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My fellow shareholders, you may recall when last we came together that we reviewed what will be required to take our Company to “The Next Level”. At that time, we considered that within the understanding of that concept, we should not consider “The Next Level” as a physical space or geographical location but rather a change of attitude, work ethic and thinking from which will flow increased sales volumes and improved financial results. This in turn would permit us to grow and improve the physical infrastructure, plant and machinery, human resource base and the supporting processes which are vitally important to sustain what would have been achieved. Was it, as it is said, “A walk in the Park?” “No, my fellow shareholders, it certainly was not!” Anything worth achieving will require effort and commitment. The experience of taking our Company to “The Next Level” made us even more conscious and aware of our place in the future, what is required to get there and what will have to be accomplished to consolidate and maintain that place in the future.

My fellow shareholders, during the period of the last financial year, the Company utilized as its theme and focal point around which the diverse sections of our operations are engaged, the theme “The Next Level”. You may recollect what was also said when last we came together, that the human spirit is motivated and encouraged when we seek answers to questions which we encounter on the journey of life. The very worst thing that anyone can do to himself or herself, is to believe or accept that he knows it all, has done it all and has achieved it all. When we ignore that restlessness within us to discover what’s around the next turn in the road of life or to seek out answers to the questions which confront us each day or experience that inner joy and happiness which comes with the recognition that “Yes, I can do that!”, my fellow shareholders, we stop growing and we die. People may see us walking around and going through the motions, but truthfully speaking, the life within us has been put out by our unfaithfulness to ourselves and our calling to leave the world into which we were born and lived, a better place for those who will come after us. The concepts of active involvement, participation and sustainability will continue in this year ahead of us, to be our motivation and guide.

My fellow shareholders, on your visits to the Thirst Park Complex over the past year, your attention should have been drawn to that revolving sign which is placed just outside of the entrance and exit gates. What did the words “The Next Level” say to you and do for you? Some have asked the question, “what useful purpose does that sign serve?” The question can in turn be asked, “why do Companies such as ours, advertise?” Is there anyone in our country who has not heard of Banks Beer? Why advertise Banks Beer? In a world of competing distractions and fierce unrelenting competition, it’s so easy to allow complacency to set in and to take so much for granted. Our motivation over the year just ended was not to allow complacency to set in and to stimulate everyone in their respective areas of employment to do all that was required to take our Company to the Next Level. The sign at the Entrance and Exit Gates was placed there to be a form of internal advertising and motivation for us. It is a constant reminder of what we are called to do each and every day.
The sign depicting “the Next Level” was comprised of four distinctive areas of our Company’s operations which we considered in financial year 2012 to be vital to the Company’s best interests and financial well-being.

  1. The upgrade and automation of the Brewery which includes the Brewhouse, Cellars and Beer Bottling Plant.
  2. The acquisition and installation of a new Automated Soft Drink Line. We also launched the 12 oz package of Coca Cola and Sprite products.
  3. The launch of the XM Family of Rums which includes the 5 Year, 7 Year, 10 Year, 12 Year and 15 Year Rums in new and distinctive packaging into the European Market. These products were also made available for the local and CARICOM markets.
  4. Education and Training to enable our employees especially those working within the areas of Information Technology and Electricity and Electronics to respond to and better utilize current technology which controls the operations of all of our recently installed Plant and Machinery.

My fellow shareholders I can advise that the inspiration which came from that sign depicting “the Next Level” motivated us to achieve three of the four goals set. The fourth, which is the modernization of the Brewery is in progress and is expected to be completed by the end of the second quarter of the new Financial Year when the Unitanks will be erected and installed.

My fellow shareholders in addition to the above stated goals we had set ourselves other targets which were intended to take our Company to the Next Level and which I can now share with you.


The overall performance improved by recording a profit before tax for the Group of $4.938 billion compared to $4.036 billion in 2011, an increase of $902.0 million or 22%.

Profits after tax for the Group attributable to shareholders increased significantly from $2.298 billion to $2.776 billion, an increase of $478.0 million or 21%. The Company for the first time in its history achieved profit before tax in excess of $3.5 billion and profit after tax of $2.5 billion.

The Company’s profit before tax was $3.672 billion compared to $2.802 billion in 2011, an increase of $870.0 million or 31%. Profit after tax increased from $1.934 billion in 2011 to $2.522 billion by $588.0 million or 30%. Included in the profit before tax is a one-off profit of $167.0 million arising from the disposal by the Parent Company of the Camp Street property to the Banking subsidiary.

Despite the many challenges which were present during 2012, we remained focused on our commitment to deliver strong results to our shareholders, customers and consumers.

The improved performance was primarily as a result of the excellent and sustained response to, and support from the Public for our products. This resulted in higher physical sales and increased revenue.

Our pre-selling/distribution systems and multifaceted marketing campaign along with the better performance of the economy and greater disposable income, also contributed to the better performance. Efficiencies were also derived from the Company’s capital expansion programme and an increase in profit from the Banking Subsidiary by 15%.


Fellow shareholders, if you were to examine the nature of our Capital Expenditure programmes you will see the unfolding of and the incremental implementation of the strategic vision of building on our traditions of Excellence by providing Quality Products and Services. Decisions regarding the integration of the Company’s future operations include products, manufacturing processes, channels of distribution and the development of employees.

In 2012 the Group’s spending on Capital Expenditure amounted to $3.6 billion. This was accomplished by utilising the cash flows generated from the Company’s operations. This enabled your Company to continue the acquisition of major plant and machinery during the year as part of our ongoing modernisation and expansion programme enabled the reduction of the unit cost of the products produced thereby contributing to the improved performance.

The Board of Directors has committed a Capital Expenditure of $5.2 billion for 2013, of which authorised and contracted-for is $1.7 billion, and authorised and not contracted for is $3.5 billion.

The funding of the total Capital Expenditure will be from the Company’s cash flows and borrowings from the commercial banks.


Fellow shareholders, the Board of Directors declared a first interim dividend of $0.16 per share, which was paid on 25 May 2012, a second interim dividend of $0.16 per share which was paid on 15 October 2012 and now recommends a final dividend of $0.28 per share payable on 21 January 2013. The total dividend for the year is $0.60 per share with the overall cost being $600.0 million. Fellow shareholders, several 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 $0.60 per share at a cost of $600.0 million. Remember fellow shareholders that local dividends are tax free to shareholders.

Share Price

The Company’s shares were traded on the local Stock Exchange at 30 September 3012 for $16.50 per share in comparison to $12.00 per share at 30 September 2011, an increase of $4.50 per share or 37.5%. 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 2013, the shares were traded at $16.80.

Fellow shareholders, as publicised in the Stabroek News on Friday, 11 January 2013, under CARICOM Stock Market Review that “Banks DIH Limited was named among the 30 most influential stocks in the Caribbean due to the fact that Banks DIH’s shares gained 42.95% on its value in 2011”. As I have said on many occasions do not sell your shares, it is worth more than you think.

Earnings per Share

Earnings per share increased from $2.30 per share to $2.78 per share, an increase of $0.48 or 20%.

The Company continues to face increased competition from other brands both legally and illegally imported and there are now several established alternatives to almost all of our products on the local market, for example. Our country’s relatively open market policy permits the unrestricted importation of several competing products.

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. As was said previously, 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 continue from the countless consumers who purchase and consume our products each day.

Our continued success will depend on our ability to respond to the needs of a rapidly emerging middle class market in our society and to be the active supplier of products and services to our customers, consumers and other stakeholders. To this end the process of investing in Capital projects will continue with a view to reduce the unit cost of production.


Citizens Bank Guyana Inc., a 51% owned subsidiary of the Company, increased its revenue from $2.458 billion to $2.879 billion, an increase of $421.0 million or 17%. Profit after tax was $922.0 million as compared to $805.0 million, an increase of $117.0 million or 15%.

The improved profitability was due to increased net interest income and prudent management of the Bank’s corporate objectives. The total assets increased by $3.0 billion from $35.0 billion to $38.0 billion or 9%. Loan assets increased by 14% over the previous year to $21.5 billion. Deposits also increased from $30.6 billion to $32.2 billion, an increase of $1.6 billion or 5%,. Earnings per share were $15.5 compared to $13.5 the previous year.

During 2013 the Bank will re-examine its investments and loan portfolio with a view to earn profitable returns in keeping with the Bank’s corporate objectives.


My fellow shareholders, as we consider the improved performance produced by the company for the financial year 2011-2012, contributions from the Production Departments, the Engineering Services Department, Finance, Costing and Budget and Audit Departments, Demico House operations and Materials Handling Departments, must be acknowledged for their selfless contributions.

I would, however, like at this time to acknowledge the contributions of the Sales and Marketing team for their excellent and sustained response to and support from the public for our products. This resulted in physical growth in sales of 14%, which translates into 14,852,236 units vs 12,684,007 units for the previous year, an increase of 1,851,361 units or 14%. This was achieved as a result of our quality brands and superior routes to the market as we endeavour to offer products and services of international quality.


My fellow shareholders, when we last met, I had apprised you of our intention to commission the drilling of a new Water Well which will be located in the vicinity of the Storage Bond at Houston. I can now advise that that project has been successfully completed and the Well is producing water to supplement the Thirst Park operation’s daily requirements.


My fellow shareholders, you would have heard me say in several addresses over the years that our Human Resources, meaning the employment force is our most valuable asset. It is as a result of the efforts and contribution from our Human Resource base that much of what has been accomplished over the year I can now report as our Company’s success. You may recollect my saying to you that with the changes and improvements in technology and applications and Plant and Machinery improvements, anyone seeking employment in our Company must have as a minimum requirement CXC qualification which will include Maths and English and be computer literate. I had also made the comment fellow shareholders, that it will prove to be an uphill task to fully develop Guyana, and attempt to recruit the right skills and maximise the natural resources and mineral wealth with which it has been blessed, with a relatively small population and a high incidence of continuing migration of skills. Recruitment and Retention continue to be a major challenge and one which will be a feature of the New Frontier in 2013 to be addressed and overcome.

My fellow shareholders, permit me to utilise this opportunity to apprise you of a recent development. In 1980, I was appointed Co-Managing Director/Finance Director with the late Mr Peter d’Aguiar as Chairman/Co-Managing Director. The Board of Directors, at the Board Meeting held on 18 January 2013, approved the appointment of Mr George Daniel Gladstone McDonald as Co-Managing Director/Marketing Director of Banks DIH Limited.

Mr McDonald joined the Company on 1 October 1972 in a clerical position and within five years, was granted a Company Scholarship to read for a Degree in Economics. After graduation he returned to the Company and took up the appointment as Soft Drink Sales Manager. By dint of commitment and dedication, Mr McDonald was named Marketing Executive in 1992 which job function he discharged creditably. He attended the University of Western Ontario: Ivey Business School, enrolled in their Marketing Programme. In 1997 Mr McDonald was appointed to sit on the Board of Directors as Marketing Director which position he currently holds. His appointment as Co-Managing Director was approved at the Board Meeting held on 18 January 2013. Mr McDonald also sits on the Boards of Citizens Bank Guyana Inc., and Banks Holdings Limited, which is the holding Company of our sister Company Banks Barbados Limited. My fellow shareholders, I ask you to join with me in congratulating Mr McDonald on his preferment and to wish him many more years of success and contribution to the development of Banks DIH Limited.


My fellow shareholders, as I had intimated when last we came together for the 56th Annual General Meeting that it was the Company’s intention to actively pursue the ISO accreditation for the entire Company’s operations. During financial year October 1 2011 to September 30 3012 significant progress was achieved in the realization of this goal. Banks DIH limited became the first Guyanese company to achieve the Food Safety Certification (FSSC) and ISO 22000:2005 certification. Our Soft Drink Plant was accredited with the Food Safety Certification on the 6 February 2012 and the ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management System Stage 2 on 5th July 2012.

The Novelty and Dairy Plant successfully completed the ISO 22000:2005 Surveillance Audit on 30/31 October 2012. It is our intention to continue this process within the current financial year by seeking accreditation for the Brewery and our Water Production Plant.

My fellow shareholders the continuing relationship we enjoy with the public, many of whom are shareholders, is founded on confidence, trust and reliability which has to be manifested in both products manufactured and service provided. It is our intention to continue in the year ahead of us to conceptualise and bring to the market, products which will complement the needs and emerging life style changes of our customers and the general public.


My fellow shareholders, over the years of coming together for the purpose of our Annual General Meetings, we have considered the future; what will it be like; what will it hold for our Company and what will be required for us to claim and to secure a part of that future for Banks DIH Limited. My fellow shareholders each succeeding generation has one question which it longs to know the answer to. “How can we know what the future will look like?” For us at Banks DIH Limited, the question continues to be “What will our Company look like in the future?” My fellow shareholders, to be able to understand the future, we must know the past. We must know and understand what has brought us to where we are today and what has changed along the way. It cannot be denied that the world and by extension the societies and structures which comprise those societies have changed over the past century. What we learn from this my fellow shareholders is that the constant in life is change and unless we change, meaning unless we continually re-invent ourselves and what we do and redefine our goals and objectives and the ways to achieve those goals, we will preside over the demise of Banks DIH Limited. There are those who will ask “why concern ourselves over the future? We won’t be there”. My fellow shareholders we must be concerned about the future for the reason that we need to start thinking about what kind of future we would like for ourselves and to pass on to the next generation. In addition my fellow shareholders, we need to be aware of what decisions we need to make today that will produce the best result in the future.

My fellow shareholders, we considered previously the question of the concept of entitlement and what such an understanding holds for us as shareholders and employees of Banks DIH Limited. When we reflect on the increases in volume sales for most products and the corresponding increases in our gross financial results,, there may be the understanding that this is an indication of what the future and the new financial year holds for us. My fellow shareholders, as encouraging as those Gross Financial Results may appear to be, the stark reality is that even though we are producing more and selling more, the increasing operational costs to run our Company on a monthly basis are eating away at the net profit. What this in turn means my fellow shareholders, is that the growth which is projected to arise from our Capital Investments in New Plant and Machinery and Infrastructural Improvement and the upgrade of our Transport Fleet will call for all to be involved employees, shareholders and consumers as we go forward. We spoke earlier on of increasing costs which are outside of our control. A reality within the New Frontier which now lies before us is recognizing and acting on the understanding that the projected growth in financial results will have to come from within. There are many things which are outside of our control and which affect the Company’s financial performance which is the way by which our stewardship is measured by shareholders and investors. But having said that, there is much which is within our control which will have to be done in this new financial year to ensure that the projected growth is achieved even as we contemplate the obstacles over which we have no control. Identifying and pro-actively responding to those cost control areas will be our primary focus within the New Frontier which lies before us.

My fellow shareholders, the feeling of entitlement can be a dangerous place to be in and to remain in for an extended period. There is a saying that the only things in life of which we can be certain, are death and taxes. There is every indication that some of us have already figured out ways not to pay our fair share of the tax burden. So there is one certainty in life of which we can be sure. Everything else is subject to how best we utilize the opportunities provided us each day, and how effectively we manage the resources with which we have been blessed, and apply our God given talent and abilities to maximize those resources. What this means fellow shareholders is that we should not take anything we encounter on life’s journey at face value and for granted. Everything which will be achieved and accomplished, will be as a result of the application of our ability to think and be resourceful, hard work and dedication to the cause of the sustainability of Banks DIH Limited in the future.

My fellow shareholders, our motivation in this new financial year will come from the slogan chosen to guide and direct our activities and decision making in 2013: “The New Frontier”. What does this expression “New Frontier” mean and require of us? Fellow shareholders, let us return briefly to the issue of how do we view the concept of entitlement, and what we need to do to maintain our Company’s viability and profitability. Let us reflect on the New Frontier of opportunities for us and our Company. The areas of opportunity to sustain our Company in this new financial year will be found in how well we are able to:

  • Control Costs
  • Reduce Expenses
  • Minimise or eliminate Waste, and
  • Education and Training

On the question of “Controlling Costs”, we must be aware of what we do within the Company. Our manufacturing plants are highly dependent on imports to maintain operational efficiencies and to produce the requirements of our Sales and Marketing plans. The cost of imports is very often outside of and beyond our control as these are influenced by the cost of petroleum products on the world market and availability. Shipping costs are also outside of our control so for example, as the price per barrel of oil moves upwards, the cost of Pre-forms and everything else we import, is affected. We also need to be aware of the function and importance of Budgets and Costings. Selling prices and profit are both influenced by how closely we monitor and control the Costings compiled for each product. There is no space for waste and inefficiencies in the company’s costings and a shortfall in production will affect the attainment of Budgets which in turn affects the budgeted income which then affects our ability to cover our costs, one of which is the payment of Dividends and Employee benefits.

My fellow shareholders, I would like to share with you a really powerful and motivating quote which is taken from the Book “Think and Grow Rich” written by Napoleon Hill, American Author of personal-success literature. Mr Hill said this – “what the mind of man can conceive and believe it can achieve”. Napoleon Hill held the view that persevering and then succeeding in spite of any obstacles in our path, is the responsibility of every human. As we contemplate the New Frontier ahead of us, let us together utilize the advice of Napoleon Hill and apply it to our Company’s operations as we look to the financial year ahead of us. My fellow shareholders, the Frontier ahead of us presents unlimited opportunities for success limited only by any negativity we allow to creep into our thoughts, actions and attitudes. Having recognized that opportunity exists, together we can formulate plans to make the most of those opportunities. With those plans in place, we can have a much better understanding of the direction in which we are headed and where we intend to be. My fellow shareholders, having planned and started on the execution of the plan, this creates confidence and provides the assurance that we can succeed and achieve. Let us use as our motivation the challenge thrown out to the citizens of the United States of America, by the late President John F. Kennedy to put a man on the moon and bring him safely back to earth before the end of the decade of the 60’s. The challenge was taken up and Neil Armstrong who recently died on 25 august 2012 at the age of 82 years, became the first person to walk on the surface of the moon on the 21st July 1969. My fellow shareholders, what the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve. Our challenge in this new financial year will be to plan well; believe in ourselves; implement what has been planned; and work together to achieve the stated goal.

My fellow shareholders, a New Frontier presents itself before us on our journey into the future. This new frontier presents both new challenges and new opportunities. What will be our collective response? Perhaps the Nike Slogan says it best “Just Do It”.

My fellow shareholders, permit me on my own behalf of myself and that of the Board of Directors and employees, to extend to you all, your families and loved ones, a Healthy, productive and Rewarding 2013.

A Peaceful and Blessed Season to you all.

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