Staff Writer

Quick service restaurant provider Simbisa Brands says it expects an improvement in trading capacity and continued growth in customer counts to drive revenue growth due to the gradual easing of trading restrictions in its operating markets.

Businesses worldwide have been affected by the slowdown in economic activity due to the Covid-19 induced lockdowns. However, countries across the region have flexed operating hours in order to save their economies from the adverse effects of Covid-19.

For the year ended 30 June 2021, revenue for the group doubled to ZWL$18.79 billion from ZWL$9.04 billion in the previous period. Of the revenue, Zimbabwe contributed about +60% while +318% came from the region.

The main driver of growth in Zimbabwe was an increase of 34% in average spend with customer counts increasing by 8%, according to the company. In the Region, excluding the impact of the Zimbabwe dollar exchange rate depreciation, revenue increased by 5% in USD terms from a 2% increase in customer counts and a 3% growth in average spend.

Operating profit rose 233% with operating profit margins firmer at 13%.

The group recorded a net monetary gain of ZWL$227 million from ZWL$564 million previously. This was attributed to inflation hedging strategies in Zimbabwe anchored on reinvesting profits in new stores to hedge against inflation. It also recorded foreign currency exchange and other gains of ZWL$1.1 billion from ZWL$909 million in 2020 driven by depreciation of the ZWL$ against the USD.

Profit attributable to shareholders nearly doubled from ZWL$1.09 billion in 2020 to ZWL$2.15 billion.      
“The group’s focus remains on growing our footprint with 92 new stores in the pipeline in FY22 at an estimated investment cost of USD19.3 million,” the company said in its outlook.

“Of these stores, 8 will be Drive-thru sites in line with increased focus on diversifying the Group’s customer service channels.”

Growth will be primarily focused in Zimbabwe, Kenya and Ghana whilst the other regional markets will focus on making improvements in the existing business to maximise returns on the existing capacity, according to the group.

It declared a final dividend of ZWL$79 cents per share – Harare

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