With domestic economic forecasts for 2017 looking fairly optimistic as indicated by Gross Domestic Product (GDP) projection at 3.7 percent, the country’s only listed oil company, Engen Botswana, has projected a rebound in the minerals sector.
The group chairman Shabani Ndzinge states in the annual report that the company is exploring new ways to grow its market share through value adding solutions, innovation and continued focus on operational excellence.
“This positive outlook encourages us to believe that we can continue to reinvest in our people, communities and Botswana as a whole,” noted Ndzinge.
While Engen’s sales revenue reduced by 8.2 percent in 2016 due to a reduction in the government controlled fuel prices in January of 2016 all other key performance indicators were largely positive. The company attributed the upward movement to an increase in sales volumes as well as the good management of operating costs which brought down the total cost. The company was able to deliver profits which were 27 percent above those from the previous year.
Ndzinge also stated that this was driven by a clear and focused strategy underpinned by astute fiscal management, an industry-leading management team, balanced and accountable corporate governance structures, carefully selected dealers, best in sector logistics and distribution capability.
According to Ndzinge the commercial and retail channels continued to operate optimally providing value adding solutions and excellent customer service.
Although there are signs of recovery on the horizon in the commodity markets; the impact of the natural resource sector slow-down is still being felt across the globe, with the mining industry being one of the hardest hit.
Official statistics shows that Botswana’s real GDP growth in 2016 was led by the non-mining activities. In the face of a generally subdued economic climate annual inflation remained under control recorded at 2.6 percent at the end of third quarter (Q3) and 3.1 percent at the end of fourth quarter (Q4).