FSG looks to expand into regional markets

The Botswana’s leading funeral services provider FSG Group has indicated that it considers proposals for further regional expansion as part of the Group’s business vision.
Incorporated in Botswana in 2003 with a 65 percent market share, FSG directors are confident that the Group will perform in line with expectations.

Responding to Gazette Business inquiry about the Company’s prospects, FSG’s Vijayan Narayanan said, “FSG is actively evaluating business opportunities in Zimbabwe and South Africa. More specific information will be available towards the end of the year 2014.”

The Group is currently servicing the Botswana and Zambian market. In its half year financial results released a fortnight ago, the Group showed 7 percent growth in revenue and profit before tax of 8 percent despite a challenging environment.  Total assets exceeded P230 million.

The Groups’ Managing Director, Milivoje Nikolic revealed in the report that, during this period, a new branch was opened in Palapye and the results have been encouraging while another branch will soon open in Ramotswa.

In the Zambian market, the number of funerals serviced grew by 13 percent as compared with 2013, with a revenue growth of 11 percent. Due to the volatility of the Kwacha exchange rate, the results in Pula terms, do not reflect the improvement in operating performance of the Zambia operation.  As the Kwacha weakened considerably, the Group incurred an exchange loss on investment made. The Group has stuck to  its  strategy of opening new branches in other towns in  Zambia.

Asked on the Company’s strategy in Zambia Narayanan said ,opening of new branches within Zambia will provide FSG with the opportunity to service more funerals and to market funeral assurance policies. “In order to successfully market assurance policies as a service-provider you need to demonstrate to your customers that you are there to provide them service. For this purpose you need to have a network of branches in major towns within Zambia. Opening of new branches will lead to an increased market share and brand visibility,” he said.

In Botswana, although he could not share the figures, Narayanan said the number of funerals serviced have witnessed a steady decline over the last two years. This he said was due to better social conditions leading to a reduction in mortality rate. Additionally, he said “in Zambia, as we have opened a new branch in Ndola the number of funerals serviced by FSG has seen a remarkable increase.”
The Company through its wholly-owned subsidiaries, namely, FSG Manufacturing (Proprietary) Limited t/a Lyn’s Funeral Parlour, FSG Services (Proprietary) Limited, t/a Kagiso Funeral Parlour, FSG Assurance (Proprietary) Limited, FSG Properties (Proprietary) Limited, FSG Limited (a Company registered in Zambia), Botswana Funeral Services Group (Proprietary) Limited (a Company registered in South Africa), carries on the principal business activity of manufacturing and retail of coffins and caskets, provision of funeral-related services and provision of funeral insurance in partnership with Botswana Life Insurance Limited. The Company has another wholly owned subsidiary namely, Private Cemeteries (Proprietary) Limited that is engaged in the business of establishing and managing private cemeteries in Botswana.