Namibian market excites Innscor

HARARE - Zimbabwe Stock Exchange-listed diversified concern, Innscor Africa Limited (Innscor), says it is excited by opportunities presented by the Namibian market.

The group’s chief executive, Antonio Fourie, told businessdaily on Friday that the pan-African conglomerate was looking at various options and will take anything that suits the company’s growth strategy.

“We are excited about Namibia. The market is small but very stable. We think we can do work there,” he said.

This comes as the group — with interest spanning from fast-food, distribution, manufacturing and tourism — in May this year inked a deal with Vivo Energy to open at least 10 restaurants in Namibia by the end of 2015.

According to terms of the deal, Vivo Energy which operates 45 service stations in Namibia became the master franchisee for Innscor’s quick service restaurants in Namibia and Botswana, as it seeks to bring retail convenience to its customers.

“The partnership will see Vivo Energy add quick service restaurants — including Chicken Inn, Pizza Inn, Creamy Inn and Galito’s Flame Grilled Chicken — to a number of Shell service stations in Namibia and Botswana,” Vivo Energy Namibia managing director, Johan Grobbelaar said then.

Meanwhile, Fourie said Innscor was getting closer to securing more opportunities in the logistics and distribution sector in Namibia.

“The group will also continue to explore opportunities to create value by further optimising its portfolio. Notwithstanding the tough trading environment, the group will continue to procure strategic acquisitions,” he added.

Innscor, with a market capitalisation of nearly $200 million, was listed on the Zimbabwean Stock Exchange in 1998.

The group reported a 6,52 percent decline in revenue to $814 million in the half year to September 2015 as key units performed poorly, leading to management overhauls in some departments.

In 2014, Innscor became the first local business to record $1 billion turnover, but the conglomerate suffered disappointing trading performances in some key units during the year, and hopes management changes will breathe new life into the subsidiaries.

Fourie took over from John Koumides in October last year to provide fresh impetus to the stuttering conglomerate.

Koumides was reassigned to serve as head of corporate finance and Innscor International.

Spar Zambia, Spar Zimbabwe, Colcom, and Baker’s Inn are some of the businesses that have new management.

In the period under review profit after tax fell 53 percent to $36,1 million, while earnings per share declined to 3,48 cents from the 4,11 cents in the prior comparable period.

The group’s light manufacturing unit — which includes National Foods, Colcom, Irvines, Capri and bakeries — contributed 58 percent to total revenue while the logistics arm and Quick Service Restaurants contributed 12 and 16 percent  respectively. Retail and wholesale contributed 17 percent.

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