The reported Profit for the year does not include any gains of a capital nature, the release stated. No details on post-tax profit or comparative figures for the previous year were given.
After a very successful seasonal campaign the retail sector had a relatively quiet quarter but its marketing activities gained momentum towards the latter half of the period.
The Plastics and Distribution Sector faced a range of challenges during the quarter ended 31st March 2014, which included unfavourable market conditions, low purchasing power of consumer due to adverse economic conditions, it was noted.
The sector’s products do not constitute a purchase priority in daily life and this proved to be a drawback in the phase of the sluggish economy and the reduced spending power of consumers.
However, each of the Sector’s SBU’s continued to search for market opportunities, while focusing on reducing overheads to enhance their competitiveness, profitability, and focused on minimum work-in-capital investments to optimise costs, the release stated.
The wage increase in the plantation sector employees had its impact on the reported results of the period under review, it was noted.
Rubber prices were yet again down when compared to last year and had an adverse impact on the reported results. There was an increase in the coconut production due to favourable weather conditions with favourable prices. The total production of oil palm also increased when compared to the corresponding period of the previous year and the oil palm prices continued to increase. However, there was a decline in the production of tea when compared to last year though the prices improved, it was stated.