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BHC revenue on the decline

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The Botswana Housing Corporation’s total revenue for the financial year ended 31stMarch 2017 has recorded a nine percent decline. The Corporation’s total revenues reached a low of P493 million, when compared to the P539 million recorded in the prior year. According to the Corporation’s financial statement by its General Manager, Reginald Motswaiso, the decrease was mainly driven by sales revenue which decreased by a significant P43 million or 13 percent, from P326 million to P284 million.

In the prior year, sales revenue was high in comparison with other years and the largest contributor was the Phakalane project. “The Phakalane project was delivered late due to water and sewage impasse experienced in 2012 and a majority of these properties were sold in 2016. The total number of houses sold in 2016/17 was 395 units. “Rental revenue declined by 3 percent, from P182 million in 2015/16 to the current P177 million.

The decline was mainly caused by a once off sale of a major estate in the prior year, which was generating an annual rental of P2.4 million,” reads the financial statement. Gains from the sale of investment properties were P18 million, a decline of 83 percent from P107 million in 2016, still on the back of this once off sale. Rental revenue continues to be a significant and key revenue stream for the Corporation and it is the pillar of the Corporation’s sustainability model.

Income from professional fees at P30 million increased by 10 percent when compared to prior year. Professional fees are revenues from project management done on behalf of third parties. This is the third largest revenue stream for BHC and demonstrates BHC’s ability to use its skilled workforce to deliver projects on behalf of other people.

Professional fee income has grown over the years and it is part of management’s revenue diversification strategy going into the future. On the expenditure side, employee expenses went down by 30 percent mainly as a result of restructuring expenses which were incurred in the prior year. Employee expenses also declined on the back of efficiencies brought about by the re-organisation of the Corporation. Other expenses also went down by 11 percent and this combined with savings in employee expenses largely contributed to the increase in profitability.

Meanwhile, the Corporation recently developed a six year Strategy from 2018 – 2023. The major strategic focus going forward is delivery of the new mandate which clearly encompasses the social housing aspect. In the strategy period BHC is expected to deliver an average of 1500 social housing projects and 1800 commercial housing projects per annum.

Through the Corporation’s six year Strategy some key priority areas have been identified and these are mainly; developing new partnerships with the private sector in housing delivery; responding to customer needs by building/designing for specific markets; serving the unserved markets, especially low income groups; exploring alternative technologies and optimisation of BHC’s research capabilities. These strategic priority areas will ensure focus in delivering the strategic plan and will guide Management in the implementation of the long-term Strategy.

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Matambo calls on financial sector to pick GDP

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Finance Minister, kenneth Matambo

Finance Minister Kenneth Matambo has announced that government is committed to support financial service sector to prop up the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Currently contributing over 13 percent to GDP, Matambo said the sector has potential to increase its share. “Hence government’s interest in the sector,” said Matambo addressing delegates at the inaugural Botswana Insurance Holdings Limited (BIHL), Global Financial Summit.

The country has built a strong, resilient and fast growing financial sector underpinned by a robust regulatory framework. The finance minister who is expected to step down next year, noted that government’s commitment to the financial service sector has this year been buttressed by a number of laws passed in July relating to money laundering activities.

In addition, Matambo said the continued investment in the development of information, communication and technologies (ICTs) backbone infrastructure is also to support local banks’ rising appetite for online services.

The Minister said the country remains committed to maintaining micro-economic stability to spur private sector participation in the economy. “Our vision is to become a high income country by 2036,” said Matambo, challenging the private sector to step forward and help government to develop the country, bemoaning the low levels of financial inclusion and shallow domestic capital markets.

He said the private sector should come up with more initiatives to develop further the local capital markets. The Minister’s sentiments were also shared by Martin Davies, Managing Director for Emerging Markets and Africa at Deloitte who has challenged the country to start dealing with its low manufacturing value add.

“How do we start to diversify beyond the single commodity economy,” quizzed Davies, adding that manufacturing increase is vital for low inequality across the country.

“Inequality results in bad public policy, as the state starts to believe and think they have to intervene more,” said Davies, highlighting that the country needs to move away from the absolute concept of state drive growth. Meanwhile, minister Matambo has applauded the private sector for leading economic dialogue in the country through events such as the BIHL Global Finance Summit.

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First Lady advises women entrepreneurs

Keikantse Lesemela

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First lady, Neo Masisi

First Lady, Neo Masisi has urged women entrepreneurs to bring change in the economic development of the country and the rest of Africa.

Speaking during the Lioness Lean in Africa breakfast on Friday, Masisi said women entrepreneurs are remarkable engines of economic growth and job creation. “I believe women entrepreneurs hold incredible potential and credentials on the continent because Africa has the highest percentage of women entrepreneurs in the world.

It is projected that millions of much needed jobs will be created over the next decade and these will be created predominantly through small businesses which are mostly run by women,” said Masisi.She highlighted that women entrepreneurs are also the most powerful engine for equitably distributing growth and they are also solutions for addressing inequality on the continent.

“It is a proven fact that for many generations, women understand the simple concept of barter and commerce. These are the role models of our past and our present and they will continue to inspire new generations to do more for business to grow,” she said.

The Lioness Lean In Breakfast Series brings together inspirational and successful women entrepreneurs to share, inspire and connect with the next generation of great women-led start-ups.

The platform is based on a breakfast networking and speaker presentation format, which has been organized in locations across the African continent for the past year by Lionesses of Africa, empowering over one million women entrepreneurs across the continent.

Stanbic Bank Botswana Head of Personal Markets, Omphemetse Dube said they are pleased to bring the Lionesses of Africa Lean In platform to Botswana once again to bring together women entrepreneurs in the country and help to nurture their growth further.

“Botswana is blessed with a number of thriving female entrepreneurs, and the potential for the next generation of talent is strong. Platforms such as this are therefore paramount in growing the cause and we as a bank are proud to help champion that movement further,” said Dube.

Founder and CEO of Lionesses of Africa,Melanie Hawken noted that Gaborone is a growing and exciting centre for women’s entrepreneurship in Africa. “This is a must-attend event for women entrepreneurs in the country as it gives them the opportunity to hear the inspiring entrepreneurial stories of women who are building great businesses here,” she said.

The annual Lionesses of Africa event allows entrepreneurs to benefit from the insights and advice of women entrepreneurs who have seen and experienced it all and to also provide an excellent opportunity for networking.

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