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ANSA McAL profits cross $1B mark

Group Chairman and Stockbrokers

ANSA McAL Group Chairman and Chief Executive, Mr. A. Norman Sabga speaks to stockbrokers after the Group’s release of its 2014 year end results at TATIL Building, Maraval Road, Port of Spain on March 26, 2015.

For the fifth consecutive year, the operating profit of the ANSA McAL Group of Companies, parent company of Guardian Media Limited (GML), has exceeded the $1 billion mark. The group’s 2014 financial results, which were released yesterday, show that profit before tax was $1,065,462 compared to $1,144,117 last year. In addition, the group earned more than $6 billion in revenue for the period ended December 31, 2014, with the best performances from its automotive, trading and distribution sectors.

Speaking at the release of the group’s latest financial results, Group Chairman and Chief Executive A Norman Sabga said the gains from the top performing sectors had offset declines in manufacturing, packaging and brewing. Sabga said profit before tax in the bank group declined by 23 per cent, mainly due to weak returns in portfolios.

Commenting on the labour problems being experienced in the private sector, Sabga said the group sees labour as one of its assets and has not experienced a shortfall in labour supply. He said due to the nature, training and the environment which companies in the group offers, “it attracts the labour force” the group requires. Labour is a big investment, he added, and over a “sustained” period the group has been settling negotiations at between 9 and 12 per cent, so that in many of its companies the wage bill is at the top of the market.

ANSA McAL Board of Directors

ANSA McAL Executives at ANSA McAL’s Stockbrokers Meeting which took place on Thursday 26th March, 2015 at TATIL Building, Port of Spain.

“We have done surveys which have shown in some of our industries our wages are already higher than our peers. I don’t think there is any reason why we would have to settle wage bills/new agreements at a level that is higher than the prevailing rate. I don’t foresee a problem in that area unless expectations become out of hand,” he said. He also said the group had not been severely affected by the foreign exchange supply problems that have affected many local business.

“We’ve been able to meet all of our commitments. We worked with all the banks. We have not reneged on any foreign exchange payments. From time to time there is a tightness in the market but we have been able to meet all our payments.” Although he did not give too many details, Sabga confirmed that GML’s radio division was about to launch a new station on the FM band.

He explained: “We are closing down the AM station (730 AM) and we have acquired an FM station. The FM station will follow the format of the AM station. I don’t want to take away their thunder when they announce it.”

Millions lost in road blocks
The ANSA McAL Group suffered heavy losses in Monday’s “total policing” exercises when roadblocks across the country caused massive traffic gridlock. “We have lost millions of dollars as well. Our distribution companies (could not operate), our trucks and vehicles could not leave the compound. We literally lost a day’s sales in terms of our distribution company,” Sabga saud.

“Our executives turned around and worked from Chaguanas. There was a level of discomfort, those who made it to work, we had to let them go home early because there was a concern that the same thing would happen in the evening.”

Article Source: Trinidad Guardian, Pg A23
Story By: Nadaleen Singh
Date: Friday 27th March, 2015
Link: http://www.guardian.co.tt/business/2015-03-27/ansa-mcal-profits-cross-1b-mark