The Choppies Group, the market-leading mass grocery retailer in the country, showed a turnover that has crossed P5 billion with gross profit topping P1 billion, according to the group’s financial results for the year ended 30 June 2014.
This past week Choppies opened 73rd store in Botswana making the company the largest employer in the country with about 6600 full time employees. Choppies also continued to open other stores in the Southern African region as currently it has 13 outlets in Zimbabwe and 25 South Africa.
Listed on the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) in January 2012 after it received BSE’s approval to float 1.2 billion shares on the domestic main board, the group said in accordance with its long term strategy during the year.
During the year, the company confirmed that it is working on a secondary listing at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) as the retailer expands in the region. Choppies Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ram Ottappath said that a secondary listing on the JSE will expose the group to a new universe of South African, regional and international investors whose investment mandate is limited to JSE-listed shares.
The much anticipated privatisation and the Botswana Telecommunications Corporation Limited (BTCL) Initial Public Offer (IPO) failed again and has been postponed to next year. The IPO, which was scheduled to be opened by the end of 2014, has been ‘extended’ into 2015. The process of listing the BTCL IPO on the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) has previously failed to meet the initial date November 7th 2014 due to delays from different stages of approvals. This December the Ministry of Transport and Communications and PEEPA failed to provide a new date for the opening of the IPO.
In the IPO, government is expected to offer a total of 49 percent of the company’s shares of which 44 percent will be available for purchase by citizens and citizen companies and the remaining 5 percent will be retained for BTCL employees.
Botswana experienced continuous fuel shortages in the previous years which impacted the economy negatively. With the establishment of Botswana Oil Limited (BOL), government took steps to ensure that there is a Botswana entity that will manage the countries fuel reserves. In October 2014, government launched the new Botswana Oil Company (BOL) led Chief Executive Officer Willie Mokgatlhe on the company’s road map.BOL CEO Mokgatlhe said one of the major challenges facing Botswana is that in the past the economy was reliant on a single source of supply of petroleum products. He stated that as Botswana Oil Limited, they are working hard to address this through forming strategic partnerships that will facilitate the diversification of sources of product.
“We will be addressing this challenge through developing storage facilities locally, in the medium term as well as sourcing bulk storage facilities in various locations external to Botswana. These efforts will significantly increase the country’s strategic fuel reserves,” he said at the time.