By Peter Egwuatu
The management of Thomas Wyatt Nigeria Plc has stated that lack of available fund has been the bane of the growth of the company, even as it declares a gross profit of N67.57 million for the financial year ended March 31, 2010.
Speaking at the company’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Lagos last week, Chairman, Thomas Wyatt Nigeria Plc, Mr. Ike Osakwe said, “ Our company is yet to fully harness the vast opportunities available, because of the lack of available funding with which to purchase more modern machine and increase its production capacity.”
Analyzing the company’s performance under the year of review, he said, “ from the foregoing issues in the operating environment , it is clear that the year was a most challenging one.
The result showed a turnover of N114.7 million as against N201 million in 2009. Gross profit increased by 1.27 per cent from N66.73 million to N67.57 million, Profit After Tax (PAT) showed a N5.52 million loss as against a N0.977 million profit in the corresponding period of 2009, arising largely from interest burden which increased by 153 per cent”.
He further explained that the company’s inability to modernise its machines and equipment was attributed to the liquidity crisis in the banking industry, saying “ continued use of the existing outdated machines further limited our production capacity, in spite of the growing demand of our products”.
Osakwe appealed to shareholders to be patient with the new Board of Directors and management as they are doing everything to address the situation in order to return to profitability and payment of dividend.
According to him, “ you will recall that on December 21, 2009 we held Extra Ordinary General Meeting (EGM) where we sought your approval to raise significant capital of up to N2 billion naira by way of corporate bond or any appropriate instrument.
As a result of the current situation in the capital market, your Board has had to put this initiative on hold temporarily. Instead we are discussing with a number of private equity firms to see what form of alternative financing we will be able to attract. So the future is bright for the company”.
The shareholders present at the AGM expressed annoyance over non payment of dividend and tasked the management and Board to work hard in turning the fortune of the company.
In particular, Mr. Adebayo Adeleke, a shareholder who spoke the minds of shareholders present said, “ We are hoping that the new Board and management will transform the company in no longer period. You people have started a good work as you can even declare a positive gross profit despite the challenges. Our balance sheet is not too bad but has the prospect of being improved.”