FSG Limited, the funeral services boutique’s investors, lifted their champagne glasses for a toast this week as it announced a supersonic cash reserve increase of 102 percent in the full results to December 2012.
The company said the key drivers were its two main operations in Botswana and Zambia- driven by the later that outpaced itself by 54 percent.
“Revenue from Zambia grew by 54 percent as compared with the previous year as the group continues with its efforts to establish itself as the prominent market player in Lusaka.
“During the year, the group has invested in new branches in Ndola, which have begun operating in January 2013. The group realized its investments in its branch and office premises in Lusaka during the year. Efforts are underway to open a new branch in Kitwe,” the company said in its statement.
FSG has entered the Zambian market – a market with a population size of 13.5 million people and one of the highest population growth rates in the region at 1.6 percent.
Zambia is also renowned for being one of the southern African states with the highest HIV/ AIDS prevalence rate with at least 13.5 percent of people between the age of 15- 49 years believed to be living with the disease, while life expectancy in the copper rich southern African country has been brutally slashed to 38.6 years.
The move has prompted the company to open its bread and butter outfit ÔÇô the caskets and coffin manufacturing operation — in Zambia and try to respond to the needs of the market.
The company is one of the best exports from Botswana into the regional market, which include the likes of Bifm’s subsidiary, African Life, BancABC , Letshego Holdings, Woolworths and Zambezi Motors among others.
The company said total revenue surged to P 97 million compared to P 86 million the same period in the previous year. And flat profit for the year was P 26.6 million against P 21 million realized in the previous year.
Earnings per share for the company improved to 0.22 per share against 0.19 thebe per share – meaning that they were 4 thebe better per share than last year.
FSG is the sole funeral services provider listed on the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE), and it stated that even at the height of the global economic crisis the death and funeral business defied the downturn.
FSG currently owns Lyn’s Funeral Parlour and Kagiso Funeral Parlour and has been bold in the roll-out of targeted products into the market, including the funeral package scheme ÔÇö such as Mompoloki Funeral Cover.
Phomolong Memorial Park ÔÇö where customers have the chance to buy bespoken graves before their death ÔÇô which is the first of its kind in Botswana – is getting good support from the market.
The graves are available on a cash basis and through insurance product that is being driven by Botswana Life Insurance Limited, which also acts as the insurance underwriter.
Final dividend of six thebe per share will be declared subject to the deduction of the withholding of tax at 7.5 percent that will be payable on April 22, 2013 for members registered on April 5, 2013, according to the company statement.