Sefalana Holdings, the country’s well diversified group, saw its turn-over bubbling up to P 1 billion as a result of additional revenue stream, which included the giant wholesale arm, SefcashÔÇöformerly Metsef.
According to the full year results to June 30, 2007, the group’s revenue shot-up to P 1 billion from P 70 million while profit after tax moved from P 10 million to P 13 million.
Sefalana Holdings Managing Director, Chandra Chauhan, said he was embolden by this despite the low profit after tax margins saying that going forward they expect Sefcash to be the pillar of their business.
Sefalana Holdings, which used to be on 50/50 bases in Metsef along with Metcash of South Africa, acquired the remaining shares last year following shareholders’ dispute that ran for sometime.
“For the first time in 13 years, the results of Sefcash ( Sefalana Cash & Carry Limited and formerly Metsef) have now been included as a subsidiary of Sefalana. That for me was a personal dream which started some 4 years ago and I am very happy to report that on December 12, 2006 we finally achieved for Sefalana to own 80 percent of Sefcash,” Chauhan told a press conference on Tuesday.
The remaining 20 percent is being floated on the Botswana Stock Exchange.
However, Chauhan said they are in the process of rolling out a new computer system both at the branches and the head office, branches are undergoing a facelift in terms of new signage and Sefcash will also enter the retail market with its own brands of supermarkets.
Further, he said Sefcash head office is in the process of being relocated to Broadhurst following the sale of its head office near Cresta Lodge.
“We have invested P 16 million into the new systems and we can confirm that by June 30, 2007, we were able to have every store ( 29 of them) up and running with the new system.
“The interface with the office is currently in progress as we speak and we are very confident that going forward, by using the latest technology together with the information that it provides, it will help make better procurement decisions, address problems more quickly and really utilize the new system to its full potential,” Chauhan said.
The new initiatives were praised by African Alliance Botswana analyst, Pulafela Isaacs, who said the new identity and the mining boom in the northern parts of the country should aid the company to more profits.
“We expect the improvement in the economic conditions and the new corporate identity to drive the trading segment,” Isaacs said.
Further, Sefalana Holdings was bullish about its property portfolio saying “we will be pursuing capital projects” which will involve acquisition of good quality commercial properties and the development of land which they own.
“ 2007/8 started with a bang and we report the following deals recently concluded since the year end,” Chauhan said.
The company has bought former Metsef branch in Francistown, and Palapye. It has also bought Ifesto property in Broadhurst, Gaborone.
However, the company said its manufacturing arm was dampened by a reduction in allocation of Tsabana but said that going forwards the decision would not be over reliant on government tenders.
The reduction in government contract was made worse by the current drought situation in Botswana and the neighbouring countries.
However, he said they have introduced branded products which are fast gaining recognition in the local market.