• Choppies will announce an increase of 20% or more in headline earnings in March.
  • It now has 34 stores in South Africa, and counting.
  • Namibia and East Africa are next on the radar.

Retail chain Choppies will announce an increase of at least 20% in its headline earnings come March, when it releases half-year results – “driven mainly by an improved performance by the South African operations”.

Headline earnings should come in at a minimum of around seven South African cents, (5.42 thebe) the store said in a mandatory announcement on the JSE’s Stock Exchange News Service.

In its 2016 financial year Choppies showed a loss in South Africa no mater how you sliced the numbers, and in the 2017 year its SA stores just barely managed to scrape in a profit in ebitda (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) terms.

At the time Choppies foreshadowed future profits by pointing out that its stores in North West had increased sales by nearly a third and were breaking even. It also held out hopes for its KwaZulu-Natal region.

Choppies is a household name in Botswana, where it has operated since 1986. It opened its first South African store in Zeerust in the North West in 2008, and opened a distribution centre in Rustenburg in 2014.

It also moved into Zimbabwe in 2013 through acquisition, and has its sights set on Tanzania and Kenya.

It plans to spend 300 million pula, or some R370 million, on expansion before mid-2018, including into Namibia.

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