23 February 2018

Uganda: Uchumi Supermarkets Half Year Net Loss Widens to $8.95m

Nairobi — Uchumi Supermarkets net loss for the half year ended December 2017 widened 63.5 per cent to $8.95 million on a sharp drop in sales.

The retailer had made a net loss of $5.47 million in the same period the year before.

Uchumi's revenues declined 71.4 per cent to $5.27 million from $18.5 million similar period in 2016.

Administrative expenses fell 15.5 per cent to $10 million.

Uchumi has struggled to raise new capital to fund its operations which have been hit by closure of branches and stock-outs.

Closure of branches

Uchumi pulled the plug on its regional operations in 2015 by closing down four and six outlets in Tanzania and Uganda respectively following prolonged periods of loss making.

The firm also shut down several branches in Kenya to prevent financial bleeding.

Private equity firm Kuramo Capital, which had been approached by Uchumi to inject $35 million, pulled out and the retailer says it is now in talks with another investor from Asia.

"The management continues to work closely with the board in the implementation of a re-structure strategy aimed at returning the organisation to a positive and sustainable EBITDA position," the company said in a statement Thursday.

"This has already begun to positively impact the business with significant reduction in operating costs as we rationalise the branch network and seek to relocate and open stores which are more financially viable whilst appealing to our customer base."

Uchumi's majority shareholding is owned by Jamii Bora Bank with a 15.8 per cent stake, followed by the Kenya government with 14.6 per cent.

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