Kwesi Ahwoi, Minister of Agriculture (left) presenting the overall GC 100 award to Nana Boateng, Deputy Managing Director of PBC while Nanette, a PR officer shares in the excitement.

The Produce Buying Company (PBC) recorded a gross profit of GH¢134.803 million in 2011 as against the previous year’s figure of GH¢76.229 million despite an increase in cocoa operations by 109.5 percent for the year under review from GH¢553.059 million to GH¢1.159 billion as a result of an increase in producer price.

Maxwell Kojo Attah Krah, Managing Director of PBC, who disclosed this during the company’s presentation of its ‘Facts Behind the Figures’ in Accra yesterday, said the company’s net profit-before-tax for 2011 rose to GH¢37.435 million, compared to the previous year’s figure of GH¢19.256 million, an increase of 94.4 percent.

“In the course of the year, the company paid a total amount of GH¢7.565 million as corporate tax to the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA). The company also paid GH¢2million dividend to government as a shareholder bringing our total contributions to the national kitty in the year to almost GH¢10 million.”

Key indicators of the company’s activities improved in line with the astronomical increase in the company’s profitability. Basic earnings per share increased by 95.9 percent from GH¢0.0294 to GH¢0.0576 while return on capital employed also increased slightly from the previous year’s figure of 57.8 percent to 58.4 percent.

PBC’s balance sheet also showed a significant growth with shareholders’ equity from GH¢23.627 million to GH¢47.374 million, an increase of 100.5 percent.

“The price/earning ration has also reduced slightly from the previous year’s figure of 4.76 to 4.34. Total company assets grew by 62 percent from GH¢169.031 million to GH¢274.337 million.”

Though the company projected to haul about 40 percent of cocoa at the secondary level, it could only achieve about 20 percent due to frequent port congestion and other challenges, which restricted quick turnaround of its articulator and cargo trucks.

“This is a serious challenge to the industry which is being addressed by stakeholders, particularly licensed buying companies.”

In spite of the challenges, Mr. Atta Krah stated: “This is an unprecedented level of profitability recorded by the company since the board and management began the process of lifting it from the doldrums.”

By Samuel Boadi

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