Innscor Africa is set to change its management team as the group prepares to review its business model to focus more on regional operations following a slowdown in the profitability of local operations. Well placed sources said current chief executive Mr John Koumedis is set to be reassigned to a less influential role while board consultant, South African Antonio Fourie is set to be appointed in his stead. Financial director Julian Schonken will be re-assigned to head the Light Manufacturing division and Basil Dionisio, head of Bakers Inn and SPAR supermarket is expected to be appointed as executive director of Quick Service Restaurants.
Innscor chairman Mr David Morgan confirmed the ongoing exercise saying: “The information you are asking for is contained in a circular which is yet to be made public.”
He could not be drawn into revealing the reasons for the management restructuring.
Mr Koumides replaced Mr Tom Brown, who left the group under unclear circumstances last year. The effective dates of the changes could, however, not be established but Innscor Africa is likely to make the announcement at a management briefing expected today.
It could not be established if the pending departure of Mr Jeremy Brooke, former CEO of National Foods, an agro-based firmed which is 38 percent owned by Innscor, is linked to the ongoing restructuring. Mr Brooke will leave the company end of this month.
The board is undergoing the process of appointing a successor and will advise in the near future of that search. In the meantime, Mr Michael Lashbrook will be the acting CEO.
Head of Innscor’s Fast Foods division Mr Givemore Chinyani also left the group.
Mr Koumides said last year the group did not produce a great set of results and clear course of action was needed. The group will close loss makers, restructure individual stores and reduce the cost base. The group would need to take some time on Spar but said the DC was the cause of the difficult performance.
But more importantly, the group would re-evaluate its business model and follow an African strategy, with out of Zimbabwe ops expected to contribute 50 percent to the group in the period 2015-2018.
“We are, however, happy to be here when recovery comes. In fact it’s silly not to be here but we have to review where we play, in terms of sector, country and target market.”
Analysts say Innscor has a lot of advantages working in its favour and if the management is able to solve the efficiency problems (costs) its net profit margin will improve.
Meanwhile, Innscor has settled the $3,1 million fine imposed by the Competitions and Tariffs Commission for unfair competition practices after it lost an appeal against the charges.
The retail group lost an appeal against the charges in June this year after the Administrative Court through Justice Herbert Mandeya threw out the appeal after hearing preliminary points raised by the regulatory board.
Well placed sources told The Herald Business that Innscor Africa’s property was released by the Deputy Sherriff after the company paid in full the CTC.
The property which includes several vehicles was attached by the messenger of court last week.