BOPP fails to make profit for 2009, production declines

Palm nuts

Benso Oil Palm Plantation Limited (BOPP) operating at Adum Banso near Takoradi in the Western Region failed to make profit for 2009 as production declined.

Consequently, at its annual general meeting (AGM) held in Takoradi on Thursday, BOPP declared a net profit of GH¢ 1,652,000 for 2009 as against a profit after tax of GH¢ 4,934,061 in 2008 representing a shortfall of 66.5 percent.

The company declared a dividend of GH¢ 1, 156 for 2009 as against GH¢ 4, 934 representing 53.1 percent, Mr Ishmael Evans Yamso, Chairman of the company’s Board of Directors, said.

Addressing shareholders at the annual general meeting he said the directors had recommended a dividend of GH¢ 0.0332 to be paid to each share holder.

Mr Yamson explained several facts contributing to the shortfall in the profit and assured that subsequent years would see better results as management had put measures in place to reverse the trend.

He mentioned some of the challenges that led to the shortfall as world market price in Crude Palm Oil that dropped from an average of 976 dollars in 2008 to an average of 661 dollars in 2009, representing 32.3 percent decline in terms of the dollar.

This was coupled with a 13.2 percent depreciation of the cedi against the dollar.

Other factors included reduction in palm oil production which was 71,540 metric tones representing 18 percent, erratic rainfall pattern and stiff competition in the area of Outside Purchase Fruits “contributed significantly to the low crop volumes”.

Mr Yamson said during the year under review the company purchased fresh fruit bunches at a costt of GH¢ 3.5 million from smallholders and out grower farmers numbering over 5,000 in the Western and Central regions.

He said in line with its social responsibility, BOPP has carried out a number of projects in its operational area and beyond.

He mentioned some as provision of free medical screening, medicines and treated mosquito nets at subsidized prices, a 10- seat KVIP toilet at the cost of GH¢ 18, 000 to Adum Banso while Asuogya and Dominase had benefited from the construction of a foot bridge, as well as promotion of tree planning in the communities.

Later in an interview, Mr Yamson said the exit of Unilever from the BOPP operations would not lead to redundancy of workers as the new investors would need them to transact business with.

He said if managed properly, oil palm business could equally become a foreign exchange earner as cocoa.

Mr Yamson said concentration should not be only on the emerging oil industry to the detriment of other cash crops and ventures since all contribute to the socio-economic growth of the nation.

Mr Yamsom retained his position as the chairman of the board while Mrs Victoria Kayaga Kiggundu Finance Director of Unilever Ghana Limited was elected to be a board member.

Source: GNA

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