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My fellow shareholders, permit me to extend a warm and cordial welcome to the 65th Annual General Meeting of Banks DIH Limited, and on my own behalf and that of the Board of Directors, the Management and Staff to extend best wishes for a Peaceful, Healthy and Productive 2021. For the first time the Annual General Meeting will be conducted in the manner pursuant to the order of the Court made by Honourable Justice Sandil Kissoon and entered on the second day of December 2020.

As we reflect on the year 2020 just concluded, there is a real temptation to ask the question, “What really happened to 2020?” and to yield to the inclination to revisit all of the painful experiences of those twelve months. As I reflect on this new year just started and indeed our Company’s new financial year I will admit that our Company’s Motto for the last financial year, Á Bridge to the Future” provided much hope and optimism that indeed there will be a rainbow beyond the clouds of darkness and despair which the Covid Pandemic brought into our collective experiences. My fellow shareholders, it is the Greek Philosopher, Plato to whom is attributed the quote: “Necessity is the Mother of Invention”. The quote can also be found within the English language used as a proverb to mean that the primary driving force for most new inventions is a need. The year 2020 in so many ways challenged us to redefine our understanding of a new normal and the needs which the new normal brought with it. And what a new normal it turned out to be!

My fellow shareholders, Ladies and Gentlemen, hopefully by now you should have received your copies of the annual Report and you would have observed the image that is reflected on the revolving sign which is located at the entrance to Thirst Park. Our Company’s theme for financial year 2020-2021 is “Agro Processing” which statement supports the image of two bottles of Banko Wine. What then is the connection between last financial year’s theme, “A Bridge to the Future” and this year’s theme “Agro Processing”? Reference was made earlier to a quote attributed to the Greek Philosopher Plato that “Necessity is the Mother of Invention”. In many respects, the events and happenings over the past five decades which form a part of our Company’s history were bridges to a future which at that time we could not easily discern. Nevertheless, we were motivated because of necessity to succeed and maintain the goals set by inventing and being creative.

My fellow shareholders, Ladies and Gentlemen, most of you will have some memory of the decade of the 1980’s and how that time was instrumental in creating a new normal for all of us who lived in Guyana at that time. Our new normal within the Company was to take to heart the words of Plato within every department of the Company’s operations and business model, and to invent and be creative to ensure the survival of our Company and the employment status of our staff members. And creative we were indeed not only at Thirst Park but also at Demico House within the operations of the Demico Restaurants. Historical records tell us that one of the significant developments arising out of the benefits coming out of the Industrial Revolution was the sharp increase in agricultural output and the urgent and relevant question of what to do with the increase. The response to this need was the development of a segment of the food manufacturing and preservation process called Agro Processing which is defined as a set of techno-economic activities which are applied to all products originating from, for example, agricultural activities, with the intention being to preserve and/or convert these agricultural resources into various value added products.

My fellow shareholders, Ladies and Gentlemen, as we reflect on the activity of Agro Processing and the part those activities played within the Company’s business model at that time, two noteworthy events stand out, both of which have their origins in the Company’s first tentative steps into those techno-economic activities called Agro Processing.

As was previously mentioned, the featured product on this year’s Annual Report cover is "Banko Wines”. During the first half of the 1980’s, Banks DIH Limited established a Winery to manufacture what at that time was the product, sold under the brand, “Santa Rosa Wines”. The economic events of the same decade forced the Company to rethink the Winery’s production capacities. The Banko Wines Brand was developed and with that step, Banks DIH Limited embarked on the activity described as Agro Processing when it was decided to manufacture a cereal based Wine to replace the Santa Rosa brand previously alluded to, which was grape based. That Agro Processing activity involved the conversion of rice utilising heat and fermentation processes into the value added product now sold and marketed as “Banko Wines”. Some forty years after that product was created through necessity, the Company purchases from the local Rice Industry in excess of two million pounds of Rice per year some of which is used as an adjunct in the Brewing process with the remainder processed and converted into the value added product Banko Wines.

The first half of the decade of the 1980’s also saw our Company’s tentative steps taken in the field of Agro Processing when the Trisco Foods Division was established. An economic downturn experienced at that time, caused a reduction in the imports of a wide cross section of products among which were products marketed as Breakfast Cereals and Snack Foods. Co-incidentally, Banks DIH Limited, at that moment in history, was in negotiations with an Italian Company to purchase a Processing Plant which could be utilised to manufacture extruded products from various types of flours. After a period of product testing and market sampling, the Company entered into its second encounter in the field of Agro Processing with the acquisition of a Processing Plant which was located at LookOut on the East Bank of Essequibo, to produce Cassava and Rice Flours from indigenous agricultural raw materials namely Cassava and Rice. Utilising a processing method described as extrusion cooking, the mixture of Rice and Cassava flours was converted into pellets which were further converted into the value added products marketed as Tastee Snacks, Trisco Breakfast Flakes and Triskies Rice Cereal.

My fellow shareholders, Ladies and Gentlemen, it will be difficult to overstate the potential benefits which will accrue to the nation and its people from the recently discovered Petroleum Reserves and the recent media reports of additional discoveries within the exclusive economic zone.

As we consider all this newfound wealth and what is possible if these additional resources are well managed to the benefit of the nation and its people, let us not forget the original pillar on which the nation’s economic wellbeing was first built, meaning our abundant agricultural resources. As we reflect on these two aspects of our economy, we must recognise that we have within our control, the capacity to utilise our agricultural resources to create wealth, additional forms of employment for our citizens and to do as Plato so correctly opined, utilise our creativity to manufacture value added products from the bounty of our fields, oceans, rivers and forests. Surely the necessity to put to good use all of these resources will bring out the best in us for the benefit of our nation and its citizens.

Finance Report

Revenue and Profits for the Group

The Group’s third party revenue was $34.222 billion compared to $32.917 billion in 2019 representing an increase of $1.305 billion or 4.0%.

The Trading Profit from Operations for the Group was $8.851 billion when compared with $7.529 billion achieved in 2019, representing an increase of $1.322 billion or 17.6%.

Profit after Tax attributable to the Shareholders of the Parent Company was $5.666 billion compared to $4.897 billion in 2019, an increase of $769.0 million or 15.7%.

Revenue and Profit for the Company

Revenue generated by the Company was $30.468 billion compared to $29.597 billion in 2019, an increase of $871.0 million or 2.9%.

The Profit before Tax for the Company was $7.329 billion compared to $6.167 billion, achieved in 2019, an increase of $1.162 billion or 18.8%, while the Profit after Tax for the Company increased from $4.524 billion to $5.271 billion by $747.0 million or 16.5%.

Fellow Shareholders, the Financial Year which ended on 30 September 2020, presented new and varied challenges and experiences, among which can be counted the post elections uncertainties and the Nation-wide mitigation measures which were implemented to counter the effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic. I can report, that the Group, having experienced those challenges, by virtue of team work and commitment, was able to surmount the obstacles presented, utilising the combined strengths of our work-force, the market acceptance of our Brands, our effective selling and distribution network, and our loyal customer base. The combined contribution of this resource base, enabled us to achieve increased revenue streams, better control of operational expenses and optimal use of our financial resources.

Capital Expenditure

During the period under review, capital investment projects were undertaken within our production and related facilities which enabled the more efficient conversion of raw materials into finished products, achieving better efficiencies and operational controls.

We completed the relocation of the Liquor Warehouse to Thirst Park and completed the extension of the Stores to accommodate increased and improved storage. Various roofing areas across Thirst Park were upgraded or replaced. New Processing, Baking and Packaging Equipment were installed on the Biscuit and Cone Biscuit Plants. Our Rum Production Facilities were upgraded with New Bottle Rinsing and Capping Equipment and Chilling and Storage capacities. Our Power Generation and Distribution capacity was enhanced by the acquisition of a new Cummins Generator, Transformers and a Fuel Purification System for the Central Services’ boilers. New LPG Forklifts and Trucks were acquired to enhance the functions of the Distribution Channels across the Company. The Selling and Marketing Functions were improved by way of the introduction of additional Ice-cream Freezers, Beverage Coolers and Bottled Water Dispensers. Additionally, our ICT Capacity and Response Functions were upgraded with the Installation of New Hardware and Software Systems.

At the time of reporting, there were Capital Projects which were started during the period under review which will be completed within the new Financial Year. These include the Beer Bottling and Soft Drink Plants’ upgrade, the installation of the new CIP System for the Rum Factory and the Winery, the installation of additional Records’ Storage Facilities, the completion of a New Motorised Truck Washing Facility and the continuing construction of the multi-level parking facility and headquarters for the new Banks Automotive and Services Inc.

Citizens Bank Guyana Inc

The revenue of Citizens Bank Guyana Inc., a 51% owned subsidiary of the company was $3.749 billion compared with $3.422 billion generated in 2019, an increase of $327.0 million or 9.6%. The Profit before Tax was $1.673 billion compared to $1.599 billion in 2019, an increase of $74.0 million or 4.6%, while Profit after Tax was $982.2 million compared to $955.3 million, an increase of $26.9 million or 2.8%.

Net Interest Income was $2.835 billion.

The earnings per share was $16.51 while the total asset base was $63.8 billion.

Loan Assets were increased from $29.8 billion to $31.7 billion reflecting an increase of 6.4% or $1.9 billion

Banks Automotive and Services Inc

Banks Automotive and Services Inc., a 100% owned $78.4 million. The Profit before Tax was $8.6 million.


The Board of Directors declared a first interim dividend of $0.30 per share unit which was paid on 28 May 2020. A second interim dividend of $0.30 per share was also paid on 26 October 2020, and now the Board of Directors recommends a final dividend of $0.75 per share unit, making the overall dividend per share unit of $1.35 or an overall cost of $1.147 billion, an increase of $161.5 million or 16.4% over the previous year.

Growth in Shareholders’ Value

My Fellow Shareholders, irrespective of the challenges which confronted us during the period under review, we were able to record growth in Shareholder value.

From the Net Profit of $5.666 billion attributable to Shareholders, a dividend payment of $985.8 million was made, leaving the sum of $4.680 billion which was transferred to Retained Earnings. The Shareholders’ Net Asset Value per share is now $50.89 per share when compared with the 2019 value of $45.25 per share an increase of $5.64 or 12.5%.

Total Quality Management and Environment Safety Functions

My Fellow Shareholders, for the period under review, our Production Plants successfully completed the following ISO and Coca-Cola Quality and Safety Management Systems Audits.

o ISO 9001:2015 (Quality Management System) Surveillance Audit
o ISO 22000:2005 – Food Safety Management System
o ISO/TS 22002-1:2009 – Prerequisite Programmes on Food Safety
o ISO/TS 22002-4:2013 - Prerequisite Programmes on Packaging Manufacturing for our NR PET Manufacturing
o FSSC 22000-Version 4.1 - Food Safety System Certification
o The Coca-Cola Global Organisation Virtual Audit

Additionally, my Fellow Shareholders, I can report with much pride that Banks DIH Ltd. has consistently retained the top spot within the Emerging Market Segment of the Coca-Cola Latin Centre Business Unit, QSI scoring System, achieving the maximum score of 300 points for Product Quality and Safety.

During the year the Brewery achieved in the League of Excellence third in the Americas out of fourteen (14) Breweries and eleventh worldwide out of forty-nine (49) Breweries.

The Environment Department also completed the first part of the ISO 14001:2015 and OSHA 18001:20077 Audit and is currently transitioning into ISO 45001:2018.

Consequent upon the onset of the COVID-19 Virus Pandemic in March 2020, we implemented a company-wide schedule of mitigation measures to counter the effects of the Pandemic within the Company. These included the creation of sanitising and washing stations, at entry points and designated areas within the Company’s facilities, recording of temperatures, fogging and sanitising of office spaces, production areas and vehicles. The services of our Industrial Nurse were co-opted to monitor the health status of staff members and to oversee quarantining measures, if needed.

Additionally, a company-wide upgrade of safety equipment and alarm systems was completed which included fire suppressant foam systems for the Power Plant and the Rum Factory Departments.

Community Relations/Partnerships

My Fellow Shareholders, our Mission Statement expresses our hopes and aspirations for our Company. Within the constraints so dramatically displayed by the COVID-19 Pandemic, we continued to support the Communities within which we operate. Our Brand Ambassadors’ Programme, support for Religious and Faith based Communities, Apprenticeship and Work Study Programmes continued. We supported our employees through training programmes facilitated by the Training Department and the provision of scholarships to pursue degree programmes at the University of Guyana.


My fellow shareholders, Ladies and Gentlemen, you may recollect from our last Annual General Meeting held in January 2020, my sharing a quote with you which is attributed to that great Jazz Musician, Miles Davis, in which he said: “I am always thinking about creating. My future starts when I wake up every morning. Every day I find something creative to do”.

The history and journey thus far of Banks DIH Limited which can be traced back to 1842 has been and continues to be a story of being creative. The creation of wealth for our stakeholders and shareholders. The creation of employment opportunities and the maintenance of job security for our employees. The fulfilling of responsibilities and obligations of corporate citizenship meaning social consciousness and ensuring the integrity and security of our brands, are all enshrined within that historical record and journey of creativity over the past seven decades.

My fellow shareholders, Ladies and Gentlemen, as we contemplate the future and what it holds for our Company, let us commit to doing two things which are in the best interests of our Company. Firstly, let us consider the opportunities which are available within the context of our theme for this new financial year “Agro Processing”. My fellow shareholders there can be no disputing that the discovery of extensive petroleum deposits and the benefits to be derived from that natural wealth, can only redound to the benefit of the nation. Having said that, such resources are not infinite. They will at some point be depleted leaving us to face as others have, the painful reality that when it comes to the nation’s economic well-being we should not be totally dependent on one resource base. Our nation has been blessed with Agricultural resources which if carefully managed, can be described as infinite. The benefits which can be harvested from this resource as we journey into the future, can be described as a gift which keeps on giving. Guyana’s description as the “Bread Basket of the Caribbean”, which description takes its legitimacy from the above mentioned Agricultural resource base is yet to be fully developed. My fellow shareholders, Ladies and Gentlemen, the bounty alluded to, is not only reflected in the variety and abundance of farm and field products and fruits and vegetables which can be found across our coastal belt and interior regions, but also to be considered are the potential value added opportunities which can be exploited by Guyanese entrepreneurs through the conversion of this abundance utilising the processes described as Agro Processing. The support systems which will make the activity of Agro Processing a worthwhile economic venture will include but are not limited to an affordable and reliable energy supply; support and financing from the banking sector; agricultural extension services; farm to market access and the support of agencies such as the University of Guyana’s Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, the Institute of Applied Science and technology and the Ministry of Agriculture among others.

My fellow shareholders, Ladies and Gentlemen, our Supermarket shelves are stocked with every kind and variety of canned, bottled, dried and frozen fruits and vegetables, seafood, poultry and meat products and their derivatives, the greater part of which are imported. There are, to give credit where due, many locally produced and manufactured products sharing shelf space but we can and should be doing much more with the abundant resources which come from our farms, fields, rivers and the ocean. The advances in science and technology have made what’s possible within the arena of Agro Processing so much more attainable thereby making the “Bread Basket” analogy not just a continuing dream to be chased, but an attainable reality for the not too distant future.

My fellow shareholders, Ladies and Gentlemen, our Company’s tentative steps taken some forty years ago in the field of Agro Processing, included our utilisation of some of the nation’s Agricultural bounty in the form of Rice, converting this resource into the value added products marketed and sold under the Brand, Banko Wines. The fact that this product derived from the activity, Agro Processing, has achieved a high level of consumer acceptance both at home and as an export, continues to be a source of pride, motivation and inspiration. Our Research and Development activities continue to innovate and create new variants of the Banko Wine Brand to demonstrate our confidence in the merits and value of Agro Processing as a wealth creating activity.

My fellow shareholders, Ladies and Gentlemen, previously I made reference to the need to commit to two activities to create wealth and employment for our shareholders and stakeholders. At our last Annual General Meeting, when we highlighted last financial year’s theme “Bridge to the Future” we introduced you to a concept which represented a diversification within the Company’s business model. After investigation and research, it was decided that the Company will incorporate into its power generation and energy utilisation model, the use of Solar energy to complement both cost saving initiatives to better manage the Public Utility charges and for revenue generation. Approval was given by the Board of Directors of Banks DIH Limited for the creation of a wholly owned subsidiary of Banks DIH Limited to be named “Banks Automotive and Services Inc”. This new division will incorporate into its business model our new alternative energy initiatives in the form of Solar Energy as well as the establishment of a dealership which will import and sell motor vehicles, motor cycles, various models of Lift Trucks and related spares and vehicle tyres.

The future we have envisaged recognizes that as the economy develops and economic activity increases, citizens will migrate to areas east, west and south of the capital city. This migration and re-settlement will require infrastructure part of which will be new road and highway systems which will facilitate the acquisition of additional forms of transport. We have incorporated into the business model for the new division, provision for some vehicles powered by batteries rather than gasoline or diesel engines. We see this as a part of the Company’s corporate social responsibility and commitment to environmental awareness and protection.

Our Nation finds itself at the start of the 21st Century facing a new, challenging and potentially rewarding horizon of multiple opportunities. Such potential has been the subject of discussions and dreams for many years. My fellow shareholders, Ladies and Gentlemen, I am reminded of a quotation by Michael Dell, Entrepreneur and founder of Dell technologies who said “Do not spend so much time trying to choose the perfect opportunity that you miss the right opportunity”. Banks DIH Limited at this juncture of our unfolding history recognises that the right opportunity lies ahead of us which requires the right decision making process to further prepare our Company to take its rightful place within our nation’s future which lies ahead of us.

Future Outlook

My Fellow Shareholders, Financial Year 2019-2020 has passed into the history books and forms a part of our experiences. Our expectations for the future must be grounded in truth and reality. As you are aware, the Board of Directors has approved the diversification of the Company’s business model to include business ventures into transportation and alternative energy solutions. We will pursue this new and emerging segment of our business activities with diligence and purpose as has been our intention over the past sixty-five (65) years of existence.

I wish to thank the Board of Directors, our Management Team and my fellow Employees for their commitment and dedication and guidance over the past year which has contributed to the growth and development of the Group in the midst of what has come to be described as the New Normal which arose as a result of the Covid 19 Pandemic. This has certainly been a time for creativity and finding new responses, as we faced each new day and the challenges which the pandemic presented. Permit me also to thank our valued shareholders, loyal customers and reliable suppliers who continue to support our Company, Brands and Services.

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