Malawi conglomerate Press Corporation delists from London Stock Exchange

Conglomerate Press Corporation plc has delisted from the London Stock Exchange (LSE) as a global depository receipt following a review of continued benefits of listing on the bourse.

PCL board chairperson Patrick Khembo addressing the AGM virtually

PCL board chairperson Patrick Khembo announced the development during the Malawi Stock Exchange (MSE)-listed firm’s annual general meeting (AGM) held virtually on Friday due to Covid-19 pandemic restrictions.

He said the firm delisted on LSE on July 10 2020.

Said Khembo: “The board took the decision following a careful and thorough assessment of the benefits of our continued listing on the London Stock Exchange.

“The factors that were considered included the extremely low trading volumes for the past years, huge regulatory, compliance and administrative costs the company incurs annually and the likely liquidity benefits that a cancellation could trigger on the local market.”

He said the board decided that the cancellation will not adversely affect its shareholders since the firm’s common shares will continue to be listed and tradeable on MSE.

PCL was the only firm in the country which was dual-listed on both MSE and LSE as a global depository receipt which is a general name for a depository receipt where a certificate issued by a depository bank, which purchases shares of foreign companies, creates a security on a local exchange backed by those shares.

During the AGM, PCL also announced a group profit after-tax of K24.76 billion for the year-ended December 31 2019 which is below prior year’s profit of K36.71 billion, representing a 33 percent decline.

Khembo said excluding exceptional K8.86 billion profit on restructuring the telecoms segment in the prior year and one-off expenses relating to restructuring costs in subsidiary companies National Bank of Malawi plc (K892 million), TNM plc (K1.02 billion) and Ethanol Company (K450 million), the decline in underlying profit is three percent.

He also said PCL remained resilient and enhanced shareholder value with the share price increasing by 27 percent from K1 100 to K1 400.

“Once again, our management team demonstrated remarkable flexibility and professionalism in how they adjusted the operating strategies to suit the post-election environment,” said Khembo.

The AGM also declared a final dividend for the year 2019 of MK2.403 billion representing MK20.00 per share, which brought  the total dividend for the year to MK3.122 billion representing MK26.00 per share having already declared a dividend amounting to K721.20 million representing MK6.00 per share which was already paid on 25th October 2019.

The meeting also re-elected Stewart Malata as a director on the board who retired by rotation but being eligible offered himself for re-election.

Press Corporation plc is one of the largest holding company in Malawi and has interests in different sectors of the Malawi economy including financial services, telecommunications, food and beverages, energy and consumer goods.

The highly diversified company has stakes in thirteen companies comprising of eight subsidiaries, four joint ventures and one associate.

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A small shareholder of PCL
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A small shareholder of PCL

This reading is very interesting. As a small shareholder of PCL, let me say that I am quite happy with the dividend we receive from PCL. By Malawi earning standard, it is an ok return per annum. By international standard, PCL can certainly do much better. This is one of the oldest company in the country and it would be fair to expect it to lead the way by far. I believe that the PCL management is ok, perhaps on the slow side. Slow to act. Slow to decide. Slow to action. By they are good custodian of the assets.… Read more »

Tiny investor of PCL
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Tiny investor of PCL

I am a small investor and I need to start worrying about the drop in profit after tax. A one third drop is significant. When a company’s profit after tax is reduced by 33%, this is a sign of great sickness to come. In light of its caliber and its dominant position in Malawi, PCL cannot see its profit after tax decrease by 33% without hell breaking. 33% decrease? Are you kidding me? And the CEO still has a job? Matthews has been gone for quite a while now. The CEO must own this decrease. PCL’s board must own this… Read more »

MCP financial cadet
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MCP financial cadet

No to de-listing LSE! PCL must reverse the de-listing of its shares on LSE. They must seek exemption to fix whatever needs to be fixed. The fixing will be good for all shareholders, most notably those on MSE and more notably the Press Trust. If PCL executives cannot commit to this, they must resign and let someone else do the job. PcL executives must submit to Press Trust a credible plan of action on how to go about staying dual-listed. Good George must get to work. We give you 6 months to chart a way forward. In 2021 Q 1,… Read more »

UK financial analyst (from Zomba)
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UK financial analyst (from Zomba)

I am really saddened by the de-listing of PCL on LSE. As a malawian who works in the city, I’ve always been very proud of PCL listing. This de-listing is really sad. PCL has just cut itself from an amazing source of capital raising. It is not because PCL has failed to raise serious capital of LSE that it must throw the baby out with the bath water. I understand the regulatory pressure that PCL has been under and which push them to get out of the market. But this pressure has been around for years yet PCL executives failed… Read more »

xxx, an employee of PCL
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xxx, an employee of PCL

This article is very well written. We all know that PCL is not doing that well. PCL is too dependent of 2-3 subsidiaries and on special deals. Regarding companies that need restructuring, we are stuck. Restructuring is hard to do. It is very costly and the odds of success is small. Our options are very limited at this point. A partnership is the way to go but the problem is that potential partners are very smart and they can’t give PCL more shares than standard valuation calculation can give. In certain cases, the valuation may even be negative. PCL must… Read more »

JB, a DPP man
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JB, a DPP man

The executives of PCL are too careful for their own good and for the good of their subsidiaries that are in bad shape. You say it again, my brother, you say it again. Is PCL being led by chickens? What I am reading about a consultant leading a deal to failure is shocking. What a shame!! What a true shame.

There is a God. God sees everything we do. I feel so sorry for the employees of the subsidiaries who are loosing sleep while this silly consultant is playing games. What a shame!

Soldier for shareholder value
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Soldier for shareholder value

PCL executive must reduce their salary to no more than 100,000 K per year and fully depend on performance bonus tied to the increased in profit and not to the revenue or the profit after tax. If there is decrease in profit, then though luck buddies. If there is increase in profit, then you bank billions. Enough of this slowness. The existing criteria to determine bonus push PCL executive to take their time and move slowly. Only one criteria must be used: increase in PAT. For example PAT increase by 1%, the bonus pool is 0.5 billion to be shared… Read more »

Legal Advisor
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Legal Advisor

The delisting on LSE is just a bad sign of things unraveling at PCL. First the price points of PESD (PCL’s symbol on LSE) have barely moved over the years and consequently there have been very limited opportunities for capital gains. This is a atypical situations of shares with nice PE that any LSE investor do not want to touch unless one would be as happy to keep one’s savings under one’s pillow. PESD has been lethargic on LSE which is indeed a mirror of how PCL is in Malawi. No investment analyst has even bother to take a look… Read more »

Muslim servant
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Muslim servant

Whaouu LEGAL ADVISOR. This is a great comment. I did not know all that. Thank you for sharing.

I like your the light you shield on FDH IPO. Eiishh, anything this Yusuf Shiraz character does is always shady.

MCP will be better off being advised by folks like you. We want our country to be transformed. DPP has done its time. Prez Laz needs to show results in 2025, and that can come by before you know it.

Anti abusive asian buz in Malawi
Guest
Anti abusive asian buz in Malawi

Shiraz is a bad character. We all know that. I too hope that pres Laz and his ministers, all of whom are buddy-buddy with Shiraz Yusuf will not forget that Nyasa Times is watching. We are investigating a lot of people including this Yusuf man. Why would PCL or FDH hire such an incompetent person? I know him well. I have experienced his sweet talk but that does not work with me. MCP and UTM, pls stay away from this man. Stay away!

John M.
Guest
John M.

Good afternoon Legal advisor. From what you are say, PCL is very ripe for a takeover bid? Is it possible? There are lots of hidden value that a takeover titan can uncover and become Malawi Dangote in 2 years. I gather that most of the shares are in friendly hands and any such offer will not fly, right?

Twami P.
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Twami P.

John, takeover is not in the vocab of our public companies because all of them have only floated a tiny percentage of the shares to the public, and controlling shares are in very good hands. In the case of PCL, Press Trust (44.47%), with the help of Old Mutual (12.27% shareholders), control PCL and they can pretty much do whatever they want. There will never be a takeover of PCL unless significantly more shares of PCL are floated to the public. Holders of PCL shares on MSE are really a tiny minority and even as a group, they can barely… Read more »

Dr. John L
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Dr. John L

Profit after tax decreased by 3% if exceptional items are excluded. Post Covid 19, this decrease will increase sharply. LSE would not have taken that. Bottom line is that PCL lags behind comparable companies in Africa and elsewhere. This will be more visible in the years to come unless a more competent leadership is put in place.

Investment company
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Investment company

Dr. John L, this is an important point. I shall also add that the share price increase of 27% from K1,100 to K1,400 is nothing to write home about for a company the size of PCL. In light of the shallowness of MSE with very few companies listed, Malawian savers and investors do not have many other places to go to. Frankly even if PCL was generating a tiny fraction of the earning they currently do, their share price would have barely been different. PCL share price should be quadruple digits after all these years going back from Dr. Ngwazin… Read more »

Mrs. S, a former employee of PCL and subsidiaries
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Mrs. S, a former employee of PCL and subsidiaries

The decrease of profit will grow sharper as the effect of the pandemic take hold. PCL is just a slow actor. Even a simple deal that is straight forward takes endless time. No decision can be taken fast enough at PCL. Tonse must either break PCL up into 2-3 smaller and agile companies or get the management to be fired up and be more proactive. Sleepy management cannot deliver the goods. Slow decision making process will hurt PCL even more. Lack of ownership of decision making is a major constraint to success. Personalized and subjective processes are drawbacks to become… Read more »

Joe the builder
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Joe the builder

PCL is a great machine that could be the mother of all venture capital in Malawi. Unfortunately it has a poor leadership. Not much can come out of the current leadership and the trustees.

Musa M
Guest
Musa M

So PCL is not doing well? Why is that? They generate billions revenue every year. You are right that the LSE is disappointing in a way.

Malawi must figure out how to make PCL becomes one real captain of industry. A real conglomerate. PCL will need new leadership and Press Trust must be on top of this. Big salaries must depend on specific performance. You can be de-listed from LSE and ear 2 billions in one year.

Under this new Malawi we have voted for, we must review all this.

Thank you

Bigman
Guest
Bigman

PCL management is full of greedy people. How can two executive directors earn more than MK2 billion in a year? Why should they get Mk400 million bonus each?
Government through Press Trust must do a forensic Audit to reveal the rot at PCL. Corruption is not only in public sector.

MTL, PTC, Maldeco will close within a year. MARK MY WORD!!!!

Mad David
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Mad David

Bigman, MTL, PTC and Madelco will close in less than a year. They are all bleeding red blood. There is no cash left. PCL management is just purely incompetent. The CEO acts and looks like someone who is lost. These guys got credible offers from investors and turned them down perhaps because these investors did not understand that here in Malawi, you must pay to play. We know very well what happened with MTL. PCL hired this their crooking consultant. The staff at MTL are in shock but what can they do? PTC is an even sadder story. If MCP… Read more »

Mrs. Anonymous, fmr director at 1 of PCL's subs
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Mrs. Anonymous, fmr director at 1 of PCL's subs

I am a former director of one of the 3 companies mentioned here. I agree that the 3 companies are in serious trouble due to many strategics mistakes that go back 10-15 years. In all fairness, PCL has thrown a lot of money in these companies and they are tired of doing so. PCL also realizes that it can’t restructure them because this will require even more money and the chances of success may not be that great. It will risk throwing good money after bad money. PCL is stuck and if it were going to ever close down any… Read more »

JMK
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JMK

My sister, you have spoken very very well. Thank you. I am a current employee of one of PCL’s subs that is suffering. To be honest, I can’t plan ahead. I am tempted to jump ships since I’ve occasionally been the target of recruitment. Our competitors have been trying to hire us all and bleed the company of any soul that is competent. What saddened me is that PCL seems to not care. You are right that there was a serious offer made by an investor who was very excited to work with us. We were also very excited to… Read more »

M. Wonkala
Guest
M. Wonkala

Can you expand on this point? What makes you feel that MTL, PTC and Madelco will close within a year? Does PCL knows about this?

John Biziwick, the chairman of these companies is now out of PCL after rumors of lots of intrigues. As the new head of MRA, the same people who tried to kick him out will be trying to become his friends. Hopefully John Biziwick will be replaced by someone who can bring stronger operations expertise. PCL should consider bringing in an international expert.

Mad David
Guest
Mad David

M. Wonkala, The story of MTL is a big one bc this is one of the most visible company in PCL portfolio. This company used to own TNM!! Then they managed to take that away and over the years, things have gone South. From talking to the folks there, they are not happy at all. They feel that the consultant who was hired to review the transaction was not savvy and that instead of making the deal happen, he rather chased investors away in order to pave the way for his hidden plan. This consultant is well known and very… Read more »

S, a former employee of PCL
Guest
S, a former employee of PCL

John Biziwick has already been replaced by his assistant. He is good professional. Lets hope he brings fresh blood in the executive team and that his voice is heard by his boss. This man is really the captain. Thus far, he has not been able to wear his predecessor’s shoes. The delisting on LSE is a blow to him, Soon the liquidation of PTC, Madelco and MTL will be even bigger blow to him. He seems not to care about this as long as TNM and NBM are carrying him.

Josie
Guest
Josie

Bigman, my dad works at MTL. Please don’t get us worry more that we are now. Dad is stressed out and sometimes, we are scare for his health. We are only praying that the company does not close down. Last year he was hopeful about the prospect of an investor but he is not sure where this stands now. He is hoping to reach the retirement age soon and get out before things collapse. Please God!!

Anti abusive asian buz in Malawi
Guest
Anti abusive asian buz in Malawi

Josie, rest assured. MTL will not close despite the mafia group that is trying to set it up to e liquidating. These asian businessmen will not get what they are looking for. We are watching very carefully and will not let this happen. Not in this Malawi. MTL officers needs to know this. Their shareholders need to know this. Josie, we give you our word that MTL will not go away

Triple A, a former employee of MTL
Guest
Triple A, a former employee of MTL

Bigman, MTL will not close. There is a buyer and PCL must finalize the negotiation with them immediately. Take whatever they are giving and help them fix MTL for our own good. After all MTL is ours for ever and if this company was to be a great one, it would be good for Malawians, even as the company is owned by foreign partners. PCL is unable to make decision. PCL is so slow in thinking through easy decision and PCL is too heavily reliant on stupid “transaction advisers” who are so pathetically useless than they should not be in… Read more »

An employee
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An employee

I know this story very well. I helped collect data for the acquirer and for the consultant. What a stunning difference between the two. On one had the acquirer was utmost professional and knowledgeable and love this country. On the other other, the consultant team was just shamefully incompetent. I will give them a document and the next minute they will ask for it. And again they will ask for it a few days later. kkkk! They did not know their right hand from the left. They wasted more time than we could have ever ever foreseen. To be honest,… Read more »

Fmr manager at PTC
Guest
Fmr manager at PTC

I am a fmr manager of PTC. I know this company very very well has I worked there nearly all my active live. I am now on pension. PTC can frankly do a lot better. It is a great instrument for the transformation of the country. PCL can do a lot better to bring PTC back to its glory. PCL is just overwhelmed by this company. In all fairness PCL has tried its best to restructure PTC. I do wonder if PCL is really able to get to succeed. I am not sure but it is up to PCL CEO… Read more »

Representative of Maldeco employees
Guest
Representative of Maldeco employees

Maldeco will close? What are you saying? I agree that our company is in serious trouble but our bosses must work harder to find appropriate solutions. Our bosses earn billions of kwachas and they must fix the company. PCL has lots of money but the big boss there acts as if he has already buried us. My colleagues at MTL say the same thing. We are already buried even before we are death. What is that? I can assure our big bosses that the day Maldeco is going to close, Malawi will feel it. The entire country will feel it.… Read more »

Adam, the wise man
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Adam, the wise man

I am an admirer of Press Corp. I’ve made many positive comments on the company over the past 15+ years. I must also confess that PCL is a strange company. Very strange indeed. While it shows some profitability, Press Corp is actually a big waste of resources and opportunities. If the company did not have NBM and TNM, it would be bleeding tons of juice. The company has a number of subsidiaries, many of them in dire need of restructuring. Sadly these companies can’t be restructured without a number prerequisites such as additional capital, human resources, etc. Some of the… Read more »

clement
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clement

Couldn’t put it any better. Two companies under PCL are the only ones worth noting TNM and NB. These two bear the burden of profitability for the whole conglomerate if you look at their financials closely you’ll see this. Press as a conglomerate has to do more though I think they are a disappointment coz they are not realising their full potential. That profit is relatively small if we consider the number of companies under Press

Moses M.
Guest
Moses M.

Adam the wiseman! As usual you are spot on. Your point is great. You are very well informed and it shows. Please kindly expand on what you are saying about MTL dying. I am directly concerned by this and it will be great to understand what happened. Who is this consultant you are talking about? What did he do? Thank you

Adam, the wise man
Guest
Adam, the wise man

Thank you for the compliment. We all know that MTL. They have invested in fixed infrastructure and do no longer offer mobile services since the decommissioning of their costly Cdma technology that was a poor technology choice to start with. Because of lack of money, they have not been able to invest such that they can benefit from the Covid lockdown. The consultant they selected is well known to all of us but he and his team had zero knowledge of the telecom industry to carry out the transaction. Their previous deal with OCL was a disaster because the investor… Read more »

Joe
Guest
Joe

I know the consultant you are referring to. He is no good. I understand that he will soon be removed from his job as his partners are not happy with him. He has been lobbying to stay on. He has caused far my troubles in Malawi. Let him go take care of his hotel. That will be a great service to Malawi.

Lucifer M
Guest
Lucifer M

Adam the wise man. You are wise and so kind. The proof: you did not want to disclose Shiraz Yusuf’s name, out of respect and elegance. True old school Malawian gentleman. Adam, whenever there is news about this man, the number of comments shoots up exponentially. Nobody likes the guy except maybe PCL executives. One wonder what juju this man has done on them. In my book, he is a racist bastard. Now, we are learning that he is also incompetent. When will EY send him to retirement? He is no good. If PCL gave him such a big mandate,… Read more »

Mbudye
Guest
Mbudye

When the visionary Ngwazi Dr Kamuzu Banda established the Press Conglomerate, his vision was for it ( and the now defunct MDC ) to be the spearhead for economic development by, among other things, partnering with foreign investors in all sectors of the economy – manufacturing, tourism, financial services, etc. One person whom I blame for bringing Press to its knees was a dude called Matthews Chikaonda ( MHSRP ). Chikaonda was busy dismantling this giant of a corporation and decoupling it from strategic partnerships that I always wonder why some people regarded him as a financial whizz kid who… Read more »

clement
Guest
clement

Press Trust executives are lazy and not creative. Years go by they are still milking profits from TNM and NB to pat themselves on the back for a job well done when other companies in the conglomerate are failing. Ngwazi had a vision for this country that no other leader since multiparty democracy has been able to continue , Press Trust needs to go back to being a government company

Andrew Salim
Guest
Andrew Salim

No bwana, no! PCL and Press Trust executives are not lazy. The CEO of PCL is one of the top executive in this country. He may be a little softy but he has a lot of experience. Same goes for the trustees. Perhaps some of the other executives (CFO, counsel, ..) may not be good. I worked there until a few years ago. Where I agree with you is that PCL should have done better and perhaps put the interest of the company ahead of their own. They come across as greeting as almost all decision are made on the… Read more »

A savvy observer
Guest
A savvy observer

Dr. Matthews Chikaonda is gone. May his soul rest in peace. He was replaced by another character who seems to be clueless about what to do next. Under the new leadership, profit after tax has become fully concentrated on a few subsidiaries. God forbids if NBM and TNM run into trouble. PCL is slowly and surely losing its value. One person whom I blame for not fixing Press is the current CEO and not Dr. Chikaonda. What exactly is his vision again? Please share. What is he going to do to get its best assets to become even more productive?… Read more »

Paulo S.
Guest
Paulo S.

Yes Matthews is gone and may he rest in peace.

PCL as we know it today is worse of than the PCL that Matthews left, okay! At least Matthews knew how to talk and pass on a vision. He had a vision. Now what is PCL’s vision for a small no-body consultant to be leading PCL’s executives without substantiated reports?

We, the people, we are watching this very very carefully.

Treadmill Chimwaza
Guest
Treadmill Chimwaza

It was rather shocking to hear a WHOLE chairperson in suit & tie say to the world that tathawa regulation and compliance requests ku london. Tough to overlook but what the heck are this companies listed on the MSE doing?

And what was press doing on the LSE? Can Brian Banda ndi Kasakula look into this?

Munthu mlala
Guest
Munthu mlala

Why should Brian Banda and Kasakula look into this? What really is the problem that you do not understand from the article? PCL has done better to delist from London Stock Exchange after performing a cost-benefit analysis of their continued listing on it. I upload them for doing it because there has been a heightened level of regulatory requirements here in the UK which may be costly to comply on the part of PCL.

Treadmill Chimwaza
Guest
Treadmill Chimwaza

Companies should be on regulated markets. Banda and Kasakula should tell us if the MSE is regulated. It seems, from the chairperson, Press inafinyika (no pun) ndi regulations ku UK and said we will just do this in Malawi.

Bookkeeper for small business
Guest
Bookkeeper for small business

If you do not understand what Brian Banda and Kasakula why shall look into this, they there is a big problem. PCL delisting is not a sign of success but rather that of an abject failure. What company on any stock market goes on for months and months without a single trade? Zero sale because there is no buyer. None and none!! LSE rightly concluded that PESD (PCL’s stock symbol) is too risky an investment opportunity and does not offer traditional and legitimate protection to investors, especially to the widows and orphans as small investors are called. When a company… Read more »

MCP watchman
Guest
MCP watchman

It is too bad that after listing on LSE, PCL messed up so badly and did not understand that being on a platform like LSE means that they must deliver the goods at the highest possible standard. PCL folks are just not up to the task

Prof. John M.
Guest
Prof. John M.

Listing on LSE is a good idea bc one can raise lot of capital from international investors. What Press Corporation failed to do is to generate international level of revenue. PCL shares are rarely traded on LSE. Months could go by without any offer to buy or to sell PCL global depositairy receipts (stocks for non-British companies). It is clear that PCL management is not of international caliber to stay the course on LSE. It is therefore wiser to retreat and stay on MSE where PCL is an elephant in the house. My question is what is Press Trust, the… Read more »

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