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Profit drops sweep BSE

Lap of luxury: Cresta Marakanelo is forecasting a deep drop in 2020 profitability due to COVID-19 PIC: CRESTAHOTELS.COM
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic's impact on the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE)-listed companies will become even clearer in the upcoming reporting season, with several firms due to post massive profit drops and even a loss.

According to a slew of cautionaries filed with the exchange in recent days, counters such as ABSA Botswana, BancABC Botswana, Cresta, G4S Botswana and RDC Properties are set to post reductions in profit for the full year ended December 2020, when they post their results at month-end.

ABSA Botswana has told investors to watch for up to 50% lower profit before tax or a reduction of P339 million due to higher credit provisions and impairments associated with the pandemic. BancABC meanwhile is expecting pretax profits to drop by up to P33 million for the full year 2020, while for the same reporting period, RDC Properties is forecasting up to 90% lower pretax profits or up to P146 million less than the previous corresponding period.

RDC Properties directors said the lower profits were due to

a conservative approach to the valuation of the investment properties as well as reduced rental income from hospitality assets. Cresta Marakanelo, meanwhile, expects profit before tax for the year ended December 2020 to drop by up to 104% representing a loss of P73.4 million.

The hotel group said the forecast loss was due to the impact of COVID-19 on tourism and the closure of borders. G4S Botswana is also expecting a P12 million drop in pretax profits when it unveils its full-year 2020 results at month-end.

Junior miner, Shumba Energy, expects to swim against the tide, however, forecasting a 77% improvement in its loss before tax for the six months to December 2020.

Directors said the improvement was due to cost-cutting measures implemented to cope with COVID-19, including deferment of planned spending.


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