…to cut electricity costs
In order to cut costs and preserve the environment, Banks DIH Limited will be investing heavily in the acquisition of solar energy panels for its operations, according to its Chairman and Managing Director, Clifford Reis.
Reis made this announcement at the Company’s 62nd Annual General Meeting on Saturday at Thirst Park, Georgetown.
“Our focus for the new financial year (2018) will be further investments in solar energy, an initiative which was tested and introduced in 2017 at our Main Street Qik Serv Restaurant… Your company operates within the principles of sustainability, so as to ensure the health and safety of its employees, and to reduce the impact to the environment… Our plans to invest in solar energy panels as an alternative energy source is intended to save costs and preserve our environment,” Reis told stakeholders.
According to the Chairman, the company registered an after-tax profit of $4.243 billion for 2017. This result was produced because the company’s trading profit rose in 2017 by 22.3% over the previous year, although after-tax profit fell by 9.76% over the period, because of a one-off gain in 2016, according to the Annual Report.
Reis told shareholders that the Group’s net asset value per share has increased from $31.72 to $34.33, representing an 8 per cent increase. Because of that, the company has decided to increase its dividend proposal to shareholders to $1.04, resulting in an overall cost of $884 million.
The chairman noted that the company’s improved results were made possible by an increase in sales of malt products, aerated and liquor beverages, along with food products. He added that the company also benefited from the reduction in prices paid for several key raw and packaging materials, inclusive of sugar.
He also related that the company was able to extend its distribution warehouse by 15,900 square feet in the brewery.
“Additionally, my fellow shareholders, the services offered by our sales and marketing team were further enhanced through the introduction of handheld devices for the 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 noted.
The Banks Chairman and Managing Director also stated in his report that the implementation of the Environmental Levy of $10 per container on all non-returnable glass and PET containers had helped to reduce consumer spending, which ultimately affected retail sales.
In addition to that, Reis said the company weathered the effects of an artificial increase in foreign exchange rates, which affected the acquisition costs for raw and packaging materials, plant and machinery spares, and capital equipment; in addition to foreign exchange and payment for goods and services.
As it relates to the company’s legal challenge with the Guyana Revenue Authority, Reis told stakeholders that the matter is still pending before the Court.
He explained that on 1st April 2016, the GRA consented to a substantial tax write-off for a local manufacturing company, Demerara Distillers Limited; and acting on legal advice, Banks DIH wrote the GRA, claiming that it was entitled under Article 149 (D) of the Constitution to be treated equally by the State.
“The Guyana Revenue Authority did not respond favourably, and as a result, Banks DIH Limited acted on legal advice and pursued legal action against the GRA and the Attorney-General, claiming that Banks DIH Ltd is entitled to have the GRA treat its liability for consumption tax for the years 2001-2006, and its liability for excise tax for the years 2007-16, equally or materially in a manner that the GRA treated the local manufacturing company’s liability for the same period,” Reis told stakeholders.
Banks DIH filed a $28 billion legal challenge to reclaim overpaid consumption taxes between 2001 and 2006l and is claiming that it paid $12.8 billion in consumption tax, but that $9.09 billion of that amount was overpaid. The payment of the total amount was made between 2001 and 2006.
At the company’s AGM, Banks DIH also awarded employees for their outstanding service, and donated cheques to the Hope Secondary, Vreed-en-Hoop Primary, St Agnes Primary and the Kuru Kuru Cooperative College.