Cassava topline dips 26% on regulatory changes

October 21, 2021



Listed technology group Cassava Smartech Zimbabwe, reported a 26% slump in revenue in the 12 months to February 28,2021 to ZWL$14bn from ZWL$19bn reported in the previous year owing to the impact of regulatory  changes and the Covid-19 pandemic.

The company narrowed its loss to ZWL$1.02bn in the reviewed period compared to a loss of ZWL$1.2bn in the previous year.

Total assets shrunk 5% to ZWL$25.8bn in the reviewed period from ZWL$ 27.1bn in 2020.

Board chairperson Sherree Shereni said the  business responded to several regulatory directives issued by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe that affected mainly the Fintech business.

“We complied with all directives while simultaneously driving growth and innovations in all our strategic areas to regain lost revenues.

“Whilst the year was challenging, the business responded with agility and proved to be resilient in the face of change. We therefore continue to be driven by our vision of providing a digitally connected future that leaves no Zimbabwean behind,” Cassava board chairperson,”  Shereni said.

She is, however, hopeful saying the technology driven innovations and cost cutting measures will return the company to profitability.

Shereni said the year saw a growth in the Insurtech business  to 15% from 9% due to the growth of short term non-motor insurance business.

The Vaya Technologies business also uplifted its contribution to 7% in 2021 from 2% last year.

“The revenue diversification strategy is paying off as evidenced by exponential revenue growth in Insurtech and Vaya business units,” Shereni said.

The group will continue its focus on revenue diversification  and innovation into the future  as part of revenue strategy, she said.

The group’s flagship subsidiary, EcoCash’s revenue  contributed 60%  from 75% due to diversification strategy that saw Vaya and Insurtech improving.

The group’s banking unit, Steward Bank, remained stable and is expected  to continue on an upward trend due to a system upgrade in April 2021, Cassava said.

Foreign exchange losses fell 45% to ZWL$4.6bn from ZWL$8.4bn and forex losses were mainly due to US dollar dominated  debenture balances.

The EBITDA margin closed at 15%  from 26%.

Shereni said the year under review saw an acceleration in digital transformation journey as the company responded to challenges brought about by Covid-19.

The group says it remains focused on providing innovative digital solutions that meet the demands of the customers.

Shereni said Cassava continues to leverage digital solutions to increase  operational and cost efficiencies.

In the outlook, Cassava wants its strength and agility to be combined with professionalism  resilience  and innovative foresight of the teams to carry business into the future.


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