Despite challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and the contentious General and Regional Elections last year, the Banks DIH Group of Companies has reported a profit after tax of $5.271 billion in 2020.
In the annual report for the period ending September 2020, Chairman of the Group, Clifford Reis, said this taxed profit represents an increase of $747 million or 16.5 per cent when compared to the 2019 financial year. The company’s profit before tax was $7.329 billion in 2020.
The revenue generated last year amounted to $30.468 billion, an increase of 2.9 per cent or $871 million over the previous year.
Further, the Group’s third-party revenue went up by 4 per cent or $1.305 billion to $32.917 billion. The Trading Profit from Operations for the Group was $8.851 billion, also increasing by $1.322 or 17.6 per cent over 2019.
Profit after tax attributable to shareholders of the parent company in 2020 was $5.666, that is, 15.7 per cent or $769 million more than the previous year.
Additionally, the Group’s Net Asset Value per share increased by 12.5 per cent from $45.25 to $50.89. The Board of Directors has recommended a dividend proposal of $1.35 per share unit, resulting in an overall cost of $1.147 billion – $161.5 million or 16.4 per cent more than 2019.
According to the Chairman, the 2020 financial year presented new and varied challenges and experiences.
These, he said, include “…the post elections uncertainties and the nation-wide mitigation measures which were implemented to counter the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“I can report that the Group, having experienced those challenges, by virtue of team work and commitment was able to surmount the obstacles presented, utilising the combined strengths of our work-force, the market acceptance of our brands, our effective selling and distribution network, and our loyal customer base.”
Reis noted that the combined contribution of this resource base enabled the Group to achieve increased revenue streams, better control of operational expenses, and optimal use of financial resources.
In addition to safety measures taken against the COVID-19 pandemic during the period under review, the Chairman noted, capital investment projects were undertaken within the production and related facilities, which enabled the more efficient conversion of raw materials into finished products, thus achieving better efficiencies.
He further disclosed that the company completed relocation of the Liquor Warehouse to Thirst Park, and the Rum Production facilities were upgraded with new bottle rinsing and capping equipment and chilling and storage capacities.
The company also completed the extension of the Stores to accommodate increased and improved storage, and various roofing areas across Thirst Park were also upgraded.
Meanwhile, new processing, baking and packaging equipment were installed on the Biscuit and Cone Biscuit Plants, and the power generation and distribution capacity was enhanced with a new generator, transformers, and fuel purification system.
The company also acquired new forklifts and trucks to enhance the distribution channels, while the selling and marketing functions were improved with the introduction of additional ice-cream freezers, beverage coolers and bottled-water dispenser.
Some of the capital projects that will roll over to 2021 include the Beer Bottling and Soft Drink Plants’ upgrade and the installation of the new CIP System for the Rum Factory and the Winery.
With regard to the Group’s 51%-owned subsidiary, Citizens Bank Guyana Inc., there was a 2.8 per cent or $26.9 per cent increase in profit after tax to the tune of $$982.2 million. The commercial bank’s revenue last year was $3.749 billion, representing an increase of $337 million or 9.6 per cent.
Net Interest Income for the bank in 2020 was $2.835 billion, while the earnings per share was $16.51 and the total asset base was $63.8 billion. Additionally, Loan Assets were increased to $31.7 billion, reflecting an increase of 6.4 per cent or $1.9 billion.
Meanwhile, Banks Automotive and Services Inc., a fully owned subsidiary, generated $78.2 million in revenues and the Profit after Tax was $8.6 million. Construction works are ongoing for the headquarters of the automotive and a multi-level parking facility at the Demerara Park, opposite Thirst Park.
During the 2020 financial year, the Banks DIH Group’s Production Plants successfully completed several ISO and Coca-Cola Quality and Safety Management Systems audit. In fact, the company retained the top spot within the Emerging Market Segment of the Coca-Cola Latin Centre Business Unit QSI scoring system.
Going forwarding in the 2021 financial year, Chairman Reis said, the Group will continue to pursue the diversification of the company’s business model, including the ventures into the transportation and alternative energy solutions.
Last January, the local food and beverage manufacturing company announced plans to enter the energy and auto sales industries with the hope of meeting the demands and needs of Guyanese and the country’s growing economy.
“We will pursue this new and emerging segment of our business activities with diligence and purpose, as has been our intention over the past 65 years of our existence,” the Chairman noted in the 2020 report.