BENIN CITY- Ability to withstand economic shocks and maintain stability has become a hallmark and tradition, with the posting of a turnover of N15,716 billion profit by Presco Plc, thereby boosting investors and shareholders confidence .
In the Company’s Annual Report and Accounts for the year ended December 2016, during the company’s Annual General Meeting (AGM), the chairman, Mr. Pierre vandebeeck announced that the period was rocked by increasing challenges for three years running.
“The Nigerian economy contracted in 2016 for the first time in two decades. In 2016, inflation rose to an 11-year high of 18.55 percent in the last quarter of the year. There was no improvement in government revenue and monetary liquidity deteriorated. Forex availability worsened both in terms of scarcity and depreciation of the naira against major international currencies. These and other factors had a combined effect on business, manifesting in the form of shrinked production capacities, low demand, steady increases in cost of finance,” vandebeeck declared.Against this background, he said PRESCO Plc sustained its good operating results yielding a good performance for the 2016 financial year with turnover for the year put at N15,716 billion higher than that of 2015 accounting year put at N10,448 billion.
According to him, the company achieved a total of fresh fruit bunches (ffb) production of 164, 513 tons while in 2015 it was 175,477 tons, crude palm oil produced was put at 35,555 tons and for 2015 it was 39,328 tons, refined, bleached and deodorized oil at 28,505 tons and that of 2015 at 29.159 tons with Olein and stearin production settling at 10,946 tons.
Based on the impressive result, vandebeeck said that the Board of Directors proposed a dividend of 150 Kobo per share which amounts to N1,500,000,000 (one Billion, five Hundred Million Naira Only) for shareholders’ approval, subject to withholding tax at the appropriate rate.
On Research and Development, (R&D), he announced that it poured in N101.4 million and N148.3 million in the 2016 and 2015 accounting years respectively, adding that R&D had been very successful in increasing the quantity of ffb and oil per hectare of plantation.
“We have collaborations with first class research organisations and National and International Universities. Every year our research activities are increasing, bringing us to our ambition of establishing Presco as a centre of excellence for oil palm cultivation and research in the West Africa region,” Vandebeeck noted.
Besides, he disclosed that the company hopes to increase its oil palm plantation hectarage by the planting of an additional 4,000 hectares, plant its first rubber trees and pursue completion of its Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO)certification, adding that its communities development programme focused on education, roads, water and electricity.