Malawiâ€™s conglomerate Press Corporation Limited (PCL) says it survived the most difficult period in 2011, a year when the twin shortages of foreign exchange and fuel crippled operations of most businesses.
PCL board chairperson Dean Lungu said this in an interview on the sidelines of the companyâ€™s 27th annual general meeting (AGM) in Blantyre on Wednesday.
Lungu, however, said 2012 is not going to be a good year either, but was optimistic that with the programmes they have put in place, they will sail through.
“But 2013 is going to be excellent because with the new tax regime and new policies that are coming in, it has given a different dimension as regards to operating business in Malawi,” he said.
In 2011, the company reported a 21 percent profit drop to K6.1 billion (about $24.4m) from K7.7 billion (about $30.8m) the year before as its subsidiaries Malawi Telecommunications Limited (MTL), Carlsberg Malawi Limited, Maldeco Fisheries and the consumer goods segment led by Peopleâ€™s Trading Centre and Metro chain of stores registered declines in profit.
But Lungu said they achieved their budget albeit being tight, thanks to managementâ€™s strictness and cost cutting measures the company instituted in the year.
He said they are restructuring their activities particularly focusing on aquaculture at Maldeco in Mangochi by putting in a good management team.
“We are also looking at restructuring MTL in terms of business model. All these, we believe, will have a positive reflection on the company,” he said.
Lungu noted that the groupâ€™s executive management, through the direction of the board, is streamlining its operations to be effective and creating opportunities where there is none.
During the AGM, shareholders approved the declaration of a final dividend of K360.6 million (about $1.4m), representing K3 per share which will make the total dividend for the year to K560.6 million (about $2.2m) or K4.66 per share.
The shareholders also approved the appointment of Deloitte, Certified Public Accountants, as their auditors replacing KPMG.
The AGM also recommended the increase by 10 percent of directorsâ€™ fees. The chairperson will be getting K2.257 million (about $9.0m) from K2.052 million (about $2m) while non-executive directorsâ€™ fees have gone up to K1.8 million (about $7 200) from K1.6 million (about $6 400) per annum.
Sitting allowances for the chairperson and non-executive directors have also gone up to K57 200 (about $228) from K52 000 (about $208).
On the Malawi Stock Exchange (MSE), the companyâ€™s share price traded at K185 on Wednesday.