Botswana Development Corporation (BDC) has recorded an increase of 29 percent in company revenue. The increase in revenue was driven mostly by the sales of various assets during the year which increased revenue of the company from P150.4 million to P194.4 million whereas the group revenue increased by 19 percent from P286.7 million to P339.9 million in 2015. The corporation presented its financial results for the financial year which comes a year after the BDC started its transformation journey by rolling out a five-year turnaround strategy. BDC Managing Director, Bashi Gaetsaloe, said even though the year was a challenging, they managed to grow profits to P109.8 million before taxation.
“Throughout this year, we have been focused on implementing our Crisis Response Plan and our long term Strategic Plan - including: execution of our divestment strategy; increased monitoring of subsidiary performance; improvement of our origination and business development capabilities; adherence to risk and governance principles; and increased productivity driven by a growing culture of delivery and value creation. While we are still at an early stage, we believe our plans are bearing fruit,” said Gaetsaloe. During the period under review, Gaetsaloe said BDC took a deliberate decision to slow on funding of projects, funding for only P55 million that created around 244 jobs.
As BDC did not fund many projects during the year, it spent its efforts restructuring the balance sheet through divestment from non-performing assets, resulting in a consolidated company asset base of P3.9 billion with the group assets standing at P2.9 billion. BDC had intended to shed 12 percent of its investments. Some of the businesses the coporation has divested from are Khawa Lodge, Cumberland Hotel and Asphalt Botswana among others. This divestment, according to Gaetsaloe, is the way in which BDC intends to empower the citizens by giving back those businesses to them. Gaetsaloe said the coporation is now targeting sectors that are dominantly aligned to economic growth such as manufacturing, energy, agriculture, infrastructure and services.
He said the organisation is building a strong pipeline for commercially viable projects with strong development impact. The Corporation’s results come on the back of its wide-reaching Transformation Programme which included not only a review on the Corporation’s processes, structures and policies, but also a re-structuring of its balance sheet through a divestment strategy (targeting non-strategic assets) and a turn-around programme (targeting non-performing investments). The Corporation has also embarked on an extensive recruitment drive to build capacity around the areas of venture capital, development finance, risk management, governance, and business origination and financial analysis.