Retail group Choppies has yet to give a full explanation on why it has not yet published its results for the year to end-June. The Botswana and JSE-listed group first said on September 21 that its results would come out late, and also warned that after-tax profit would be at least 20% lower when compared to the 74.64 pula in the previous corresponding period. This was despite after-tax profit rising 21% to 67.65m pula in its half-year results. A few days later is said that the delay stemmed from its new auditors, PwC pointing out several accounting matters that required “independent verification and expert legal analysis”.

Choppies said the predicted decline in earnings was a result of difficult trading conditions in SA, Mozambique and East Africa and a “material increase” in inventory losses as a result of it improving the stock counting procedures it used during the last quarter of the year. Keith McLachlan, fund manager at AlphaWealth said it looked like the real issue was ...

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