Analysis and News

Despite ‘COVID’ restrictions, beverages help Banks DIH rake in billions

BY GEOCAP's Contributor: Vishani Ragobeer

Though the enduring COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in restrictions on social gatherings, the demand for beverages produced by Banks DIH Limited increased, leading to an additional $1.9 billion in revenue during the first half of the 2021 financial year compared to the corresponding period in the previous year.

Overall, according to their unaudited half-year financial statements, the company registered $2.275 billion in profit after taxation. This is an increase of $293 million from the $1.982 billion profit after tax sum recorded in 2020.

The profit before taxation was $3.262 billion, 17 per cent higher than the $2.788 billion from the preceding year.

Banks DIH’s Chairman and Managing Director, in his published report accompanying the financial statements, Clifford Reis stated, “The improved performance was due to growth in revenues derived from the increase in sale of our beverage and food products and the prudent management of our operational expenses.”

As evidenced by the financial statements, beverages were the largest revenue contributor. Beverage sales for the half year up to March 31, 2021 accounted for $16.8 billion, compared to the $14.9 billion accumulated during the preceding corresponding period.

The overall revenue generated by the company was $17.87 billion, an increase of $1.66 billion or a significant 10.2 per cent increase from the $16.21 billion recorded during the same period in 2020. Beverages, therefore, accounted for about 94 per cent of the revenues earned by the company.

Contextually, however, the production and sale of beverages account for a large portion of the company’s services. The company produces Banks beer, GT beer, Banks Shandy, Guinness Stout, Banks Malta Supreme and Vita Malt. A variety of rums, wines, bottled water, and soft drinks are also produced.

In addition to the revenues and profits raked in through the production and sale of these beverages, the Chairman reported that the company won the ‘Coca Cola Excellence Cup’ within the emerging markets segment of the Coca Cola Latin America Business Unit.

The company’s brewery, on the other hand, achieved the top position for the ‘Guinness League of Excellence Cup’ in the Americas, out of a total of 14 breweries. Importantly, Reis highlighted that in the second quarter of 2021, the brewery was ranked number one in the world, out of 49 breweries, for the production of Guinness.

Other Income

The sale of the food items produced by the company was another big earner, garnering $1.04 billion. This sum was, however, lower than the $1.26 billion recorded at half-year in 2020.

Contrastingly, Citizens Bank Guyana Incorporated, a 51 per cent owned subsidiary of the Banks DIH group, recorded an increase in after tax profits; the bank managed to secure $26.3 million in additional profits with a total profit sum of $478.4 million. In 2020, that sum was $452.1 million.

Reis, however, cautioned shareholders that the economic and social uncertainty still emanating from the COVID-19 pandemic continues to pose many challenges for Citizens Bank which may impact the remaining six months of its financial year. The impact of these challenges and the bank’s ability to weather the pandemic’s effects will be better understood after the September 30, 2021 close of the financial year.

Meanwhile, it was stated that Banks Automotive and Services Incorporated, a subsidiary of Banks DIH recorded before tax profits to the tune of $1.8 million, after generating $19.5 million in revenue.

It is important to note that Reis related that for this first half of the financial year, capital expenditure of Banks DIH went to the completion of major machinery upgrades on the beer bottling and Coca Cola plants, in addition to other works. A new truck washing facility was commissioned while works continue on the company’s elevated parking facilities.

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