HomeBusiness DigestEcoCash shrugs off headwinds

EcoCash shrugs off headwinds

By Staff Writer

TECHNOLOGY outfit, EcoCash Holdings Zimbabwe Limited, has defied headwinds stemming out of Covid–19 induced lockdowns and policy changes to post a solid operating performance during the year ended February 28, 2021.

The firm, formerly called Cassava Smartech Zimbabwe Limited, said this week it registered ZW$14,3 billion (US$160 million) revenue during the review period.

EcoCash said while the pandemic stifled business, a difficult regulatory regime in Zimbabwe amplified an already difficult situation.

EcoCash, whose shares were suspended from the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange early this month after it delayed publishing the results due to technical accounting matters, has interests in several sectors but said 80% of its income was generated from its financial technology units.

Chairperson Sherree Shereni said while the year was challenging, the business responded well.

“We, therefore, continue to be driven by our vision of providing a digitally connected future that leaves no Zimbabwean behind,” she said.

Shereni added that EcoCash insuretech business’s contribution grew from 9% in 2020 to 15% during the period under review, largely attributed to the growth of the short-term non-motor insurance business.

Vaya Technologies improved contribution from 2% in 2020 to 7%.

“The group’s revenue diversification strategy is paying off, as evidenced by the exponential revenue growth in the Insurtech and the Vaya Technologies business units. As part of its revenue growth strategy, the group will continue its focus on revenue diversification and innovation (going) into the future,” she said.

“EcoCash’s revenue contribution, at 60%, declined (from 75% in 2020) because of macro-economic factors as well as regulatory changes that took place during the year. Steward Bank’s contribution remained stable and is expected to continue on the upward trend on the back of the system upgrade completed in April 2021.”

Shereni indicated that although EcoCash’s revenues closed the year at ZW$14 billion compared to ZW$19 billion (US$211 million) in the prior year, due to the impact of regulatory measure and the Covid-19 pandemic, this was mitigated by a rigorous cost-cutting drive.

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