BY TAURAI MANGUDHLA
Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE)-listed digital solutions outfit Cassava Smartech (Cassava) is scaling up investment into artificial intelligence (AI) to maintain an edge over competition.
The firm’s chairperson, Sherree Shereni yesterday said in a commentary to financial statements for the half-year ended August 30, 2021 that the strategy was anchored on a sound capital and liquidity position, which gave it capacity to improve customer support.
“Cassava will continue with its digital transformation journey and is optimistic about the future,” Shereni said.
The statement came after Cassava on Monday announced that it had been given the nod by ZSE to change its name to EcoCash Holdings Limited as part of efforts to differentiate operations from those of other units under major shareholders Econet Global Limited.
In the half year under review, the company reported a comprehensive loss of $662 million in inflation adjusted terms, an improvement from $2,4 billion in the same period prior year.
Cassava said the fintech business remained it’s largest contributor to revenue, constituting 80% of total revenue.
“Management continues to focus on revenue diversification as a strategy for revenue growth. The loss before tax reduced to $27,6 million compared to a loss before tax of $1,8 billion in the prior period on the back of revenue growth, reduced exchange losses and effective cost reduction initiatives that started during the prior year,” Shereni said, adding that management remained focused on leveraging on technology to improve operational efficiencies.
Cassava said EcoCash, one of its key units, continued on a steady growth trajectory with transaction values and wallet funding on an upward trend compared to the same period last year at 25% and 54%, respectively.
The group also said its banking unit, Steward Bank’s lending strategy yielded positive results as the 127% growth in the loan book from February 2021 spurred the bank’s 293% growth in interest income, compared to the same period last year.
Shereni said the performance of the business continued to be underpinned by digital transformation.
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