Zambeef this week announced the appointment of Faith Mukutu as its new CFO of the food retailing company effective 1st September 2019, according to sources close to the matter.
Faith is a seasoned professional. “She has held a number of senior finance and operational roles, most recently serving as Financial Director of Zambia Sugar plc where she was instrumental in implementing the Illova Finance transformation programme”, according to the annoucment published on the London stock exchange website. “This programme aimed to drive greater business insight and support the business in making sound commercial designs by allowing for a value adding finance function”.
Faith has also cemented her name amongts listed companies on LuSE. “Prior this appointment, Ms Mukutu was Finance Director of Zambian Breweries PLC, a division of SABMiller Group plc. Ms Mukutu is an Associate Member of the Zambia Institute of Chartered Accountants and a Fellow of the UK’s Association of Chartered Certified Accountants”.
She exits her role at Zambia Sugar where she served as Director Finance under the leadership of CEO Rebecca Katowa for a year and 7 months. The sugar company now sees its 2nd Finance Director exit in under 5 years.
Her appointment at the largest vertically integrated food retailing company in Zambia, comes months before the departure of the current CEO Francis Grogan at the end of 2019. “We are also pleased to announce our intention, subject to the completion of various regulatory processes, to appoint Walter Roodt to the Board of Zambeef.” read the statement published on SENS in February 2019 which Financial Insight believes is the change in the Management DNA of Zambeef following the arrival of CDC. Walter’s management team is slowing being shaped as the company also announced the BAT Zambia’s Board Chair Micheal Mundashi also being appointed as a Non Executive Director.
Faith joins a company that has recently increased its revenue by 15.5% in kwacha terms (down 4% in dollar terms due to a weakening kwacha during the period under review). Furthermore, the company has executed on its strategic focus of stepping up on the roll out of new stores across Zambia. This is targeted at improving margins as well as continuing on the trajectory of revenue growth which also incorporates cost management. Prudent cost management will be nothing new as she exits a role that placed cost control as part of the strategy to increase profitability.
With economic growth projections for 2019 forecast between 2 to 3 percent range due to risks to growth which include load shedding, continued lower investment and subdued commodity prices which may affect Copper production, Faith’s role will be crucial in ensuring that the food processing company remains well capitalised to take advantage of the last frontier of value creation; a growing middle class. The only threat to this will be the country’s inflation rate (currently above 8%) that will put pressure on consumer spending as well as force the Central Bank to take measures that will focus on reigning inflation in whilst possibly increasing the cost of capital through the MPC tool.
Faith’s career which has spanned almost two decades from being a management trainee, to being at the helm of financial control makes her a fantastic choice for the role as Zambeef enters a new decade. She now sits on a Board of Directors that has the last remaining legacy Board Member in Francis Grogan (outgoing CEO) who was instrumental to the growth of the integrated cold chain foods and retail businesses with operations in Zambia, Nigeria and Ghana that has spanned over 2 decades.
Her new board will be looking to her for financial insight into how their capital structure will be forged as Zambeef enters another decade that poses various opportunities and risks.
Zambeef Chairman, Dr Jacob Mwanza is ecstatic about the two appointments. “I am delighted to welcome Michael to the Board as an Independent Non-Executive Director. He brings experience from one of the largest banks and life assurance companies in Zambia, and will be of significant value to the Board and Company. I look forward to working with Michael over the period ahead.”
“In addition, I’m delighted to announce the appointment of Faith as the Company’s new CFO and member of the Board. As the former Finance Director of three LuSE listed companies and with significant experience in the food and Beverage sector, she will be a highly valuable asset to the team.”
–Article corrected and updated to reflect that 2 Finance Directors have exited in the last 5 years