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19.01.2005 Business & Finance

PBC exceeds target for three-year medium term plan

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Accra, Jan. 19, GNA - The Produce Buying Company (PBC), the major cocoa purchasing company in the country, on Wednesday said it had achieved its entire three-year medium term corporate plan for the period 2002 to 2004.

As a result the Company was able to maintain its number one position on the league of 26 licensed buying companies.

Giving an overview of PBC's performance in the past year in Accra, Mr Emmanuel Owusu Boakye, Managing Director, said the Company's excellent achievement was evidenced in its ability to purchase 33 per cent of the total cocoa production.

The Company purchased 244,597 tonnes of the all time high production of 739,894 tonnes of cocoa by the country. The purchases also represented 46 per cent increase in the Company's tonnage from 167,998 tonnes to 244,597 tonnes.

Mr Owusu Boakye was addressing the: "Facts Behind The Figures" programme by the Ghana Stock Exchange, which provides opportunity for listed companies to present the contributory factors to their performance.

PBC, which was appearing for the third time on the programme, experienced an increase in its share price from 1,300 cedis to 3,600 cedis representing a growth of 176.9 per cent in the year under review. The Company thus occupies the fifth position among the 10 top share price gainers on the Exchange and has proposed a dividend of 25 cedis per share. The total payment to shareholders is 11.9 billion cedis, which represents 66 per cent increase over the previous year's dividend payment.

Mr Paul Owusu, Deputy Managing Director in charge of Finance and Administration, said PBC's turnover increased by 44 per cent from 1.595 trillion cedis to 2.296 trillion cedis while cost of sales increased by 46 per cent from 1.398 trillion cedis to 2.040 trillion cedis to earn it a gross profit of 257 billion cedis.

The gross profit represented an increase of 30 per cent from the previous year's 197 billion cedis.

Net profit of the Company stood at 38.13 billion cedis after corporate tax and reconstruction levy of 17.6 billion cedis and 1.4 billion cedis, respectively.

Other income earned by the Company amounted to 13 billion cedis. Total expenses increased by 28 per cent from 166 billion cedis to 213 billion cedis.

Mr Owusu gave the Company's key financial ratios as indicators of its sterling performance as follows: Net profit margin from 14 per cent to 15 per cent; earning per share from 57 cedis to 80 cedis; asset turnover from 51 to 69 times while return on investment stood at 45 per cent.

The Company's working capital ratio, however, declined to 1.22 from 1.58.

Ten billion cedis was invested in fixed assets during the year under review.

Mr Owusu outlined PBC's new three-year medium term corporate plan expected to build a foundation to improve the operational efficiency achieved so far.

"Management plans to adopt an aggressive market posture by expanding our field operations in major cocoa growing areas to combat the intense competition in the internal cocoa market in the ensuing year," he said.

He said the Management would improve supervision, continue with its computerisation process for timely and accurate flow of information and motivate workers adequately as part of measures to ensure continued excellent performance.

PBC's calendar year-ending period of the Company began September 30 2003 to September ending 2004.

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