Norman Sabga, Chairman of the Ansa McAL Group of Companies is attributing the Group’s results for the first half of the financial year to its internal operations and not the macro economy.
“I do not think that the economy is the cause of our drop in profit. I think it is two fold, one is the one off’s that I spoke about and also part of our expenses have gone up and we have been meeting with each company looking at the expenses and shaving some of the additional operational expenses. The fact that our volumes are on par and our gross profit, before expenses is on par that is not a reflection that it is a result of the economy.”
Sabga spoke yesterday at the release of the Group’s unaudited results for the six months ended June 30, 2019 at Tatil Building, Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain.
According to the Chairman’s Report: “Excluding the effects of restructuring, the Group would have reported Profit After Taxation (PAT) in line with prior year. With the restructuring and acquisition costs included, PAT was $303 million, down 6 percent from prior year ($323 million – 2018) whilst revenues were $3.1 billion, up 1 percent over prior year. Your Directors have approved an interim dividend of $0.30 per share ($0.30 – 2018) which will be paid on November 6, 2019.”
According to the Chairman’s report, during six-month period ended 30 June 2019, the Group was able to execute a number of initiatives including:
I.Embarking on a program of restructuring. Included in these results are approximately $25 million in non-recurring costs which have impacted Profit Before Tax in the near term but which will generate a higher level of profitability going forward.
II. The commissioning of a world-class furnace at Carib Glass at a cost of $150 million which was a significant milestone. This investment uses new technology which allows the production of the highest quality light weight glass bottles at reduced costs and will significantly boost our export capability.
III. The successful completion of two strategic acquisitions – a joint venture in Tilawind, a Costa Rican based wind farm and Trinidad Aggregate Products, a clay block manufacturer, at a combined investment of approximately $100 million. The Tilawind joint venture is the Group’s first entry into the alternative energy business with scope for future expansion. The full effect of these investments, including acquisition and restructuring costs, has been included in these results.
Responding to questions during the question and answer segment, he spoke about how foreign multinationals have impacted on the local media market.
“I personally have a problem with Facebook, Twitter and the other international companies being able to sell media in Trinidad. without paying a significant penalty for doing so. It is like online shopping. When one looks at Guardian Media, Newsday, One Media, Guardian Media alone has about 600 employees. I do not think that these organizations have employees on the ground, I do not think that they pay taxes and they take foreign exchange and they have a huge advantage in the market. They have made an investment up front to have service and build a site and to be able to advertise. A level playing field does not exist.”