The ANSA McAL Group made a 2010 profit before tax (PBT) of $954 million, which its chief operating officer Gerry Brooks described as a "record-year performance" in what was a "very difficult and challenging year locally and regionally." The conglomerate's 2009 profit before tax was $861 million, increasing its 2010 performance by 11 per cent. "Every segment of our business increased profitability ranging from five per cent to as high as 42.5 per cent.
"Manufacturing, packaging and brewing segment generated revenues of about $2 billion, and grew three per cent in 2010. Segment profitability increased from $398 million to $421 million, an increase of six per cent," said Brooks. He said that the group's beverage sector actually grew, both from a local market standpoint, a regional market standpoint and across the alcohol category, by 17 per cent.
He was speaking at ANSA McAL's annual general meeting yesterday at the Tatil Building on Maraval Road in Port-of-Spain. Brooks said the Group's automotive, trading and distribution sector generated revenues of about $2.2 billion. He said the sector's profit grew from $116 million to $129 million, an increase of 11 per cent. He said the 2010 automobile market generated about 13,000 unit sales. On the question of the general effect on the local automobile industry of the tsunami and earthquake that hit Japan in March, Brooks said: "All car companies globally have been affected and we continue to work very closely with our principals to ensure adequate and timely supplies."
Norman A Sabga, chairman and chief executive at ANSA McAL, said the company has bought the world rights from Mackeson for every country in the world except the United Kingdom and Europe. "Quite frankly, sales in the European Union are less than the sales in Trinidad, but because it's tied into other products in a multinational company, they could not separate it. In terms of the potential for that brand, we think it is phenomenal. And it was a no-brainer in terms of the acquisition because the royalty we were paying to the principle, it pays for itself," Sabga said. He said the Group also decided to invest $310 million in the construction of a new clay block plant at Longdenville, Chaguanas.
"The decision was made, not that the market was declining, but we have right now three kilns and some of the kilns are over 45 years old. "Therefore, if we are staying in the business, we needed to invest in these operations. "The technology that we have bought is state-of-the-art and it will, in fact, use far less energy and far less labour," he said. Sabga said there will no longer be a grading of its blocks with the use of the newly-acquired block-making technology, and that the plant's output will equal that of the three kilns ANSA McAL now owns. He said the first commercial production from the new plant will be in August 2012. "We're investing in areas in which we have expertise, which is one of our core businesses," Sabga said.