SA online retailer to list on JSE in December

SA online retailer, HomeChoice Holdings, says it aims to list on the Johannesburg stock  exchange (JSE) as it eyes the African market.

HomeChoice, which uses call centres, catalogs, and the internet to sell homeware merchandise and financial services to South Africa’s expanding middle class, is expected to start trading on December 4.

The company does not plan to raise funds at the listing, however, chief executive officer Shirley Maltz said access to public markets would provide an additional source of funding.

In September, the group reported an increase in revenue by 13% to R861 million in the six months to June 2014 and reported headline earnings per share growth of 11.6% to 157.1 cents.

An interim dividend of 61 cents per share was declared, an increase of 39% on the previous interim dividend.

HomeChoice gained 81,000 new customers in the period, increasing its customer base to 557,000.

“Growing demand from customers to shop on the Internet and via mobile phones saw online sales increase by 34%, with e-commerce now accounting for 9.3% of retail sales. Our focus on increasing sales outside South Africa has driven a 36.5% increase in revenue, with Africa now representing 11.8% of retail sales,” CEO, Maltz said.

HomeChoice also operates in Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland, and more recently expanded into Zambia.

The group completed a new centralised distribution centre, at a cost of R150 million, in January 2014. The new facility increased total storage capacity from 80,000 m³ to 200,000 m³.

The group has a telecoms subsidiary, FoneChoice, which sells laptop computers, tablets and mobile smartphones on credit to HomeChoice customers on terms of 24 and 36 months.

HomeChoice reported the following operational  highlights for 2013:

  • 7.4 million catalogues distributed;
  • 5.6 million internet site visitors;
  • 1.4 million mobi site;
  • 13.7 million calls with customers;
  • 730 828 parcels dispatched to customers

Reporting with Reuters

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SA online retailer to list on JSE in December