Botswana Tycoon Farouk Ismail’s Choppies Set to Issue Dividends After 2017

Choppies Enterprises, a renowned retailer founded by Botswana billionaire Ramachandran Ottapathu, has announced plans to pay dividends of BWP29.19 million ($2.12 million) to shareholders, emphasizing the Gaborone-based store chain’s financial health.

The retailer’s announcement on the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) and Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) demonstrates its commitment to rewarding stakeholders and enhancing investor value.

Choppies’ dividend announcement, set at BWP0.016 ($0.001454) per share, is a significant milestone, as it is the company’s first dividend payout since 2017. This demonstrates the company’s financial resiliency and remarkable recent performance.

The leading retailer performed admirably in the first six months of its current fiscal year, with profits rising from BWP71 million ($5.17 million) to BWP100 million ($7.29 million), aided by a significant increase in revenue from BWP3.54 billion ($258 million) to BWP4.29 billion ($313.2 million).

Choppies Enterprises’ recent dividend payout demonstrates its devotion to shareholders. The move comes as the Gaborone-based retailer strives to strengthen its position as a Southern African market leader. Prudent financial management by the company’s innovative leadership team has set the stage for continued success in the volatile retail industry.

The founders, Ramachandran Ottapathu and Farouk Ismail, stand to benefit from the dividend payout. Their leadership has been essential in Choppies’ evolution from a single store, “Wayside Supermarket,” founded in Botswana in 1986, to a regional powerhouse with over 260 locations in eight African countries.

In light of the company’s financial achievements, Ramachandran Ottapathu emphasized major strategic initiatives, such as raising BWP21 million ($1.53 million) in debt to fund additional stores and settling BWP 312 million ($22.68 million).

Notably, BW86 million ($6.25 million) was paid with internally produced cash, with the remainder supported by the proceeds of a rights issue. The company’s careful debt management strategy resulted in a net debt decrease of BWP 269 million ($19.55 million) in December 2022.

Written by PH

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