Choppies troubles deepen

  • BSE, JSE ready to delist Choppies
  • Choppies fails to release financials
  • Missed deadline again

Gazette Reporter

Unsettled chain supermarket group, Choppies enterprises Limited’s trading status on the Botswana Stock Exchange Limited (BSEL) has been annotated with ‘RE’ , to indicate that the company has failed to submit its financial results timeously and that the listing of the company shares on the BSEL is under threat of suspension and possible delisting, a statement from the company has revealed.
The statement was released jointly through BSE sponsoring broker African Alliance Botswana Limited and JSE sponsor Rand Marchant Bank, a division of FirstRand bank Limited, the operators of FNB brand.
In the statement, the brokers further reveal that consequently, the JSE, as the secondary exchange, will annotate Choppies’ listing on the JSE trading system with ‘RE’.
The financial results were supposed to have been filed on or before the 30th of September 2018. However, Choppies Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ramachandran Ottapathu announced on the BSEL that the finalisation of these results was taking longer than had been anticipated.
“A number of matters requiring the attention of the board and management, which may materially impact on the results, are still being considered and the possible reporting impacts of these matters have not yet been finally and fully determined”, Choppies announced. The company has announced that it will not publish the results for the year ended 30 June 2018 by the required deadline of 30 September 2018, and rather anticipated that it will publish them on or before the 15th October 2018. However, Choppies has missed that deadline, and has not advanced reasons why it missed the deadline for the second time, hence a caution from both the BSE and the JSE.
Choppies has fallen into the habit of failing to release financials on time. During the previous half year reporting period, Choppies, together with other companies were facing possible wrath of the BSEL after it threatened to crack whip at them for failing to publish results on time. According to listings requirements, Interim reports shall be published in the press and be distributed to all shareholders as early as possible after the expiration of the first six month period of a financial year, but not later than three months after that date.
Where the financial period covers 15 months or longer, the requirements are that the interim reports shall be published in the press in respect of the first and second six months of this period.
If a listed company has not distributed annual financial statements to all shareholders within three months of its financial year end, it must publish in the press and distribute to all shareholders a preliminary report even if the information is unaudited at that time.
Choppies, the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) retailer was also supposed to publish its interim results for the financial year ending December 2018, within the first three months of 2018 but had failed, therefore failed to comply with Section 3.21 (b) of the BSE Listings requirements. Section 3.21(b) reads that by failing compliance within fourteen days of dispatch of the reminder to the listed company, the Committee will publish a press announcement informing shareholders that the listed company has not issued its interim/preliminary report and cautioning shareholders that the listing of the listed company’s securities are under the threat of suspension and possible termination. Choppies has since failed to meet its deadline again.