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Choppies posts strong results amidst COVID-19

CHOPPIES Enterprises Limited (CEL), the Botswana-grown supermarket chain, has posted strong results for the year end June 2020.

The chain store has over the years established itself in southern Africa, also covering Zambia, Namibia and Zimbabwe.

According to the company’s statement announcing year-end financial results, profits grew by three per cent.

Choppies also raised its growth margin from 22.7 to 23.1 per cent.

According to chief executive officer Ram Ottapathu, it has taken a period of consolidation and restructure, improved corporate governance and the withdrawal from non-performing operations in markets including South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, and Mozambique.

“These are solid results. Our continuing businesses are resilient. We have traded strongly following the exit from certain markets and the impact of COVID-19 and hyperinflation in Zimbabwe,” he said in a statement issued Monday. “We are particularly pleased by the strong growth in EBITDA and our ability to consolidate our continuing business in Botswana, Zambia, Namibia and Zimbabwe. Recognised corporate governance policies and structures are now in place. This continues to be the main focus area for the board. I am confident that the actions we have taken will reposition Choppies as the preferred retailer for mass grocery and financial services in the countries in which we operate, thereby maximising shareholder value.”

Ottapathu stated that initially, the company was affected by, among other things, the discontinuation and disposal of its operations in four countries namely South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, and Mozambique.

He however stated that results in the continuing businesses surged.

He stated that revenue increases were inflation driven in Botswana and Zimbabwe against a backdrop of negative sales volumes due to the impact of COVID-19.

Ottapathu stated that the impact of the pandemic on the group’s continuing operations revenue was estimated at 420 million Botswana Pula.

“The board continues to act in the best interests of the business and shareholders with a strong focus on debt reduction. We are actively supporting farmers’ growth and quality by providing platforms and knowledge that bolster their financial and technical expertise,” stated Ottapathu. “We also make our transport capacity available to local businesses to help small producers reach new markets whenever we can. All of this helps develop people and skills to the benefit of the countries in which we operate.

All investigations are completed and there are no reported irregularities.”

He assured shareholders that all recommendations on corporate governance had been implemented.

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