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06.02.2009 Business & Finance

Produce Buying Company buys more cocoa

Produce Buying Company buys more cocoa

Produce Buying Company (PBC), a licensed cocoa buying firm, says it bought 12 per cent more cocoa in 2007/8 season than it did the previous season.

Cocoa purchases rose to 208,482 tonnes compared to 186,051 tonnes last season, company officials said on Friday citing the revamped haulage unit and the buying of new fleet of both cargoes and articulator trucks for the success.

“We have been able to attain the result because of the increase in our take in the secondary level evacuation as a result of the revamping of the haulage unit,” Mr Joseph Osei Manu, Deputy Managing Director in Charge of Finance and Administration, told brokers, journalists and investors at the Facts Behind the Figures Programme on the Ghana Stock Exchange.

Consequently, turnover for cocoa operations increased from GH¢191.856 million to GH¢242.324 million.

Net profit before tax increased by 660.6 percent from GH¢0.388 million to GH¢ 2.95 million.

“This significant jump in financial performance was achieved amidst intense competition in the internal cocoa market and numerous uncontrollable challenges in the cocoa industry,” Mr Manu said.

National cocoa production went up to 680,385 tonnes in 2007/08 and the company accounted for 31 percent of all purchases.

“The Company hopes to increase market share through incentives to farmers and quick recycling of seed fund as well as other cost control measures,” Mr Manu added.

Mr Manu said Cost of sales for cocoa operations increased by 25 percent from GH¢170.326 million to GH¢212.275 million due mainly to increase in producer price and volume of purchases.

On the outlook Mr Anthony Osei Boakye, Managing Director PBC, said management would continue to improve on performance through continuous training and development of its workforce.

Management will also continue with its ICT programme and computerize its major activities and increase the supply of computer hardware to the operational regions to ensure timely and accurate flow of information.

Mr Kofi Yamoah, Managing Director of the Stock Exchange, said by the close of February brokers would be able to trade from their offices and urged investors to register their share certificates with the Depository.