You are here: HomeBusiness2008 02 27Article 139943

Business News of Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Source: GNA

CPC records 24% increase in gross profit in 2007

Tema, Feb. 27, GNA -- The Cocoa Processing Company (CPC) recorded a gross profit of GH¢ 3,682,779 in 2007 representing an increase of 24 percent over the GH¢ 2,971,200 recorded for 2006.

The Company's net profit however, declined over the same period, Nana Obiri Boahen, Chairman of the Board of Directors of CPC announced on Wednesday in Tema during its Annual General Meeting (AGM).

Mr Boahen whose statement was read on his behalf by Mr David Coleman, a member of the board who presided over the meeting stated that despite the effect of the power crises on the company's activities, it performed relatively better than the previous year.

He attributed the low net profit which was not disclosed, to loan borrowed from the bank to pay redundant staff, an ongoing expansion programme at the factory as well as the energy crisis, among others. Mr Boahen however, stated that a total of GH¢ 440,330 would be paid to shareholders as dividend as each share attracted four Ghana pesewa. The increase in shares from 861 million to 1.1 billion has however affected the magnitude of the dividend to be shared.

He noted that the company's operational cost was increased significantly during the period due to the increased in use of diesel power generators during power outages.

According to him CPC lost about 172 hours of production time monthly during the power crises, adding that, low electrical current during the period also caused considerable damage to some of the plant's electronic components.

Elaborating on the company's operational strategy, he observed that for the company to operate efficiently and remain focused on its core business, "CPC divested itself from many of its non-core activities by outsourcing its transport, security, laundry, cleaning and canteen sections".

He assured shareholders that productivity would increase when the second phase of the expansion programme on the 35,000 metric ton capacity factory is completed in the second quarter of the year. Mr David Coleman on his part urged the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) to educate the public on shareholding issues as many Ghanaians are ignorant of activities of the stock market.

Addressing concerns of some shareholders on the low dividend, Mr Coleman said the GSE must let Ghanaians be aware that buying shares was a long term investment, adding that, its benefits were not immediately affected.

Mr Isaac Osei, Chief Executive Officer of the Cocoa Marketing Board (COCOBOD) who is also a member of the Board of Directors said CPC ceased to be a subsidiary of COCOBOD 10 years ago.

In a reaction to a concern raised by a shareholder on COCOBOD's inability to renovate and make effective use of the silos situated at CPC premises as storage facilities, Mr Osei said although the silos were government facilities, COCOBOD has no authority over them. The AGM was nearly disrupted when some of the shareholders got offended by a statement Mr Stephen Kwaku Balado Manu, a member of the board made in reaction to a shareholder's assertion that the directors were squandering their investments.

Mr. Balado Manu, MP for Ahafo Ano North reacted that the board members were responsible people who would not go about doing anything that would tarnish their reputation.