Monday, May 16, 2022

FSG seeks to bolster presence in the region

FSG Limited, the funeral service provider, said it is mulling expanding
into the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region in a bid
to increase its footprint in the region where it already operates.

The Botswana Stock Exchange listed company said in its half-year ended
30 June 2014 that it performed well in the markets that it services
despite the challenging trading environment.

“The Group is considering proposals for further regional expansion as
part of the Group’s Business Vision. For the second half of this year
the directors are confident that the Group will perform in line with
expectations,” Group Managing Director, Milivoje Nikolic said in a
statement accompanying the results.

FSG has business interests in Botswana, Zambia, South Africa, and is
actively exploring regional markets. It has 19 branches in Botswana
located in Gaborone, Lobatse, Kanye, Thamaga, Molepolole, Pilane,
Mahalapye, Palapye, Serowe, Selebi-Phikwe, Kgagodi, Gumare, Tutume,
Tonota, Masunga, Francistown, Maun, Shakawe and Kasane.

The local operations boost of staff complement of over 385 employees, and
conducts on average, 700 funerals per month across the country.

In Zambia, the group operates in Lusaka and Ndola and is in the
process of opening a new branch in Kitwe. It has a wide range
of products on offer to customers ranging from various funeral
insurance schemes, varieties of tombstones, grave covers, coffins and
caskets, ash urns and wreaths.

It also provides the following services 24-hour mortuary services,
repatriation, cremation, transportation, professional embalming,
exhumation and provision of graves in its private cemetery in Gaborone
known as Phomolong Memorial Park.

According to its latest results, revenue increased by 7 percent from
P52 million on the 6 months ending 30, June 2013 to P57.8 million in
June 30, 2014. Profit before tax increased by 8 percent from P14
million to P15.2 million.

However, profit for the period is flat at P11.7 million from P11.6 million on the corresponding period. FSG total assets now exceed P230 million.

The company said in a challenging environment, its performance in
Botswana during the first half of the year 2014 showed good growth in
revenue and profit before tax.

Its administration costs have been well managed and during the period,
a new branch was opened in Palapye and the results have been
encouraging.

“The Group will open a branch in Ramotswa shortly.

Investment in modernising fleet and other equipment necessary for
rendering efficient service to customers is continuing. The Group
continues to be the market leader in the funeral services industry,”
it stated.

In the Zambian market, revenues increased by 11 percent in Kwacha
terms during this period. The number of funerals serviced grew by 13
percent as compared with 2013. The number of policies sold grew by 250
percent.

“Due to volatility of Kwacha exchange rate, the results in Pula terms
do not reflect the improvement in operating performance of the Zambia
operation. As the Kwacha weakened considerably, the Group incurred an
exchange loss on investment made. The Group is pursuing its strategy
of opening new branches in other towns within Zambia,” FSG said.
FSG said its directors have resolved to declare an interim gross
dividend of 6 (six) thebe per share, subject to deduction of
withholding tax at 7.5 percent, payable on 13th October 2014 to
members on the register on 19th September 2014.

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