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Business News of Saturday, 1 September 2012

Source: myjoyonline

Kuapa Kokoo records profit in five years

Licensed cocoa buying companies want the Cocoa Marketing Company and partners to pay critical attention to addressing perennial challenges in the haulage of cocoa beans, as the main crop season approaches.

According to Managing Director of Kuapa Kokoo Limited, Emmanuel Arthur, the turnaround time of processes involved in hauling cocoa from farming villages needs to improve for LBCs to stay in business.

“I am praying that the CMC will sit down with and then make sure that before the season starts they have an agreement with the carriers and everything is in order; when it happens like that we’re sure that we’ll be able to turnaround quickly”, he told Luv Biz Report at the 18th Annual General Meeting of the Kuapa Kokoo Farmers Union in Kumasi.

Mr. Arthur noted that the efficiency of haulage services will help cocoa buying firms to pay huge interests on loans and manage to make profit.

Kuapa Kokoo in the last season bought 42,326 metric tonnes of cocoa valued at Gh?166.8 million, which represents an average one percent to global cocoa purchases. The company received Gh?48 million from COCOBOD to purchase cocoa beans and made profit after tax of over Gh?725,000, after making loses over the past four years.

Mr. Arthur described the company’s 2010/2011 financial year performance as good though he had expected a better financial posting but for some industrial and internal challenges which adversely impacted on production.

Kuapa Kokoo Limited is the commercial and trading wing of Kuapa Kokoo Farmers Union, which owns 45 percent shares in UK-based Divine Chocolate Limited.

Managing Director of Divine, Sophi Tranchell, announced at the AGM that the company is contributing £164,000 in Fairtrade premiums through Fairtrade cocoa purchased from Kuapa Kokoo,.

Divine Chocolate recorded a 21% drop in turnover for the 2010/2011 financial year – posting £8.2m compared to £10.4m recorded in the previous year.

According to Sophi Tranchell, the company experienced total revenue decline as some partner shops closed down in the UK.

The company’s export market however continues to grow, hence making an operating profit of £158,000.

The MD expects the figure to rise in the year ahead through an astute financial and strategic plan to deliver the best possible returns to the farmers.

“Over the next year, we’re developing a five year commercial strategy which consolidates our reach and progress and focuses on building the brands to their full commercial potential”, she announced.

Divine supports Kuapa Kokoo farmers in development programmes, including supply of farm inputs, construction of community amenities such as schools and community water projects as well as providing income generation venture support schemes.