Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Choppies could get a chop as compliance deadline nears

By Victor Baatweng

It’s a do-or-die for the troubled local retailer – Choppies Enterprises which has up until today (Wednesday) to publish its financial results for the period that ended in June 2018.

The multinational company face a boot-out of the Botswana Stock Exchange Limited (BSEL) where it’s currently trading its stock after it was given a deadline of 31 October 2018 to publish its pending full year financials. The release of Choppies’s interim financials for the half year ended December 2017 was also delayed at the beginning of this year.

The BSEL’s listing requirements dictate that quoted entities publish their full year financial results within a space of three months. The full year reporting period for Choppies ended in June 2018 ÔÇô which means it had up to September to publish the audited results.

By the time of going to press on Monday night Choppies, which has a secondary listing at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) had not yet published its results blaming it on the “change of auditors”. The grocer appointed a new auditor earlier this year after parting ways with KPMG, its long time auditor.

In a statement issued late last month, Choppies said that its board ÔÇô together with the new auditors have been working together to reassess the past accounting practices and policies.

Still at the time, Choppies explained that the reassessments are complex by nature, requiring careful analysis in order to determine the impact on prior and current periods. Furthermore, the retailer said its board of directors and its new auditors -PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), have uncovered number of matters relating to the current and earlier financial periods, which require independent verification and expert legal analysis before disclosures can be made.

According to the BSEL listing requirements paragraphs 3.19 and/or 3.20, should Choppies fail to publish its results by Wednesday its stock will be suspended from the local bourse. If non-compliance continues, the BSEL Board may further decide to terminate listing at the domestic main board.

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The Telegraph September 23

Digital edition of The Telegraph, September 23, 2020.