Dual listed conglomerate Press Corporation plc on Thursday held its 35th Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Blantyre where it declared a final dividend of K2.4 billion to its shareholders in respect of the 2018 group consolidated profit of K36.71 billion.
Speaking at the AGM, PCL Board Chairman Patrick Khembo said key macroeconomic indicators were relatively stable in 2018 with an average inflation rate of 9.2% compared to 11.6% in prior year and the policy rate remained at 16% throughout the year.
Khembo noted that power challenges continued impacting on the cost of production and service delivery for the most of the PCL group entities due to over-dependence on diesel generators.
“Notwithstanding the challenging operating environment, our management team delivered a strong performance, building on the previous year’s positive results. The group recorded a profit after tax of K36.71 billion compared to K38.67 billion in 2017,” said Khembo.
He said in 2017, the PCL group had a once off transaction which resulted in profit of K14.28 billion arising from the sale of 19% of Castel Malawi shares whilst in 2018, there was a once off transaction arising out of the restructuring of Open Connect Limited (OCL) resulting in gain of K6.16 billion.
“Without the two once off transactions, the group registered a 20% growth in its underlying profit after tax,” explained Khembo.
The Board Chairman also informed the meeting that the Malawi Stock Exchange was buoyant for the second consecutive year as it registered a positive return on index of 33.42% (US$ terms) compared to 62.09% in 2017.
“Listed companies within the group registered significant positive movements with trading gains in PCL (90%), TNM (93%) and NBM (23%). For the first time in the past five years, the PCL share price registered a significant share price increase moving from K600 in January to closing at K1, 140 in December 2018. This reflects growing investor confidence in strategic direction of the group,” said Khembo.
He also announced that PCL has set its foot in the tourism industry by acquiring an initial 15% stake in Sunbird Tourism plc as part of its diversification strategy.
Going forward, Khembo said building on the strong foundation laid in 2018, the PCL group is well positioned for growth and expansion in the new and existing profitable business areas.
At the AGM, Andrew Barron who has served as director on the board of PCL for almost 18 years retired and did not offer himself for re-election and has since been replaced by veteran corporate guru Stewart Malata.
Press Corporation plc is a public company incorporated in Malawi, under the Companies Act 1984; and is listed on the Malawi Stock Exchange and on the London Stock Exchange as a global depository receipt.
Being the largest holding company in Malawi, Press Corporation 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.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :