Turnstar Group Holdings’ profit before tax was up 23% and revenue was up by 5% for the year ended January 2016 as the property market, particularly the commercial sector, continues to impress.
The group wrapped up what has been has been an impressive run by listed property entities in the Botswana Stock exchange with just an exception to Letlole La rona which posted lower revenues for the half year ended December 2015. Primetime Property Holdings Limited, which is yet to release its interim results, has an issued a cautionary note that profit after tax for the six months ended 29 February 2016 is expected to be significantly higher than the prior interim period to 28 February 2015.
The group’s revenues have been propelled by increased rentals which went up from P236 million to P248 million after straight-line adjustments. The group’s profit before taxation for the reporting period is at P230 million, a surge of 23% from the previous corresponding period. The balance sheet was bolstered by a 13% increase in value of Investment property value to P 2 billion including work in progress, bringing the company’s total assets to P2.4 billion up by 20% from the previous year’s P2 billion. The Net asset Value per linked unit is increased by 14% to 2.76.
The group’s subsidiary, Mlimani in Tanzania, has proven to be a good invest for the Botswana property giant as it contributed P120.8 Million to the total group revenue representing a 49% contribution. The Tanzania based subsidiary which boasts of Mlimani City-the largest mall in Tanzania which opened in 2006- now has investment Property worth over 1 billion representing 52% of the total group investment property of 2 Billion. The BSE listed Group has announced that the development of Phase 3, Mlimani City Tanzania is well in progress.
Mlimani City is being expanded to include additional retail and commercial space including basement parking, additions to the Conference Centre and a Botanical Garden. The additional space is also pre let to a large extent. The expansion is expected to cost USD 25 million. The project is financed by Barclays Bank of Botswana for USD 20.7 million and Turnstar Holdings for USD 4.3 million. The expected date of completion is November 2016.
Turnstar company, home to the local based operations, had its revenue decrease by 4% to P 126.7m due to the sale of the Fairground Office Park property. However, the company’s profitability was strengthened by additional incomes of P 26.3 million which includes interest earned from investment in debentures of Mlimani Holdings Limited of P 21.9 million as well P7.5 million profit generated from the sale of Fairgrounds property. The Fair value of investment property soared by 125% from the previous P6.4 million to 14.4 million.
The profit before taxation for the year ended 31 January 2016 lunged by 19% to P131.3 million before fair value adjustment. The company has announced that the development of Phase 4, Game City shopping centre is nearing completion. This comes after two years since the company embarked on expanding its biggest asset and also the largest mall in Botswana.
Game City is being expanded to include additional retail space including a fashion avenue, restaurant area including a food court, entertainment area and a parkade. The additional space is pre let to a large extent. The project is financed by First National Bank of Botswana for P170 million and interest rate of Prime less 2.1%. The expected date on completion is September 2016.
Turnstar says that it will be limiting its exposure to the office property sub-sector as there has been mounting concerns about oversupply of office spaces due to newly constructed buildings in the new Central Business District (CBD) which comprises mainly of office spaces.
“The sale of the Fairgrounds Office Park property is consistent with the strategic imperative to manage exposure to the office property sub-sector in Botswana which is expected to remain under pressure with increasing vacancies in the medium term. Pursuant to the above, Turnstar’s exposure to the office property sub-sector in Botswana has been strategically limited to one office property, being Turnstar House, which is fully tenanted. Turnstar will continue to maximise performance through the active management of its property portfolio,” read part of the commentary that accompanied the financial statements.
Turnstar Holdings with a market capitalization of P1.7 billion in the BSE’s main domestic counter is currently trading at P3.06, representing a decline of 0.3% since the year began. Turnstar, together with Letlole la Rona are the only property listed companies that have had their share price decline so far this year. The company’s Directors have approved a final distribution of 10.5 thebe per linked unit, split as follows; Debenture interest of 7.65 thebe and 3.85 thebe dividend per share in respect of the six months ended 31 January 2016 to all registered unit holders with the company at close of business on 13th May 2016.
Still on the BSE, the company intends to launch an offering of USD denominated senior unsecured compulsory convertible bonds to raise gross proceeds of US$ 30,000,000. It is expected that the Convertible Bonds will be issued during May 2016 for a period of 7 seven year maturing in 2023. The estimated maturity conversion rate is expected to be between P5 and P5.40.
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.
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.
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.