Saturday, January 23, 2021

Sefalana weathers Covid-19 storm with a profit

The diversified group Sefalana continues to defy headwinds, promising another stellar set of financial results, raking in profits at a time when many companies are reporting reduced earnings. 

In a cautionary announcement to shareholders released Monday by Sefalana’s board of directors, the company’s profit before tax for the 6 month period ended October 2020 will be between 21 percent to 23 percent, or  approximately P25 million to P28 million higher than that reported for the comparative period ended 31 October 2019 which amounted to P121.1 million.

While 2020 turned out to be a challenging year following the coronavirus outbreak, Sefalana proved resilient in the twelve month period ended April 2020, with revenue up by ten percent to P5.8 billion, while profit before tax (PBT) came at P258.8 million, slightly above last year’s P256.7 million, which the retailer said it was their best showing.  

The group, whose business interests spans fast moving consumer goods (FMCG), commercial motors, manufacturing, properties and government contracts, was anchored by strong performance in Botswana, aided also by impressive performance across other markets it operates in. 

“Notwithstanding the difficult times, we have managed to close the year with a sterling performance. Last year we reported our best ever results and this year we have done it again and are pleased to generate almost exactly the same profit despite the adverse impact of Covid-19,” the company said in a commentary accompanying the results. 

The retailer said it had placed greater focus on its FMCG business across countries it operates in, making considerable progress in the first half of the year before the disruptions brought by coronavirus containment measures, supressing consumer movements and causing uncertainty, resulting in cautious customers, who at first went on a panic buying spree in early April when lockdown was announced, and then reduced buying after lockdown ended in the third week of May.

In Botswana, Sefalana operates 55 stores: 4 hyper stores and 25 Cash and Carry stores, both mainly targeting resellers and bulk buyers. It also has 26 retail stores under its Shoppers brand. It has 21 stores in Namibia, and other profitable ventures in South Africa, Lesotho and Zambia. In late 2020, the company announced another investment in an Australian chain retailer. 

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