By ETimes

Quick service restaurant provider Simbisa Brands has shown some growth in a rebound from Covid-19 restrictions, chief executive officer Basil Dionisio said on Friday, but still has various restrictions in various markets.

Dionisio told shareholders at the company’s annual general meeting that they are very confident that this growth trend will continue at most.

Zimbabwe year on year closed at 238 counters and has grown by 14 counters quarter on quarter. The region closed with 303 counters. In Q1 FY2022, the group closed at 541 counters and has grown by 44 counters in Q1 year on year.

“It’s a good growth. We are looking at growing more. This financial year is about 9 months to go and that’s very positive,” he said.

The AGM endorsed an inflation adjusted ZWL$16 061 822 paid as directors’ fees for the past year, as well as the reappointment and remuneration of inflation adjusted ZWL$45 036 164 paid to Ernst and Young for the past audit.

Also at the AGM, shareholders approved a share buyback.

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Meanwhile, in a trading update for the first quarter ended 30 September 2021 Simbisa Brands says its Zimbabwe operations inflation adjusted revenue rose 57% year on year helped by a 29% rise in customer counts against prior year period as Covid-19 related trading restrictions were relaxed.

Figures from the group trading update shows that despite some respite in the restrictions, counter trading hours in Zimbabwe were still 52% below capacity due to sustained nationwide curfews that were in place and seating capacity was restricted to 50%.

“The impact was most significant on Simbisa Zimbabwe’s casual dining brands,” said Basil Dionisio, Simbisa Brands chief executive officer in a trading update recently.

While consumer spending power remains under pressure in the market, Simbisa Zimbabwe achieved real growth in average spend in Q1 FY2022 versus the prior year comparable period. US Dollar average spend increased 11% versus prior year.

The group opened three new counters and invested in 1 mobile truck in the country to close the period with 238 counters in operation.

“In addition to the new store openings, significant capital investment is being made in upgrading the Zimbabwe Operations’ Central Kitchen and Central Stores to increase storage capacity and further automate the production process.”

Zimbabwe’s operating profit margins increased from 10% in Q1 FY2021 to 15% in Q1 FY2022 and the regional businesses’ operating profit margins grew to 14% in Q1 FY2022 from 9% in Q1 FY2021.

“The group continued to implement cost containment measures in order to grow operating margins,” he said.

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The strategic focus in FY2022 will be to grow the delivery business in the rest of the region and in Zimbabwe, where deliveries contributed just 2% in Q1 FY2022 and therefore an opportunity for significant growth has been identified, he added.

Group inflation adjusted revenue rose 74%.

Customer counts in the regional business increased 37% in Q1 FY2022 compared to the same period last year. On the back of increased customer counts, revenue from the regional operations increased 107% on a year-on-year basis, with USD Average Spend remaining flat (+1%) on the prior year period.

Group operating profit margins improved from 10% in Q1 FY2021 to 15% in Q1 FY2022 backed by increased turnovers against a carefully managed cost-base – Harare

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