April 26, 2018 / 11:03 AM / 3 months ago

Botswana's Choppies H1 profit up 19 pct on S.African operations

GABORONE, April 26 (Reuters) - Botswana’s supermarket chain Choppies Enterprises half-year profits rose 19 percent, buoyed by an improved performance at its South African operations, the company said on Thursday.

The budget retailer, with operations in seven African countries, posted headline earnings per share (HEPS) for the six months to December, of 5.36 thebe (cents) compared with 4.52 thebe for the same period a year ago. HEPS is the main profit measured used which strips out certain once-off items.

This fell short of the 5.42 thebe to 5.88 thebe per share that it previously flagged to the market. Revenue from the firms South African operations grew 43 percent for the period, boosted by an improved performance at its stores in the country’s North West province.

“This growth has brought us to profitability in this region and we expect this trend to continue in the second half of the financial year,” the company said in a statement.

Choppies, which has 82 stores in South Africa, has in the past suffered losses in mining towns in the North West province which have been hit hard by lay-offs.

In the six months to December 2017, Choppies opened 33 new stores bringing its total number of stores to 235 in Africa. (Writing by Tanisha Heiberg Editing by Ed Stoddard)

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