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Presco lauds CBN’s forex restriction on importation

By on July 29, 2015

Presco Plc has commended the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN’s) policy to ban foreign exchange sales to certain segments of the economy, noting that this
move by the apex bank will help save its hard-earned and scare foreign exchange and boost local production in the country.

Chairman, Presco Plc, Mr.‎ Pierre Vandebeeck,‎ explained that each time Nigeria spends it’s foreign exchange on products that can be produced locally, it creates wealth and employment for other economies of the world.‎

Vandebeeck made this known during the company’s 22nd Annual General Meeting, pointing out that ‎Nigeria must focus on addressing its macro-economic issues by diversifying the nation’s revenue base.

“We applaud the decision of the CBN for the restriction on the sale of foreign exchange ‎policy because there is no reason to import things with our hard earned foreign exchange on things we can produce locally. When we import, we spend our scarce foreign exchange creating wealth and employment for other economies whereas, there are so many problems to be tackled here,” he said.

Meanwhile, he advised Nigerians to give the current administration time to deliver on its mandate, saying that the problems are ‎numerous and would require some time to fix.

“We hope he finds a lasting solution to the nation’s insecurity challenges because this area is very important,” he added.

He attributed the company’s milestone achievement ‎to handwork and resilience, maintaining that oil palm business is a long-term business and in spite of the harsh business terrain in the country, the company is still waxing strong.

‎He said the company’s turnover, gross profit and profit before tax were higher than previous year by 8 per cent, 39 per cent and 47 per cent respectively, noting that it was also a year of further consolidation through continuous increase in strategic investments that secure Presco’s leadership position in oil palm plantation, multiple improved efficiencies on industrial operations, further automation, green energ‎y from bio-methanisation, increased investment in research and development and staff reorganisation.

He said the company is committed to research and development activities, saying that ‎research and development is at the forefront of new planting material development and has been very successful in increasing the quantity of fresh fruit bunches (ffb) and oil per hectare of plantation.
‎On the business environment, the Presco boss  said according to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN’s) report of the fourth quarter, the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealed that the economy grew by 5.94 per cent year on year when measured by the real Gross Domestic Product (GDP), saying
that this was lower by 0.83 percentage points from rates recorded in the fourth quarter of 2013 and lower by 0.28 percentage points from the third
quarter of 2014.
“From the third quarter of 2014, the economy grew by 3.84 per cent in the fourth quarter,” he said.

He pointed out that the nominal GDP at basic prices for the fourth quarter of 2014 was estimated at N24,205,863.34 million, up from 13.10 per cent from N21,401,519.78 million estimated for the corresponding quarter of 2013 and 5.55 per cent from N22,933,144.01 million recorded in the third quarter of 2014.

He said the company continues to reap the dividends of its expansion programme of the previous years, stressing that the performance of the year 2014 was very good.
“We achieved a total ffb production of 162,076 metric tonns as against 125,481 metric tonns in the previous year; crude palm oil (cpo) produced was 27,286 metric tonnes compared with 27585 metric tonnes of the ‎year 2013 and refined, bleached‎, deodorised oil of 25,279  metric tonnes compared with 26,055 metric tonnes for the year 2013,” he added.
He stated that the company’s turnover for the year was N9,137,704,000 as against N8,485,143,000 the previous year, resulting in a profit after tax of N2,677,078,000 compared with 2013 which was N1,293,971,000. On outlook for this year, he noted that the company envisage an increasing challenge in the market and macro-economic conditions in 2015, maintaining that the company will concentrate on efficiencies in the management of operations across its value chain and continue with its planned long-term industry leadership focused expansion programme.
The  “board of Directors has proposed a dividend of 100 kobo per share, and this amounts to N1,000,000,000 for shareholders ‎approval, subject to
withholding tax at the appropriate rate,” he said.