, returned to profit. Botswana results were affected by Rand strengthening against Botswana Pula,” he said.

Ottapathu said the  group’s EPS is expected to show a reduction of 40 percent – 50 percent from the EPS reported for the half year ended 31 December 2015.

Choppies entered the local market by buying Bulawayo-based businessman Raj Modi’s investment company, Modi Enterprises, for $21.2 million and taking over 11 of the outlets that were operating under the Aaro Mart and Spar franchises in Bulawayo in 2013.

It has since grown the number to over 20 countrywide.