By Staff Writer:
Conglomerate Press Corporation plc held its 38th Annual General Meeting (AGM) where it announced a group profit after tax of MK45.1 billion, being 126% higher than prior year Profit After Tax of MK19.9 billion.
Addressing shareholders in Blantyre, Press Corporation plc Board Chairman Randson Mwadiwa said despite the need to navigate through the Covid-19 related challenges, the Group remained steadfast on its strategy implementation and hence overall, 2021 was a very strong year for the PCL Group.
“The company achieved double-digit revenue and profit growth while fully establishing its investment in the Life, Pension and Asset Management segment. Income growth of 23% (MK249.07 billion compared to MK202.89 billion in 2020) coupled with strict cost containment measures and profit on disposal of Castel stake (MK9 billion) resulted in a Group profit after tax of MK45.1 billion, being 126% higher than prior year Profit After Tax of MK19.9 billion,” said Mwadiwa.
He however said notwithstanding the overall performance, some segments of the group still experienced challenges during the year namely The Foods Company Limited (TFCL) also trading as Maldeco and TNM plc but was quick to point out that management of the two companies have put in place turn around strategies to make the companies profitable again.
The Chairman also briefed shareholders on the Peoples Trading Centre (PTC) divestiture saying a decision was made to exit the PTC investment after years of attempting to turn it around yielded no result.
“The divestiture was a strategic move to get out of the retail business and concentrate on capital intensive business ventures to increase shareholder value and grow the Malawi economy. Motivated by the desire for orderly exit and ensuring PTC continuity and preservation of jobs, an investor was identified who made an offer to buy PTC.”
“A series of discussions ensued which culminated in the disposal of PTC on 28th February 2022. Part of the Share Purchase Agreement required a high court judgement which was obtained. On the time of our exit on 28th February 2022 PCL assumed liabilities amounting to about K13 billion,” explained Mwadiwa.
At the AGM, a final dividend of K3.4 billion representing K28 per share in respect of 2021 profits was declared after an interim dividend amounting to K722 million representing K6 per share was already paid on 29 October 2021 bringing the total dividend for the year to K4.1 billion representing K34 per share.
One of the shareholders, Frank Harawa representing minority shareholders, said the shareholders are happy with the dividend but said they will push the company to perform better than it has done because ‘it has potential to perform more than this.’