BAT upbeat on Naidoo appointment as MD

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TINASHE MAKICHI

British American Tobacco Zimbabwe (BATZ) chairman Lovemore Manatsa said the future of the tobacco company is bright with the appointment of South African Kimesh Naidoo as managing director.

Naidoo takes over from Clara Mlambo who resigned this year to pursue personal interests.

Manatsa told Business Times that Naidoo is the right person to lead BATZ into the future given his experience in the consumer goods business.

“The board of directors is delighted to have appointed Naidoo as the new MD after a thorough and rigorous selection process. Naidoo is an outstanding leader who brings wide experience across the consumer goods sector, both operationally at technically, from his time at British American Tobacco South Africa and before that at AB InBev South Africa (formely South African Breweries) both at senior management level,” Manatsa said.

“Naidoo is the right person to lead BAT Zimbabwe into the future, given his strong command of the fast-moving consumer business and proven ability to drive results.”

Stephen Nyabadza, who acted as interim MD during this transition period, returns to his substantive role in BAT Southern African markets.

Naidoo said: “I am truly excited to join such an extraordinary company. I look forward to working closely with the talented leadership team and exceptional board of directors in driving and serving our customers,
growing value for our shareholders and creating a great working experi-
ence for our employees.”

BATZ described Naidoo as a vision-driven change agent with career-long record of strategic planning and organisational development for leading organisations.

He is a qualified Chartered Accountant with the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants

(SAICA) with over 11 years in financial management, audit, sales and customer interaction in the Fast Moving Consumer Goods industry.

Naidoo has proven talent for aligning business strategy and objectives with established business development and sales management paradigms to achieve maximum operational impacts with minimum resource expenditures whilst delivering shareholder value.

He is a growth focused thought leader with expertise spanning strategic planning, strategic execution, stakeholder engagement and cross-functional team leadership.

Naidoo comes to the seat when the company in the previous reporting period posted revenue of ZWL$9.6m which was 48 percent higher than the same period last year, driven by price increases targeted at containing increasing costs.

This resulted in gross profit increase of ZWL$8.9m which was 61 percent up compared to the same period last year, driven by the positive impact from raw materials sourced at lower prices.

Administrative expenses increased by ZWL$2.6m driven by once off restructuring costs and economic inflationary pressures.

Other losses increased by ZWL$3.8m driven by foreign currency denominated liabilities exchange losses.

Operating profit increased by ZWL$0.9m compared to the same period last year to close at ZWL$11.3m.

Net profit attributable to shareholders for the year was 15 percent up compared to June 2018.