You are here: HomeBusiness2008 02 09Article 139004

Business News of Saturday, 9 February 2008

Source: GNA

PBC to maintain its leadership role

Accra, Feb 9, GNA - The Produce Buying Company (PBC), a licensed cocoa buying company, says it will continue to explore avenues to reduce operating cost and ensure quick recycling of seed fund to maintain its role as the market leader among the Licensed Buying Companies in the internal marketing of cocoa.

Speaking to a cross-section of journalists Mr Anthony Osei Boakye, Managing Director of PBC, said the company was positioning itself to deliver on its mandate to shareholders after successfully coming out of serious financial predicament that had plagued it for the past two years.

He said the company made significant progress by posting profit before tax of 713,605.00 Ghana cedis from the previous loss of 1.261 million Ghana Cedis. The company was also able to purchase 186,051 tonnes, representing 31 per cent of the total national production of 614,532 tonnes for 2006/7 season. Mr Boakye said to be able to improve on the fortunes of the company management had set up the Haulage and Technical Department to run as a self-financing unit.

Consequently 134 new trucks had been purchased with an 8.5 million-Ghana Cedi loan secured from Barclays and Standard Chartered banks to undertake both primary and secondary evacuations of its purchases, an area which in the past was dominated by private haulers due to the company's over-aged trucks. The company has in the 2007/08 main crop season hauled 65 per cent of its primary stocks and 17 per cent of the secondary evacuation as against 18 per cent and nine per cent respectively for the 2006/7 season.

Mr Boakye said the company had also embarked on massive rehabilitation of old shed as well as construction of large capacity storage sheds and depots mostly in the Western Region. There are also plans to diversify operations into the sheanut industry in a bid to rake in more revenue. Mr Joseph Osei Manu, Deputy Managing Director Finance and Administration, said the company will fully exploit cheaper sources of funds to complement seed funding from Ghana Cocoa Board. Mr Kofi Yamoah, Managing Director of the Ghana Stock Exchange, advised the management of PBC to consider offloading some of government's shareholding in the company to spark active trading in its shares on the market to serve as an attraction to investors.