Simbisa Brands revenues rose sharply in H2 2020

Innscor’s Simbisa Brands, the leading fast food operator in Zimbabwe, has seen half year revenues rise by 101% from ZWL3.9bn ($10.7m) to ZWL8bn ($22.1m). Operating profits increased by 75% over the same period. 

Simbisa Brands operates and QSR franchises. Its own brands include Chicken Inn, Pizza Inn, Creamy Inn, Baker’s Inn and Fish Inn. In some of its geographies it also operates franchises of RocoMamas, Nando’s, Steers, Galito’s, Ocean Basket, Grill Shack, Dial a Delivery, Vida e Caffè, Grab & Go, Haefelis and Vasilis. Outside Zimbabwe it opened 15 new outlets in H2 2020, of which 10 were in Kenya.

In Zimbabwe, its main market, revenues rose by 44%. Although customer traffic actually fell by 7% year on year, average spend per customer rose by 56%. The company has stressed the considerable operational challenges in several markets, including Kenya and Tanzania where there are still restrictions on trading hours.

Simbisa Brands has benefitted from the weak value of the Zimbabwean dollar. Outside Zimbabwe revenues actually fell by 14% in US$ terms because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Repatriated to Zimbabwe those losses actually translated into revenue growth in ZWL.

In Kenya, lockdowns and curfews meant that it had 33% fewer trading hours compared to H2 2019. Outside Zimbabwe customer traffic fell by 19% but average spend per customer rose by 6%. In Kenya, customer traffic fell by 23% but average spend rose by 18%, supported by a focus on home delivery. Simbisa Brands opened 10 new outlets in Kenya in H2 2020.

In Ghana, revenues remained flat on H2 2019. Simbisa Brands focused on managing costs down, seeing operating profit increasing 355% year on year.

In Zambia, Simbisa Brands was hit by exchange rate weakness and inflationary pressures driving up the cost of imported goods. Nonetheless, revenues rose 7% year on year, driven by aggressive marketing activity.

In Namibia, revenues fell by 17% compared with the same period in 2019. Although customer numbers fell by 22%, operating profits rose by 51% due to better cost containment.

In Mauritius, customer traffic fell by 10% due to COVID-19 related closures and Simbisa brands closed an outlet in what it is calling a restructuring process.

Overall it is a strong set of results. What stands out is Simbisa Brands’ strong focus on cost control and affordability – driven by its experiences of working in one of the most challenging markets in Africa: Zimbabwe.

Simbisa Brands’ parent company Innscor has also shown strong performance in H2 2020, with revenue growth of 45%. Revenues rose from ZWL19.1bn ($52.7m) in H2 2019 to ZWL27.7bn ($76.5m) in 2020. However, profits fell by 12% to ZWL$2.39bn ($6.35m).

Highlights included:

  • 56% revenue growth at National Brands, the food manufacturer. Within National Brands its bakery and flour products performed strongly.
  • 34% revenue growth in the Stock Feed division; in the poultry feeds category volumes increased by 56%.

    98% volume growth in the Grocery division.


    57% volume growth in Snacks and Treats division.


    64% volume growth in its Pure Oil division, with strong volume growth in cooking oil, soap and margarine.


    26% increase in loaf volumes in its Bakery Division.

  • 47% increase in volumes at its Prodairy division and 57% increase at its Probottlers division.