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The Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) has suspended trading of Choppies (BSE:CHOPPIES, JSE:CHP) shares over the supermarkets chain's failure to release financial results for the year ended 30 June 2018.


The Gaborone-listed budget retailer has 10 stores in Kenya having taken over the latest Ukwala store in April this year. It plans to open five more across the country and only last week opened at Signature Mall in Mlolongo, Machakos County.


The BSE confirmed the suspension in a notice to shareholders dated November 1.

"This notice serves to inform market participants that the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) with immediate effect suspended trading on Choppies Securities following their failure to publish their audited annual financial statement for the year ended June 30, 2018,” said the regulatory notice.


“The trading of the Choppies securities will remain suspended until the company complies with BSE Listings requirements or until further notice.”


The firm had earlier been suspended from trading at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE). Its primary listing is on the BSE and its secondary listing at the JSE.


Choppies has operations in seven African countries including South Africa and Zimbabwe with 217 stores. The company had earlier said it is still operating below break-even in Kenya and its other new markets such as Zambia and Mozambique.


One of its latest outlets opened at Nairobi’s Pipeline estate early this year, which saw the retailer target Eastlands residents in a series of local expansion.

 

The flagship branch was opened at South Field Mall. Choppies is also banking on the high population density in Embakasi, Pipeline, Mukuru Kwa Njenga, Utawala, Imara Daima and Donholm.


Chief executive Ramachandran Ottapathu was last year quoted saying it plans to open 40 more stores in Africa by mid this year at a cost of about $29 million (Sh2.99 billion).


The retailer, which employs 15,234 people in seven African countries, had annual sales of 8.8 billion pula (about Sh93 billion) in June 2017.

 

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