By Yamikani Yapuwa
Press Corporation PLC has posted 40 per cent decrease in profits before tax from K31.49 billion in the first half of last year to K18.92 billion in the first half of 2019 which ended on June 30, 2019.
Published unaudited financial results of the Group said the reduction should be read in the context of a one-off gain of K11.18 billion in the first half of prior year arising out of the restructuring initiative of the telecommunications segment where Open Connect Limited got K8.48 billion and MTL K2.7 billion.
“The underlying comparable result without the one-off gain in similar period of 2018 is therefore K20 billion representing a seven per cent decrease,” part of the report reads.
The report said that the general business environment was subdued occasioned by challenges and uncertainties usually by a general election year, aggravated in this particular year by the immediate aftermath of the contested results.
“As a result the group did not reach its full potential and registered an eight per cent growth in revenue. Net finance costs increased by 88 per cent following increased borrowings to fund capital investments and overheads took into account a once off cost for functional reviews in some of the Group companies amounting to K1.3 billion.
“The Group will continue with its initiatives to improve operating efficiencies through the re-engineering of its processes and emphasis on cost control,” it reads.
On segmental performance, companies that registered growth according to the report includes National Bank, Ethanol Company and PressCane among others.
Companies which registered a decline in profits or net earnings are MTL, TNM, and PUMA among others while Maldeco registered a positive gain with a reduction of 23 per cent in its losses.
On business outlook, the group said business confidence remains at a low ebb at the operating environment remains challenging in light of the contested presidential elections.
“Management is poised to deliver satisfactory results building on its strength of being reasonably diversified Group notwithstanding the consequences of the current tense political atmosphere with the resultant adverse economic implications,” the Group said.-MANA