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Ten years of growth for PrimeTime

PrimeTime releases 2017 financial results and a pipeline full of projects

PrimeTime has recently announced its 2017 financial results which show its exponential growth over the past 10 years since the company listed on the Botswana Stock Exchange in December 2007.  Over the past decade, PrimeTime has grown from an initial portfolio of 13 properties valued at P175 million to 25 properties valued at P1.12 billion with total assets of over P1.3 billion. PrimeTime Managing Director Sandy Kelly reflects on these achievements and outlines plans for the future.

“Successful implementation of our geographical diversification strategy and strategic acquisitions led to total group assets increasing by 30% to P1.3 billion at the year end. The share price has grown from P1.25 to P3.16 over the 10 years of our existence. Shareholders have received a sound investment with a rate of between 5-10% annual distribution since we listed on the BSE.  Consistent with these good results and the addition of a further 64 760 484 linked units, we are pleased to report that a total distribution of 15.92 thebe per linked unit was achieved for the year, maintaining last year’s level while having laid the foundations for growth into the future. This proves the value of investing in quality stock like PrimeTime,” says PrimeTime Managing Director Sandy Kelly.

PrimeTime has achieved year-on-year increases in both revenues and operating profits before fair value adjustments. Lease revenue grew by 27% to P110 million, completed investment property by 34% to stand at P1.12 billion, and the price per linked unit ended the year at P3.16. “PrimeTime is well positioned to pursue suitable investments.  We are not stopping here –whilst good investments are few, due to our positioning, there are projects and properties out there.

The reason for our consistent performance is because of the quality and diversification of our properties. No single property accounts for more than 15% of our portfolio. While our intention is growth, we will not compromise quality for the sake of growth. This ensures we are able to create long-term wealth for our shareholders while growing and diversifying our asset base. We will continue to unearth new opportunities wherever they may be,” says
Kelly.

PrimeTime has identified Zambia as an additional investment opportunity because it has a robust, diversified economy with a strong democracy and democratic principles that work, according to Kelly.  PrimeTime’s acquisition of its largest asset by value, Centro Kabulonga in Lusaka, represents its entry in to the Zambian retail market. Kabulonga has secured Pick n Pay, Woolworths and Mr Price as anchor tenants and there is already a waiting list for space from major regional and national brands.

This acquisition has resulted in the Zambian operations contributing over 20% of the group’s annual rental income. This brings PrimeTime’s portfolio in Zambia to $30 million, representing 27% of the group’s portfolio at the year end. Two other retail centres, Munali Mall and Chirundu Mall, are under construction and will add a further $20 million in value to the portfolio in Zambia, taking the total country investment to over $50 million.

In Botswana, PrimeTime has started construction on The Design Quarter in Setlhoa which is a retail concept for the home décor and design sector. Two smaller extensions to existing centres are also underway with an extension at Sebele Centre and a fast food drive-through at Pilane Crossing where KFC will be opening in early 2018.

“After tenanting difficulties due to trading licence setbacks, Pilane Crossing is now on track to become the successful retail centre we originally envisaged. The new Design Quarter is a first for Botswana which will benefit both shoppers and retailers in terms of having one centralised home décor and lifestyle shopping destination. In terms of major refurbishments, our plans for some additional space and improvements at the Ramotswa Mall are still on the table, as are some other extensions.

“We have made good progress against our strategic objectives and see a number of future growth opportunities. Our diversified business model and risk diversification strategy place us in a strong financial position and our willingness to invest in the business means we are well placed to take advantage of these opportunities, despite the challenges faced by the industry,” says Kelly.

Trading highlights for the year ended 31 August 2017:

Total group assets increased by 30% to P1.3 billion at the year end.
Close to P300 million in new additions specifically Centro Kabulonga and Pilane Crossing
P201 million in equity capital raised from rights issue
Opening of the Pilane Crossing retail centre in September 2016
Acquisition of the group’s largest asset by value Centro Kabulonga in Lusaka for US$17.3m in January 2017
27% increase in contractual lease revenue and 17% increase in operating profits before fair value adjustments.
4% increase in per linked unit (PLU) standing at P3.16 plu up from P3.05 in 2016.

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Business

Gambling Authority tender dangles as a jittery lottery quandary

30th November 2020
SEFALANA MD: CHANDRA CHAUHAN

Lucrative and highly anticipated national lottery tender that saw several Batswana businessmen partnering to form a gambling consortium to pit against their South African counterparts, culminates into a big power gamble.

WeekendPost has had a chance to watch lottery showcase even before the anticipated and impending national lottery set-up launches. A lot has been a big gamble from the bidding process which is now set for the courts next year January following a marathon legal brawl involving the interest of the gambling fraternity in Botswana and South Africa.

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The uncertainty of getting the next meal in Botswana

30th November 2020
uncertainty of getting the next meal

Households representing more than half of Botswana’s population-mostly residing in rural areas- do not know where their next meal will come from, but neither do they take into consideration the quality and/or quantity of the food they consume.

This is according to the latest Prevalence of Food Insecurity in Botswana report which was done for the 2018/19 period and represents the state of food insecurity data even to this time.
The Prevalence of Food Insecurity was released by Statistics Botswana and it released results with findings that the results show that at national level 50.8 percent of the population in Botswana was affected by moderate to severe food insecurity in 2018/19, while 22.2 percent of the population was affected by severe food insecurity only.

According to the report, this translates to 27 percent of the population being food secure that is to say having adequate access to food in both quality and quantity. According to Statistician General, Burton Mguni, when explaining how the food data was compiled, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), is custodian of the “Prevalence of Undernourishment (PoU)” and “Prevalence of moderate or severe food insecurity in the population based on the Food Insecurity Experience Scale (FIES)” SDG indicators, for leading FIES data analysis and the resultant capacity building.

“The FIES measures the extent of food insecurity at the household or individual level. The indicator provides internationally comparable estimates of the proportion of the population facing moderate to severe difficulties in accessing food. The FIES consists of eight brief questions regarding access to adequate food, and the questions are answered directly with a yes/no response. It (FIES) complements the existing food and nutrition security indicators such as Prevalence of Undernourishment.

According to the FIES, with increasing severity, the quantity of food consumed decreases as portion sizes are reduced and meals are skipped. At its most severe level, people are forced to go without eating for a day or more. The scale further reveals that the household’s experience of food insecurity may be characterized by uncertainty and anxiety regarding food access and compromising the quality of the diet and having a less balanced and more monotonous diet,” says Mguni.

The 50.8 percent of the population in Botswana which was affected by moderate to severe food insecurity are characterized as people experiencing moderate food insecurity and face uncertainties about their ability to obtain food. These people have been forced to compromise on the quality and/or quantity of the food they consume according to the report on food insecurity.

Those who experience severe food insecurity, the 22.2 percent of the population, are people who have typically run out of food and, at worst, gone a day (or days) without eating. According to the statistics, rural area population experienced moderate to severe food insecurity at 65 percent while urban villages were at 46.60 percent and cities/town were at 31.70 percent. Those experiencing the most extreme and severe insecurity were at rural areas making 33.10 percent while urban villages and towns were at 11.90 percent and 17.50 respectively.

According to a paper compiled by Sirak Bahta, Francis Wanyoike, Hikuepi Katjiuongua and Davis Marumo and published in December 2017, titled ‘Characterization of food security and consumption patterns among smallholder livestock farmers in Botswana,’ over 70 percent of Botswana’s population reside in rural areas, and majority (70%) relies on traditional/subsistence agriculture for their livelihoods.

The study set out to characterize the food security situation and food consumption patterns among livestock keepers in Botswana. “Despite the policy change, challenges still remain in ensuring that all persons and households have access to food at all times. For example, during an analysis of the impacts of rising international food prices for Botswana, BIDPA reported that food prices tended to be highest in the rural areas already disadvantaged by relatively low levels of income and high rates of unemployment,” said the study.

According to the paper, about 9 percent of households were found to be food insecure and this category of households included 6 percent of households that ranked poorly and 3 percent that were on the borderline according to the World Food Programme’s (WFP) definition of food security.

Media reports state that the World Bank has warned that disruption to production and supply chains could ‘spark a food security crisis’ in Africa, forecasting a fall in farm production of up to 7 percent, if there are restrictions to trade, and a 25 percent decline in food imports.

Food security in Botswana or food production was also attacked by the locust pandemic which swept out this country’s vegetation and plants. The locust is said to have contributed to 25 percent loss in production.

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Business

Solid demand for diamonds towards the ‘gift’ season

30th November 2020
Diamonds

Global lockdown have been a thorn in diamonds having shiny sales, but a lot of optimism shows with the easing of Covid-19 restrictions, the precious stones will be bought with high volumes towards festive season. The diamond market is however warned of the resurgence of Covid-19 in key markets presents ongoing risks amid the presence and optimist about the new Covid-29 vaccines.

The latest findings published as De Beers Group’s latest Diamond Insight ‘Flash’ Report, which looks at the impact of the pandemic on relationships and engagements, has revealed that in the US that more couples than ever are buying diamond engagement rings. Bridal sales is mostly the primary source of diamond jewellery demand in recent months, De Beers said.

According to De Beers, interviews with independent jewellers around the US revealed that the rate of couples getting engaged has increased compared with the period when Covid-19 first had an impact in the US in the spring.

“In addition, despite challenging economic times, consumers were spending more than ever on diamond engagement rings – often upgrading in colour, cut and clarity, rather than size. Several jewellers speculated that with consumers spending less on elaborate weddings and/or honeymoons in the current environment, they had more to spend on choosing the perfect ring,” said De Beers.

According to De Beers, a national survey of 360 US women in serious relationships, undertaken in late October in collaboration with engagement and wedding website, The Knot. This survey is said to have found that the majority of respondents (54%) were thinking more about their engagement ring than the wedding itself (32%) or the honeymoon (15%), supporting jewellers’ hypothesis that engagement ring sales were benefiting from reduced wedding and travel budgets in light of Covid-19 restrictions.

When it came to researching engagement rings, online was by far the predominant channel for gaining ideas/inspiration at 86% of consumers surveyed, with 85% saying they had saved examples of styles they liked, according to De Beers. According to the survey, only a uarter of respondents said they had looked in-store at a physical location for design inspiration.

“For many couples, the pandemic has brought them even closer together, in some instances speeding up the path to engagement after forming a deeper connection while experiencing lockdown and its associated ups and downs as a partnership. Engagement rings are taking on even greater symbolism in this environment, with retailers reporting couples are prepared to invest more than usual, particularly due to budget reductions in other areas,” De Beers CEO Cleaver said.

According to De Beers Group, its Diamond Insight Flash Report series is focused on understanding the US consumer perspective in light of Covid-19 and monitoring how it evolves as the crisis evolves. Also, the company said, it is augmenting its existing research programme with additional consumer, retailer and supply chain touch-basis to understand the pain points and the opportunities for stakeholders across the diamond pipeline.

Demand for diamonds is as hard and resilient as the precious stone itself. De Beers pocketed US$ 450 million in its recently held ninth rough diamond sales cycle, and the company says it is more flexible approach to rough diamond sales during the ninth sales cycle of 2020, with the Sight event extended beyond its normal week-long duration.

“Steady demand for De Beers Group’s rough diamonds continued in the ninth sales cycle of the year, reflecting stable consumer demand for diamond jewellery at the retail level in the US and China, and expectations for reasonable demand to continue throughout the holiday season. However, the resurgence of Covid-19 infections in several consumer markets presents ongoing risks,” said De Beers CEO Bruce Cleaver recently.

High expectations are on diamonds being a sentimental gift for holiday season or as the most fetished gift. However the ninth cycle was lower than the eighth which registered US$ 467 million. For the last year period which corresponds with the current one, De Beers managed to raise US$ 400.

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