BENIN CITY – Against the backdrop of the collapse in oil prices coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic, rising inflation, unemployment, infrastructure deficit, among others, PRESCO PLC shot up its revenue profile to N23.89 billion for the year 2020.

The cheery news was announced during the company’s 28th Annual General Meeting (AGM) held at the Dura Club in the precinct of the company with COVID-19 protocols fully observed, while the Chairman of the Company, Mr. Paul L. Cardoen moderated at a zoom session just as the Managing Director, Mr. Felix Nwabuko and other shareholders and proxies were physically in attendance.

While most shareholders were represented by their proxies, the arguments and discussions with resolution reached were robust as regulators were in attendance including the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) and amendments to the Company and Allied Matters Act were taken into consideration during resolutions.

The highpoint of the AGM was the declaration and approval of a dividend of 200 kobo per share with N2,000,000,000 (Two billion naira only) set aside for shareholders subject to withholding tax.

In the Chairman’s statement, the revenue of N23.89 billion, represented a 21 percent increase on N19.72 billion of 2019.

“We realized a gross profit of N16.08 billion, a 26 percent increase on N12.72 billion of 2019 and a 37 percent increase in profit after tax (after accounting for changes in fair value of biological assets) of N5.26 billion (2018: N3.84 billion), Cardoen stated.

According to him, 52,178 tons of crude and refined products were sold during the year under review and 50,335 tons in 2019 with Fresh Fruit Bunches (FFB) harvest being 214,872 tons while in 2019 it was 200, 163 tons.

Besides, Crude Palm Oil (CPO) produced reached 45,467 tons and in 2019, the level was 43,757 tons, Refined, Bleached and Deodorized Oil (RBDO) produced was 19,486 tons and in 2019, the figure was 20.594 tons while Olein and Stearin were 7,352 tons for 2020 and 7,967 tons for 2019 respectively.

He said that the completion and commissioning of its new 500 tons per day vegetables oil refinery scheduled for the second quarter of 2020 was delayed by the travel restrictions imposed by COVID-19 pandemic but that pre-commissioning test had been completed.

The Chairman, however observed that while the year under review had been of significant challenges, they were happy that the fundamentals of the company’s business remained strong which enabled them to achieve improved operational and financial results.