The year 2010 proved to be a high performance year for the ANSA McAL Group of Companies, demonstrating the versatility of our businesses and the great value of our people. This versatility and the commitment of our people produced impressive financial improvements in declining or stagnant economies.
Revenues remained steady at 2009 levels, PBT grew 11% to $954 million (our best result yet), export sales grew an impressive 19%, profit margins improved 2% due to containment of expenses, improved efficiencies and we also cut our finance costs 8%.
These improvements were achieved in a market where in Trinidad, GDP was virtually static, growing marginally year over year by 0.1%, with growth emerging in only the 4th quarter. The Group repurchased the majority of the remaining outstanding shares of ANSA McAL Barbados Limited and expects to acquire 100% by the second Quarter of 2011.
Total assets now stand at $11 billion and we continue generating very good cash flows quarterly. The Group’s balance sheet is the strongest in its 130-year history. The Group has maintained focus on building and developing significant partnerships, and on implementing growth strategies in our regional subsidiaries.
In Financial Services, an energetic focus on customer service retraining and on creating the enabling infrastructure through future state IT enhancements have already created a new sense of purpose for our experienced professionals as well as all support staff in building and expanding our franchise.
We expect that in 2011, closer working relationships in Trinidad and Barbados will lead to greater market penetration and growth. We restructured the construction sector by combining the resources of the five divisions of what was formerly ABEL and Bestcrete into ABS Building Solutions, creating a one-stop shop to improve the level of service delivery in these industries. We have also retained a cadre of professional engineers and technicians to enhance our capabilities in this emerging area.
The automotive sector in Trinidad and Barbados expanded the luxury segment of this portfolio with the acquisition of the prestigious BMW and MINI brands which should generate substantial new business in 2011.
Our Media sector, originally forming a part of the Trinidad Publishing Group, successfully rebranded as Guardian Media Limited highlighting the inherent synergies across our widely dispersed media services. The name change represents a far more fundamental shift in the approach to business and is reflective of a more coordinated and flexible involvement in the quickly evolving multimedia segment.
I am also very pleased that to advise that copies of this year’s Annual Report was printed using the state of the art printing press owned by Guardian Media Limited.
I am pleased to announce that as a result of our creditable performance, the Board of Directors has recommended a final dividend of $0.80 (2009 – $0.70) per ordinary share. This together with the interim dividend paid of $0.30 (2009 – $0.30) per share, will bring the total dividend payable to shareholders for the year to $1.10 (2009 – $1.00) per share. The final dividend will be paid on June 17, 2011.
Our share price increased from $43.00 to $46.00 during the year, reflecting the market’s confidence in the Group’s ability to deliver extraordinary returns to investors even in challenging times.
Environmental and Social Responsibility
Over the last three years, the Group has contributed approximately $30 million across the region by way of charitable donations, community development, social events, sport and cultural activities.
Further, we are quite conscious of our responsibility to carry on business in a manner that is environmentally friendly and take great pride in operating for over 60 years the largest glass recycling plant in the region, Carib Glassworks Limited.
This year, we have taken the initiative as part of our aggressive green policy, to distribute to you, our shareholders, the Company’s Annual Report on compact disc. The Report continues to be available on line at www.ansamcal.com and copies can be made available upon request.
ANSA McAL Foundation
This Anthony N. Sabga Caribbean Awards for Excellence continues to be a very important aspect of the work of the Foundation. This recognition programme celebrates the excellence of Caribbean People and offers tangible significant benefits to the Awardees. The 2010 winners are the third set of Laureates named since the programme’s inception in 2005.
Adrian Augier from St. Lucia received the award in the category of Arts and Letters, Professor Kathleen Coard from Guyana (Science and Technology) and Sydney Allicock (Public and Civic Contributions). As a result of the tremendous positive feedback received over the years, the Foundation has decided to change in 2011 from a biennial to an annual cycle for the Awards.
In December 2010, the Foundation mourned the passing of one of its most respected and cherished members of its Regional Eminent Persons Selection Panel, Sir
Ellis Clarke, Trinidad and Tobago’s first President and last Governor General. His remarkable presence and significant contribution will be greatly missed.
For some time, we have been conscious of the need to develop and grow our talented people and your Board saw it necessary to appoint a new Group Human Resource Director. Mrs. Teresa White-Driver already sits on the Parent Board and with her extensive experience in strategic human resource management, organizational transformation and change management, she has already begun to build on existing models and introduce new concepts into the Group’s Human Resource structure.
I take the opportunity to thank my fellow Parent Board Directors, our Management teams, staff, customers, suppliers and shareholders for their commitment and support over the past year which contributed to such an excellent result.
While there is market volatility and economic challenges we must face, there are signs of growth on the horizon and our Group will actively evaluate potential investment opportunities on a continuing basis. As always, we will work assiduously to increase shareholder value.
We will therefore continue to invest in people, processes and equipment to ensure that we are poised to take advantage of any opportunities which may be beneficial to the Group.
We are quite conscious of the need to be able to compete on a global level and will continue to build our brands and provide quality products to our customers. As we start another decade in the ANSA McAL Group’s long history, I am confident that with the commitment of our talented people, the Group will continue to be resilient and grow from strength to strength.
A. Norman Sabga
Chairman and Chief Executive