The Banks DIH Ltd Group saw its trading profit rise in 2017 by 22.3% over the previous year though after-tax profit fell by 9.76% over the period because of a one-off gain in 2016.
In 2016, the Group’s profit was $4.702 billion compared to $4.243 billion for 2017. In his Chairman’s report, which will be read at Banks DIH’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) on January 27th, Clifford Reis lauded the company’s performance over the period.
He said that third party revenue rose to $30 billion in 2017, compared to $28.7 billion in 2016. This represented a 4% increase or $1.243 billion. He said that the trading profit for the Group was $6.196 billion compared to $5.066 billion recorded in 2016, an increase of $1.130 billion or 22.3%.
Reis noted that in 2016, Banks DIH had benefited from a one-off gain of $1.4 billion from the disposal of its investment securities held in Banks Holdings Limited and Desnoes and Geddes (Jamaica) Ltd and BCL (Barbados) Ltd. He said that excluding the impact of the one-off gain in 2016, the company’s profit after tax rose from $2.948 billion in 2016 to $3.584 billion last year, an appreciation of $636 million or 21.6%.
Once approved at its AGM, the final dividend payout by Banks will total $1.04 per share unit or $884 million.
Reis said that the improved trading results were due to increased sales of malt products, aerated and liquor beverages and food products. He said that the company also benefitted from a reduction in prices paid for several key raw and packaging materials, which included sugar.
Reis stated that the company weathered the effects of a rise in foreign exchange rates last year which impacted on acquisition costs for raw and packaging materials, plant and machinery spares. It also affected the availability of foreign exchange for the payment of goods and services.
He said that the introduction of the environmental levy of $10 per container on all non-returnable glass and PET containers resulted in an immediate reduction in consumer spending and affected overall retail sales.
Recapitalisation of the company continued last year and this saw the addition of 15,900 square feet of new storage space in its distribution warehouse. Further, a 1.7 MW generating set was added to its generating capacity. A new malts in-take system was set up in the brewery. The beer bottling plant and the Trisco cookie line also saw improvements.
Reis also cited an innovation in its sales service. He said handheld devices have been introduced in its preselling department.
“This innovation has resulted in cost-savings, better management of products and services and a more satisfied customer base in terms of time saved between the placement and the filling of orders,” Reis said.
He said the focus for the new financial year will be further investments in solar energy, an initiative which was tested last year at the Main Street Qik Serv Restaurant.