By Michael Eboh
Beta Glass Plc, as partsÂ of plans to further consolidate its growth plans, has announced its decision to further expand its operations and market in the West Africa sub-region, in order to maintain its position in the packaging industry in the continent.
Speaking during its Annual General Meeting in Lagos, Tuesday, the Chairman of the company, Chief Chris Ogunbanjo disclosed that this move becomes necessary considering the impact of the global financial crisis and its impact on economies and businesses around the world.
He said, â€œThere are credible indications that the global recession is going to deepen in 2009 and a harsh economic climate awaits industries all over the world. Our products are classified as capital expenditure for our customers and therefore impacted by the global credit crunch.
The Naira devaluation and other resultant cost increases would further pose challenges in managing our input costs.Â We will strive to maintain our leadership position in the industry through closer strategic ties with our customers, partnering in their new packaging initiatives, drive on cost management and expansion of our markets in the ECOWAS region.
The company posted a profit after tax of N1.2 billion for the financial year ended December 31, 2008, representing an increase of 38 per cent over the N866 million recorded in its 2007 financial year. Its turnover also appreciated by 29 per cent, from N7.03 billion in 2007 to N9.08 billion in, while its earnings per share rose by 25 per cent from N1.91 kobo in 2007 to N2.39 in the year under review.
Ogunbanjo ascribed the growth in its financial performance in the year under review to the strong continued demand in the breweries and soft drinks sector, in addition to the innovation in glass packaging by its customers.
He said, â€œThe major growth drivers were the strong continued demand in the breweries and soft drinks sector and new glass packaging launches from our major customers. Packaging has been recognised as an effective tool to drive sales and excitement among the consumers by our customers.â€
He further disclosed that impressive performances can also be attributed to its massive investments in new production lines and in a new gas turbine to meet its energy needs and help boost capacities.
â€œOur company successfully commissioned a new modern furnace and production lines at its Delta plant last year at an investment cost of N3.8 billion. Further, a new gas turbine was also commissioned to secure energy needs at an increased capacities. The project was completed in time and in budget, which significantly increased our capacity,â€ Ogunbanjo noted.