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Sechaba weathers tough regulatory storm

Despite a tough trading and legislative environment for alcohol related products, Sechaba Breweries Holdings Limited has posted positive financial results. For the financial year ended March 2016, the company, which owns a 60 per cent stake in Kgalagadi Breweries Limited (KBL), grew it’s after tax profit 7.8% to P201.9 million when compared to the prior year. Total comprehensive income grew 2.7% and net dividend per share is up 9%. The remaining 40 per cent stake in KBL is held by SAB Miller.

The company has redeemed itself given results of the prior year where the after tax profit had taken an 3 per cent knock, comprehensive income had gone down 0.46 per cent, and net share per dividend had lost a percentage point.  

The company attributes the improved financial performance to the combination of volume growth from clear beer, alcoholic fruit beverages, sparkling soft drinks categories and selective pricing, improved brand pack mix, and improved production and distribution efficiencies.

The good showing demonstrates resilience in the face of crippling 55 per cent levy imposed by government on alcoholic beverages, amended regulations banning the sale of opaque beer, commonly known as Chibuku, in the homes, and reduced trading hours for alcohol selling establishments.

In a statement in the company’s annual report for 2015, Managing Director Johan de Kok acknowledged that the regulatory environment presented real challenges. “The Alcohol Levy was increased by an additional 5% to 55% in December 2014, resulting in the Group being compelled to strategically increase efficiencies and reduce costs. The Traditional Beer Regulations (TBR) continue to strain the performance of the opaque beer market,” lamented De Kok.

De Kok described Sechaba’s performance for the prior year as “strained but satisfactory” and attributed it to continued challenges brought about by the trading and legislative environment. “The impact of the overall trading environment has begun to show its impact on the business,” he had noted.  

In the same report, Board Chairman Batlang Mmualefe reiterated De Kok’s sentiments, adding that despite the tough operating conditions caused by the Alcohol Levy and Traditional Beer Regulations, investors showed confidence in the company’s stock. “The performance of the company’s share price during the 12 months to 31 March 2015 surpassed that of the Domestic Companies Index (DCI), recording a 33.06 per cent gain in share price compared to a 8.09 per cent gain in the DCI, and this ranked Sechaba has the 4th best performing counter on the stock exchange during the period,” he espoused.

The improved financial performance happens in the wake of a possible acquisition of the entire issued and to be issued ordinary share capital in SAB Miller by the behemoth Belgian Brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB Inbev). Both the Botswana Competition Authority and the South African Competition Commission have recently given the acquisition conditional approvals.

The board declared a 69 thebe per share dividend. Sechaba Brewery Holdings Limited is an investment holding company with interest in Kgalagadi Breweries (Pty) Limited (KBL). Sechaba holds 60% of the shares of KBL while SABMiller Botswana B.V. holds 40%. SABMiller Plc has management control in the operating company. Their involvement brings management, technical and brand building expertise of the three largest brewing companies in the world to KBL.

Sechaba Brewery Holdings Limited, the sixth largest listed domestic company on the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE), has declared a final dividend of 69 thebe per share, down by 31% from the previous corresponding period. The company, which has a market capitalisation of P3.8 billion has been relatively quiet in the main domestic board, with year to date return down by 5% and the share price barely moving in the last 12 months, and managing to be in alignment with the domestic company index (DCI) which tracks the average performance of domestic listed companies. The DCI, for most part of the year has been on a back foot, showing a decline of about 4% in the last 5 months, and it is still trailing behind the year’s opening.

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Food prices continue to rise, but at a slower rate

28th November 2022

Prices for cereals or staple foods in Botswana and other Southern African countries continue to rise at a slower pace, following trends in the global markets, according to the latest November 2022 Food Price Monitoring and Analysis by Food Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.

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Still doing business the old way?

18th November 2022

It’s time to get business done better with MTN Business Botswana’s ICT Solutions.

Running a digital businessMTN Business Solutions Botswana, popularly known as MTN Business is an Internet Service Provider. We are a subsidiary of MTN Group Limited, a multinational telecommunications Group headquartered in South Africa, which operates in 19 markets across Africa and the Middle East.

More and more, clients are looking for ways to keep their staff productive in a dynamically changing business environment. Whether your people are working from home, the office or abroad, there is a growing recognition that digitising your operations can offer unprecedented commercial value in flexibility, productivity and growth. This new, digital reality means that it is more important than ever to stay agile – if there is anything that can slow a business down, it is being burdened by othatld technology.

Having made substantial investments in fibre technology, high-speed terrestrial and undersea networks and new frequency spectrum across the markets wherein it operates, MTN is perfectly positioned to respond to this shift in the market.

A few years ago, MTN also made the decision to build an IP capable radio network for its mobile services, giving its core network the ability to seamlessly integrate with enterprise IP networks. The mobile towers deliver services to enterprise clients absolutely anywhere it has a network, shortening the last mile and removing complexity and cost.

Now there is increasing demand from clients to connect their remote sites in all areas, including rural and semi- rural. MTN has assisted clients with overcoming this connectivity hurdle, enabling their staff to get the job done wherever they are.
MTN’s evolution

For MTN, the focus has shifted from just being a core telecommunications services provider, towards also becoming a technology solutions provider. The service offering now also includes Unified Communications, Data Hosting and Cloud Solutions, Security-As-A-Service and Managed Network Services. The scope has changed to being client and industry specific, so the requirements and service portfolio vary from one client to the next. The expectation is that a company like MTN must respond to these challenges, helping clients to get business done better as they shift from old to new technologies.

As many businesses continue to grapple with a digitally dynamic world, they face new challenges that have to be solved. This environment will benefit those that are more digitally enabled and agile. It is a brave new world that will favour online over on-site, wireless over wired and fluid over formulaic. Businesses will seek out partners and suppliers that are every bit as flexible and forward-looking as they are.
Ultimately, clients need partners like MTN Business that will invest in infrastructure, deliver the services they require, have market credibility, are financially sound and have a long-term commitment to their market presence.

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BIE to vitalize the Dignity of Engineers

9th November 2022

Botswana Institution Of Engineers (BIE), has last week hosted a gala dinner in  which they appreciated engineers who worked tirelessly and with dedication for 10 years from 1983 to steer the BIE to its current status.

The event that was held at the Phakalane Golf Estate had brought together young, experienced and veteran engineers and was held under the theme “Vitalize the dignity and eminence of all professional engineers”.

Explaining the theme, the institution’s treasurer, Thanabalasingam Raveendran said that engineers were looked upon reverentially with respect as the educated but with time it seems to have deteriorated. He indicated that there is a need to change the narrative by all means.

“The BIE exists for the welfare and the betterment of us Botswana engineers, we need to recognize specialised units within our Institution. We Engineers strongly believe in Engineers make it happen” Raveendran said.

He indicated that under the theme they appeal to all engineers to energize, to attain quality of being worthy of honour and respect and to achieve recognized superiority amongst the Society.

Raveendran stated that engineers need to ensure their end product is of good quality satisfying the end users expectations and engineers must be honest in their work.

“Approximately 8000 engineers registered with Engineering Regulatory Board (ERB) are not members of the BIE, engineers need to make every effort to recruit them to BIE” he said.

He alluded that BIE being a society, it currently needs to upgrade itself at par with professional institutions elsewhere like the UK and USA.

He further stated that BIE has to have engineering units of specialised disciplines like Civil/Mechanical/electrical etc

“As President Masisi indicated in his inaugural speech, the young people, who make 60 percent of the population of this country, are the future leaders and therefore investing in them is building the bridge to the future” said Raveendran

Kandima indicated that BIE has a memorandum of Understanding with Engineers Registration Board (ERB), where BIE is a recognised provider of CPD training, mentorship programmes and more importantly IPD undertaking to upgrade the skills and know-how of our engineers.

“For us to achieve our mandate and make worthwhile changes to engineering in Botswana, we have to be totally focused and act with intent” said Kandima.

Furthermore, Stephen Williams, past president of the BIE from 1986-1988 told the engineers that  the BIE provides a fertile environment where they can meet, share ideas and grow professionally.

“The BIE is also a nesting place for graduate engineers to learn from their peers and seniors, it also cater for engineering technicians and technologists and so nobody in the technology field is left out” he said.

He further indicated that Botswana Government provides a conductive environment for growth of engineering professionals.

“It must be stated that the Botswana Government recognises the existence of BIE and it can further be stated that the government enables ERB to carry out its mandate as a regulator of engineering professionals” said Williams

He plead with engineering companies to recognize and support BIE as it is the only source of engineering personnel’s for various Industries .

Furthermore, when giving his farewell speech, Michael Pinard , a past president of the institution  said how they are viewed as engineers by the general public might be due to some lack of appreciation as to exactly what role they play in the development of the country.

“The BIE slogan is aptly coined-Engineers make it happen, in other words, what man dreams engineers create” Said Pinard.

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