My fellow shareholders, you may recollect when we came together in 2010, I shared with you my vision of the future which is to attain perfection in every aspect of our company’s operations.
The attainment of perfection needs to be considered as we would, a journey upon which we have embarked and taking our company to the Next Level is just another upward step in the movement towards perfection. Some will remember that expression from yesteryear “I never promised you a Rose Garden” and the phrase continues “Along with the sunshine, there will be a little rain sometimes”.
The journey to perfection will not be easy but we can be assured that it will provide rewarding challenges and moments for enjoyment, reflection and sharing in our collective accomplishments. So my vision for us in the new financial year, is for us to have the shared experience of taking our company to the Next Level.
My fellow shareholders, a significant event in the history of human kind occurred on 5 October 2011. On that day, American Business Magnate and Inventor Steven Paul Jobs died at the age of 56 years in the prime of his life.
He was the Co-Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Apple Inc. When the list of the names of persons who have influenced and impacted the lives of humans is compiled, the name of Steve Paul Jobs will be on that list.
If ever there was someone whose restlessness of spirit motivated him to seek the next level, that person was Steven Jobs.
Can you think of any aspect of life in the 21st century which is not impacted by the use of a computer? In the late 1970’s, Steve Jobs along with Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak and others, designed, developed and marketed one of the first successful lines of Personal Computers - the Apple 11 Series. In the early 1980’s, his vision led to the development of the Macintosh and over the next two decades, he spearheaded the advent of the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad.
As of the 9th October 2011, Steve Jobs is listed as either the primary or co-inventor in 342 United States Patents or Patent Applications related to a range of technologies from actual computers and portable devices to user interfaces.
Steve Jobs was asked a question during a 60 Minutes Interview, concerning the business model he utilised, to which his success is attributed. His answer was “My business model is the Beatles. They were four guys that kept each other’s negative tendencies in check. They balanced each other. And the total was greater than the sum of the parts. Great things in business are never done by one person. They are done by a team of people”.
My fellow shareholders, herein lies the key to the future success of our Company as we consider the Next Level on our journey.
What we have achieved in financial year 2010-2011 is the foundation upon what we will achieve in this new financial year, and it will be as a result of what will be done by all of us working together as a team.
My fellow shareholders, I wish to acknowledge at this time, a partner on this journey we have undertaken over the years, and one who will be there with us as we take our company to the Next Level. Fellow shareholders, the General Workers’ Union has been an integral part of this Company’s growth and development over the years and I would like to recognise them at this time and to thank them for their leadership, advice and participation in our deliberations all of which have greatly contributed to what we have achieved over the year just ended.
My fellow shareholders, as we consider the improved performance produced by the Company for Financial Year 2010-2011, the contributions from the Engineering Services Department, Finance and Credit Departments, Demico House operations and Materials Handling Department must be acknowledged for their sterling contributions. I would also like at this time to acknowledge the superlative contribution which came from the Sales and Marketing team headed by our Assistant Managing Director/Marketing Director, George McDonald.
My fellow shareholders, when statisticians speak of and utilise percentages as a part of their statistical graphs we are sometimes at a loss to understand what the data truly means and represents. When the reports are written which detail the Company’s performance for financial year 2010-2011, no such ambiguity or uncertainty will be present. My fellow shareholders, the Sales and Marketing team achieved a growth in physical sales of 7% which translates into a total physical case sale of 12,684,005 units vs 11,851,663 units for the previous year, an increase of 833,342 cases or 7%. As was stated fellow shareholders, in this highly competitive and often times uncertain selling environment in which we operate, this performance is highly commendable. What also should be noted within the performance of the Sales and Marketing effort is the noteworthy performance of the Beer and total Malts segment.
An increase of 18% or 413,553 cases was recorded for the Malts segment. My fellow shareholders I ask you to join with me in congratulating the Sales and Marketing team for a splendid effort and to encourage them to an even greater performance in 2012. My fellow shareholders, the primary consideration for the Sales and Marketing team in 2012 will have to be sustainability. In this regard, they will have our full support and encouragement.
The Company produced a most creditable performance in 2011, having generated increased physical sales, revenues and profits over the previous financial year. The sales team sold approximately 7.5m cases of beverages, which is approximately 458,000 cases over that of 2010. This resulted in increased revenues which in turn generated an increase in profits.
The Group’s third party revenue increased from $18,292 billion to $21,229 billion, an increase of $2,937 billion or 16%.
The profit before tax for the Group was $4,036 billion compared to $3,081 billion in 2010, an increase of $955.0 million or 31%.
The Profit After Tax for the Group attributable to shareholders was $2,298 billion reflecting a 43% increase or $696.0 million on the results of 2010.
Banks DIH’S Gross Revenue and Services for the year ended 30th September 2011 was $18,777 billion compared to $16,371 billion in 2010. This reflects an increase of $2,406 billion or 15%. Profit generated before taxation was $2,802 billion, as compared to $2,226 billion in 2010, an increase of $576 million or 26%. Net Profit after taxes and before dividends amounted to $1,934 billion. Adding Citizens Bank’s contribution of Net Profit to the Group’s results, the Group’s Net Profit increased by $696 million to $2,298 billion. This net profit reflects an increase of 43% over that of the previous year.
My fellow shareholders, Citizens Bank’s performance can be classified as excellent. Citizens Bank Inc., a 51% owned subsidiary of the Company, achieved an $805.0 million after tax profit compared to $535.0 million achieved in 2010. This performance was accomplished primarily through the growth of our loans portfolio as the bank continues to invest in the development of the local economy through its lending function as well as through the effective management of our expenses.
During 2012, the bank will continue to focus providing a more effective response to our customers’ needs and this will be reflected in the continuation of the expansion of our branch network. Applications will be submitted to the Bank of Guyana for the establishment of two strategically located new branches, in Essequibo and Berbice, in addition to our recently opened Linden Branch as we continue our efforts to connect the people of various communities and their respective areas of income generation and financial security. Also, construction of the new Head Office will commence in 2012 at the corners of Camp Street and South Road, the present site of Campsite Qik Serv.
Fellow shareholders, please take note in your Annual Report, Item 32, page 76, that prior to the year end the Board of Directors of the parent company agreed to consider the disposal of a property located in Georgetown to its banking subsidiary. On 28 October 2011 an agreement of sale and purchase was entered into for an agreed price of $450.0m. The building once completed, is intended to accommodate the banking subsidiary’s new head office. The carrying value of the property at the year end amounted to $277,311.
Let me congratulate Mr Eton Chester and team for the excellent performance in 2011.
Even as we faced challenges throughout 2011, we remained focused on our commitment to provide quality products and services, financial results and management performance. The improved results can be attributed to revenue garnered from the increase in physical sales, efficiencies derived from plant and machinery upgrades, an improved presell and distribution system, the installation of capital equipment, and the increase of Citizens Bank Guyana Inc’s net profit by 50%.
The increase in profitability was also attributed to decreases in the following expenses -
Bad Debts, and
Interest on loan
We also had increased expenses which affected the profits of the Company.
Plant Repairs & Maintenance
During the year under review, the company continued its programme to optimise its manufacturing processes to improve production and quality, and the distribution of its beverage and food products. This is evidenced in the acquisition of major plant and machinery during the year as part of our ongoing modernisation programme which enabled the efficient conversion of raw materials into food and beverage products thereby contributing to the improved performance. This is evidenced in the acquisition and installation of a low pressure filler and filtration column for the Rum Factory, a Filling System for five and three gallon sizes of water, an Electronic Bottle Inspector, Beer Chiller cooling system, Checkmat system, Co2 Plant, Blow Moulding machine, the upgrade of the Ice Cream Plant, acquisition of new vehicles for the Transport Fleet, additional Lift Trucks, and a Waste Water Treatment Plant, which satisfies our contractual arrangements with the Coca-Cola Company and which attests to our stated intention to be an environmental friendly operation.
Additionally, a new Filler and Air Conveyor were acquired for the existing Soft Drink Plant.
A new Krones state of the art Soft Drink Plant has been acquired, installed and commissioned. Upgrades to the Brewery, Rum Factory, Water Plant, Dairy, the existing Soft Drink Plant, and the installation of a new Generator for the Power Generation Plant and the construction and development of an additional Water Well are in progress. In 2011, the Group’s spending on Capital Works amounted to $2,898 billion and this was accomplished by the company not borrowing any funds and at the same time repaying the loan at Citizens Bank for $140 million. Fellow shareholders, such is the financial strength of your company.
Capital Expenditure 2012
My fellow shareholders, contained in the Annual Report from the Board of Directors and distributed to members of Banks DIH Limited is financial information relative to Capital Expenditure for the period under review and proposals for 2012 and beyond.
My fellow shareholders, Capital Expenditure provisions are essentially a comprehensive statement in support of the concept of re-investing in the Business.
A company’s ability and willingness to commit to the principle of re-investment is a function of Prudent Financial Management of Resources and effective planning.
Fellow shareholders, the Board of Directors declared a first interim dividend of $0.15 per share, which was paid on 20 May 2011, a second interim dividend of $0.15 per share, which was paid on 17 October 2011 and now recommends a final dividend of $0.25 per share payable on 23rd January 2012. The total dividend for the year is $0.55 per share with the overall cost being $550.0 million. Fellow shareholders, six years ago the Board of Directors made a commitment that one of the Company’s goals or targets was to pay $0.50 per share. This was achieved in 2010. Now it is recommended to pay $0.55 per share at a cost of $550.0 million. Remember fellow shareholders, that local dividends are tax free to shareholders.
The Balance Sheet of the Company shows a strong working capital with a substantially improved cash position. The working capital was $4.1 billion. Current assets increased by $638 million. The Company’s cash resources at the Bank was $2,236 billion compared to $2.088 billion 2010, an increase of $148 million.
Loans outstanding amounted to $211 million, of which $68.0 mission is repayable in 2012.
Capital and Reserves
The equity of the Group was $19.1 billion. The issued share capital of 1.0 billion shares shows a net asset per share of $19.1 indicates gives the minimum price at which a Banks DIH share should be traded.
The company’s shares were traded on the local Stock Exchange at 30 September 2011 for $12.00 per share in comparison to $11.80 per share at 30 September 2010, an increase of $0.20 per share. The share price is no doubt indicative of Investors’ confidence in the company’s performance, both now and in the future. The last trading day on 16 January 2012 the shares were traded at $12.20.
Earnings per Share
Earnings per share increased from $1.60 per share to $2.30 per share, an increase of $0.70 or 44%.
The sum of $2,298 billion has been transferred as profit retained resulting in the reserves at the end of the year amounting to $16.7 billion.
My fellow shareholders, we need to have an understanding of and an appreciation for the fact that our company operates in a global environment. Long gone are the days of a monopoly when consumers had little say in the matter of what they should purchase. Banks DIH Limited continues to face increased competition from competing Brands of Beverages and Food Products and this will be the reality for the foreseeable future.
We need therefore to ensure that loyalty and commitment to our Brands continues from the countless consumers who purchase and consume our products each day.
For financial year 2011/2012, the Company plans to increase revenues by 20% and profits by 10%. These results will be achieved through an increase in physical sales of 12%, the introduction of new products - Malta Supreme, Vitamalt Plus, XM family of Rums and the increased sales of Light Beer and President Beer, an increase in export sales of Rum, Wine and Beer, investments in capital projects and the continuation of the management strategy of weekly meetings to address problems and or limitations faced by departmental heads.
We will have to control our expenses in 2012 in all areas of operation.
My fellow shareholders, a review of the past year’s results, will indicate some issues which worked in our favour to produce an improved result. There was a benefit accrued from the reduction in our Corporate taxation and a significant increase in volume sales across the company. But having said that fellow shareholders, there was also significant increases in the cost of fuel used for power generation, our transport fleet and utilities for the Production Plants. There were also increases for manufacturing items purchased from overseas suppliers such as bottles, pre-forms, malted barley and sugar to mention but a few. There is no indication in the foreseeable future that this trend will change.
As the financial markets continue to be affected by speculation and the possibility of a global recession, borrowing becomes more costly which translates in to increased costs down the line for companies such as ours. So as we celebrate an increased sale and revenue, we also need to be aware of increasing costs and recommit to ensuring that we do on a daily basis is accomplished with cost reduction and cost control in mind. Prudent management of our financial resources will be continued in the new financial year.
My fellow shareholders, you will recall that reference was made to achievements of the late Steve Paul Jobs, Co-Founder and CEO of Apple Inc., and the fact that there is little that we do in this age that has not been influenced by the creativity and ingenuity of Steve Jobs.
My fellow shareholders, can there be a greater tribute which can be paid to any human than to be recognised for having made a positive difference in this world and in the lives of others? When the history of the Computer Age would have been written, regardless of what anyone may feel about the man Steve Jobs, no one can deny the fact that he was motivated by a restlessness of spirit and the need to find answers to the question “Why Not?” He saw the future as a place he wanted to be and to be part of. He saw his role and function as that of being the catalyst which moved things to the next level. Consider that when next you use a Computer or an iPod or an iPad or text or tweet or attempt to communicate electronically.
My charge to the employees at our Annual Staff Meeting held in December, was that they must see the Company in the same way as Steve Jobs saw life and his reason for being here. We need to cultivate and encourage that restlessness of spirit which will take us to the next level. We need to have a vision of the future which includes all of what Banks DIH Limited does and the many ways in which we positively impact the Guyanese public each day. One of the things which is so apparent when reading of the accomplishments of Steve Jobs, is his insistence that his devices must not only be functional but must also be visually appealing - “beautiful” as he said. Banks DIH Limited must not only be judged on the strength of its Balance Sheet but also on the way we are perceived through our products, services and corporate and Public Relations - the visual appeal referred to.
My fellow shareholders all along you may have noticed repeated references made to the subject of taking our company to the next level. The next level is not a physical space, but rather that environment or collective mind set to which I referred. Our company will not be successful in the future if we, including all of us without exception, do not commit to this principle of a shared responsibility and make it our business to be involved. No individual part is greater than the whole. My fellow shareholders, I wish to suggest the following areas as the platform from which we will launch the journey to the next level. They are:-
As I have mentioned in previous discussions with you, no one manufactures “third world” equipment any longer. As we continue the process of Capital Equipment Replacement across the company, the standard to which we must rise and be recognised is 21st Century and nothing less. It will be both impractical and un-economical to have to depend on technicians recruited from overseas to come to our assistance on each occasion when the technology proves to be more than we can handle. Additionally my fellow shareholders, it will be unnecessary for me to have to remind you of the rapidly changing landscape of the ways in which we communicate at every level. Consider for example the part played by the Social Media “Facebook”; YouTube and Twitter”, in the overthrowing of governments in certain Arab countries recently. Consider how we speak to each other by way of the television, texting, BBM, the Internet and Instant Messaging and reflect on the ways in which you receive information and communicate your thoughts to your friends and family in this age.
Technology has forced the world and you and me to rethink many of the things we took for granted and unchangeable. My fellow shareholders, technology and its rapidly changing panorama is here to stay and is the future towards which we are journeying. Banks DIH Limited has to be in a position to fully exploit this technology and this new way of communicating with a young population.
My fellow shareholders, there is no question that our company has benefitted from the recent increase in disposable income which has contributed in the increased volume sales. This is a most welcome development and which we must encourage as its benefits are felt across our company.
Having said that, it will be unrealistic as the saying goes “to place all of our eggs in one basket”. Moving our company to the next level will require a concerted Export Drive. My fellow shareholders, Banks DIH Limited is recognised for many quality products which has resulted in orders from various places where Guyanese live and reside. We do, however, have two products which are recognised for their quality and strength of the Brand. They are the XM Brand and the Banks Beer Brand. My fellow shareholders, there is a strong demand and a market waiting to be developed for our Rums in Europe and North America. Now that the product development is completed and the product is available, we shall pursue in an aggressive way, moving this Brand into those areas.
My fellow shareholders, the fourth platform to be considered on the journey of taking our company to the next level, is succession planning. Some of us may consider this to be a process which is restricted to the Board of Directors and Senior Management. This is far from the truth. Recognising that whatever knowledge we have accumulated over the period of our respective lives, has come to us from and through other people, we have a moral and ethical responsibility to ensure that whatever we have learned, we should pass it on to others along with all the improvements gained, to ensure that when we pass on and leave this place, we will leave it in a better position than we received it. We have heard so often of legacies left by individuals and probably have concluded that this in some ways refers to financial resources. Not so my fellow shareholders. In all aspects of life, the over-riding consideration must be continuity.
Within our company, the fact that Banks DIH Limited has endured over the years to be what it is today, is a testament to those who have gone before. We must ensure that at every level, we prepare and empower new persons to continue what we received and contributed to.
My fellow shareholders, one thing is very clear as one reflects on the dynamics and evolving nature of business activities and that is, as business ventures of varying types come and go, there are certain core practices which are fundamental to the success of any venture which requires investor trust, capital investment and long term financing. Over the year which lies ahead of us and indeed as we look to the next five year period, our vision for Banks DIH Limited requires that we commit ourselves to those core fundamentals which will ensure that those who come after us will have the same opportunity as was given us by those who came before. My fellow shareholders, what we’re referring to here, is the collective appreciation for the concept of sustainability.
As we reflect on all that will be necessary to take our Company to the next level, let us recommit to the wisdom contained in the statement that success is really about being ready when opportunity comes. My fellow shareholders, let us individually and collectively recommit to being ready and to fully utilise every opportunity to make our company a success as we take it to the next level and greater heights.
Permit me on my own behalf and on behalf of the Board of Directors and Employees to extend to you and your families and loved ones, a Healthy, Productive and Fulfilling 2012. May the promise which the future holds bless you with every good thing.