Home » Botswana tycoon Farouk Ismail’s Choppies to pay first dividends since 2017

Botswana tycoon Farouk Ismail’s Choppies to pay first dividends since 2017

Choppies' dividend signals stability

by Feyisayo Ajayi
Ramachandran Ottapathu

Choppies Enterprises, a leading retailer led by Botswana businessman Ramachandran Ottapathu has announced plans to distribute dividends amounting to BWP29.19 million ($2.12 million) to its shareholders, highlighting the financial strength of the Gaborone-based supermarket chain.

The announcement, made through releases on both the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) and Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), solidifies the retailer’s commitment to rewarding stakeholders while maximizing investor value.

Choppies declares first dividend since 2017

The dividend declaration, set at BWP0.016 ($0.001454) per share, represents a significant milestone for Choppies, marking its first dividend payout since 2017. This highlights the company’s financial resilience and impressive financial performance in recent times.

The leading retailer delivered a remarkable performance in the first six months of its current fiscal year, with its profit rising from BWP71 million ($5.17 million) to BWP100 million ($7.29 million), bolstered by a substantial increase in revenue from BWP3.54 billion ($258 million) to BWP4.29 billion ($313.2 million).

Choppies’ dividend signals stability

Choppies Enterprises underscored its commitment to shareholders with its recent dividend payout. The move comes as the Gaborone-based grocer seeks to solidify its position as a stalwart in the Southern African market. Prudent financial management by the company’s visionary leadership team has paved the way for continued success in the dynamic retail landscape.

The founders, Ramachandran Ottapathu and Farouk Ismail, are poised to benefit from the dividend payout. Their leadership has been instrumental in Choppies’ transformation from a single store, “Wayside Supermarket,” established in Botswana in 1986, to a regional powerhouse with over 260 stores across eight African countries.

Debt management and expansion plans

In light of the company’s financial achievements, Ramachandran Ottapathu highlighted key strategic moves, including raising debt of BWP21 million ($1.53 million) to fund new stores and settling the debt of BWP 312 million ($22.68 million).

Notably, BW86 million ($6.25 million) was paid out of internally generated funds, with the remaining balance funded through the proceeds of a rights issue. The company’s prudent debt management strategy resulted in a net reduction of BWP 269 million ($19.55 million) in debt from December 2022.

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