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17.07.2004 Business & Finance

Graphic pays ¢500m dividend to Government

By Graphic

The Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL) yesterday presented ¢500 million to the government as its dividend for 2003.

The Chairman of the Board of Directors of GCGL, Professor Kwame Gyekye, who made the presentation at the maiden Annual General Meeting of GCGL in Accra, explained that the dividend was modest because of the expansion programme being undertaken by the company, saying “the company has had to depend entirely on internally generated funds to finance its capital projects”.

“We are hopeful that when we complete our expansion programme and have liquidated our major liabilities, the company would be in a position, in the very near future, to pay very good dividend to the state,” Prof Gyekye said.

Professor Gyekye commended the new 10-member executive management team and staff of the company, whose commitment and dedication at all levels, he said, had led to the remarkable performance of the company.

The Managing Director of GCGL, Berifi Afari Apenteng, said the congenial economic conditions in the country and the deepening of democracy combined to create a healthy business environment that led to a vibrant media industry, adding that the company had to find ways of staying afloat.

“The increase in the number of daily newspapers has posed a great challenge to our company. Over the past two or three years, more than five former weekly newspapers have converted to daily newspapers,” Mr Apenteng said and pointed out that the company took steps to change its focus by formulating a strategic plan to respond to those challenges.

The Head of the Non-Tax Unit of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, Enoch Hemans Cobbinah received the cheque on behalf of the government and commended GCGL for its rising performance over the last few years.

He expressed the hope that given its current trend of progress, the company would be able to pay a much higher dividend to the government in the near future.

Representatives of the National Media Commission, the State Enterprises Commission and the Ministry of Finance were at the meeting.

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