The Produce Buying Company (PBC) Limited recorded a profit before tax of GH¢ 19.256 million in the 2009/2010 financial year as compared to GH¢ 7.176 million the previous year.

Mr. M. Kojo Atta-Krah, Managing Director, who disclosed this, said the company achieved an unprecedented high market share of 38 per cent as against 35 per cent in the previous period.

This was contained in the 2009/2010 Annual Report of the PBC made available to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Sunyani on Monday.

Mr. Atta-Krah said the turnover for cocoa operations increased from GH¢ 430.528 million to GH¢ 622.664 million, an increase of 44.6 per cent due to the increase in producer price and the buyers’ takeover margin though the volume of cocoa purchased and delivered reduced slightly.

He said with a reduction of 11 per cent in national cocoa purchases from 710,639 tonnes in 2008/2009 to 632,026 tonnes in 2009/2010 due mainly to cocoa smuggling activities, the company’s purchases similarly reduced albeit by a smaller margin of 4 percent from 247,881 tonnes to 236,967 tonnes.

“This level of purchases nevertheless culminated in a market share of 38 percent as against the 35 per cent recorded in the previous year,” Mr. Atta-Krah added.

The Managing Director observed that the increase in the company’s market share within the environment of reduced purchases was an indication of the dedication, commitment and hard work exhibited by staff in the year under review, even under the extreme industry challenges, especially smuggling.

Mr. Atta-Krah said turnover for the haulage services increased from GH¢ 6.878 million to 10.239 million, an increase of 48 per cent due to the increase in the quantity of cocoa hauled at the secondary level by the company’s articulated and cargo trucks.

“This boost in haulage revenue is mainly attributable to the increase in the company’s share of the secondary level evacuation which now stands at 43.5 per cent of total purchases,” he stated.

Mr. Atta-Krah disclosed that the cost of sales for cocoa operations increased by 43.9 per cent from GH¢ 384.297 million to GH¢ 553.059 million due mainly to increase in producer price.

Direct cost of the haulage service, he said, also increased from GH¢ 3.127 million to GH¢ 3.614 million, also an increase of 15.6 per cent attributable to the increase in the quantity of cocoa carted by the company’s trucks at the secondary evacuation level.

Mr. Atta-Krah said out of the turnover and the associated cost of sales, the company recorded gross profit of GH¢ 76.229 million as compared to the previous year’s gross profit of GH¢ 49.982 million, an increase of 52.5 percent.

Total expenses of the company (excluding financing cost) increased by 36.4 per cent from GH¢ 30.007 million to GH¢ 40.920 million, he said, adding it registered an operating profit before financing cost of GH¢ 37.659 million to the previous year’s figure of GH¢ 21.823 million, a significant increase of 72.6 percent.

The managing director stated that net financing cost also increased by 25.6 per cent from GH¢ 14.647 million to GH¢ 18.402 million, attributed mainly to the company’s continuous heavy reliance on overdrafts for cocoa operations.

Mr. Atta-Krah noted that high finance cost was a serious challenge to the board and management and that every effort was being made to reduce this to a more acceptable level.

He explained that in exercising its corporate social responsibility, the company contributed towards various developmental projects in the communities in which it operated.

Notable among these were electrification and water projects as well as repairs on roads and bridges.

Mr. Atta-Krah said PBC, which derived its strength from rural communities would not relent in efforts at giving back to improve the living conditions of such communities.

The Managing Director thanked the board directors, management and staff of the company for the outstanding performance during the year in spite of the numerous challenges.

Source: GNA

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