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Choppies back on the trading counter, releases backlogging financials


Botswana’s biggest multinational grocery and general merchandise retailer which focuses on the selling of food- and other fast-moving consumer goods, Choppies Enterprises, will resume trading on the Botswana Stock Exchange(BSE) main board with effect from Monday 27 July 2020.

Choppies released today its 2018 and 2019 financials which have been backlogging for the past two successive financial years.

BSE suspended Choppies in 2018 after the company failed to publish its financial results pending “changes in auditors as well as the legal and forensic investigations” hence a subsequent boardroom fracas played before the media. For the same reason, Choppies shares were also suspended in its secondary market, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

According to Choppies after posting its interim group financial results for the six months ended 31 December 2018, these results were published late due to changes in auditors as well as the legal and forensic investigations on some of the matters raised by the auditors which reports were only concluded and released during September 2019.

Choppies said that these events, coupled with the outbreak of COVID 19 and the lockdowns in the countries in which the Group operates, resulted in the delay in publication.

According to the giant retailer the Group revenue increased by 3% from P5 762 million to P5 921 million. Gross profit margin increased from 19.5% to 20.5% owing to a 1.1% improvement in the Botswana segment.

As for profit, it decreased from P68 million to a loss of P60 million, mainly due to reported losses of P100 million (2017: profit of P3 million) from the South Africa segment on the back of dismal trading conditions in the North West province.

Choppies also released its abridged audited group financial results for the year ended 30 June 2019. The Choppies Group revenue decreased by 10.85% from P10 791 Million to P9 620 Million due to a P1.1 Billion decline in turnover from the Zimbabwe segment on the back of a volatile macro-economic situation that led to a 84% currency weakness against the Pula.

For the same results for the year ended 30 June 2019, the gross profit decreased from P2 062 Million to P1 895 Million whilst the gross profit margin remains flat at around 19.71%. Gross profit margin for ongoing operations however increased from 20.3% to 22.6% owing to a 1.2% improvement in the Botswana segment.

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Matsheka seeks raise bond program ceiling to P30 billion

14th September 2020
Dr Matsheka

This week Minister of Finance & Economic Development, Dr Thapelo Matsheka approached parliament seeking lawmakers approval of Government’s intention to increase bond program ceiling from the current P15 Billion to P30 billion.

“I stand to request this honorable house to authorize increase in bond issuance program from the current P15 billion to P30 billion,” Dr Matsheka said. He explained that due to the halt in economic growth occasioned by COVID-19 pandemic government had to revisit options for funding the national budget, particularly for the second half of the National Development Plan (NDP) 11.

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Lucara sits clutching onto its gigantic stones with bear claws in a dark pit

14th September 2020
Lesedi La Rona

Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) has this week revealed a gloomy picture of diamond mining newcomer, Lucara, with its stock devaluated and its entire business affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

A BSE survey for a period between 1st January to 31st August 2020 — recording the second half of the year, the third quarter of the year and five months of coronavirus in Botswana — shows that the Domestic Company Index (DCI) depreciated by 5.9 percent.

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Botswana Diamonds issues 50 000 000 shares to raise capital

14th September 2020

Botswana Diamond PLC, a diamond exploration company trading on both London Stock Exchange Alternative Investment Market (AIM) and Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) on Monday unlocked value from its shares to raise capital for its ongoing exploration works in Botswana and South Africa.

A statement from the company this week reveals that the placing was with existing and new investors to raise £300,000 via the issue of 50,000,000 new ordinary shares at a placing price of 0.6p per Placing Share.

Each Placing Share, according to Botswana Diamond Executives has one warrant attached with the right to subscribe for one new ordinary share at 0.6p per new ordinary share for a period of two years from, 7th September 2020, being the date of the Placing Warrants issue.

In a statement Chairman of Botswana Diamonds, John Teeling explained that the funds raised will be used to fund ongoing exploration activities during the current year in Botswana and South Africa, and to provide additional working capital for the Company.

The company is currently drilling kimberlite M8 on the Marsfontein licence in South Africa and has generated further kimberlite targets which will be drilled on the adjacent Thorny River concession.

In Botswana, the funds will be focused on commercializing the KX36 project following the recent acquisition of Sekaka Diamonds from Petra Diamonds. This will include finalizing a work programme to upgrade the grades and diamond value of the kimberlite pipe as well as investigating innovative mining options.

Drilling is planned for the adjacent Sunland Minerals property and following further assessment of the comprehensive Sekaka database more drilling targets are likely. “This is a very active and exciting time for Botswana Diamonds. We are drilling the very promising M8 kimberlite at Marsfontein and further drilling is likely on targets identified on the adjacent Thorny River ground,” he said.

The company Board Chair further noted, “We have a number of active projects. The recently acquired KX36 diamond resource in the Kalahari offers great potential. While awaiting final approvals from the Botswana authorities some of the funds raised will be used to detail the works we will do to refine grade, size distribution and value per carat.”

In addition BOD said the Placing Shares will rank pari passu with the Company’s existing ordinary shares. Application will be made for the Placing Shares to be admitted to trading on AIM and it is expected that such admission will become effective on or around 23 September 2020.

Last month Botswana Diamond announced that it has entered into agreement with global miner Petra Diamonds to acquire the latter’s exploration assets in Botswana. Key to these assets, housed under Sekaka Diamonds, 100 % subsidiary of Petra is the KX36 Diamond discovery, a high grade ore Kimberlite pipe located in the CKGR, considered Botswana’s next diamond glory after the magnificent Orapa and prolific Jwaneng Mines.

The acquisition entailed two adjacent Prospecting Licences and a diamond processing plant. Sekaka has been Petra’s exploration vehicle in Botswana for year and holds three Prospecting Licenses in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (Kalahari) PL169/2019, PL058/2007 and PL224/2007, which includes the high grade KX36 kimberlite pipe.

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