By Wahard Betha
Malawi’s largest publicly-listed conglomerate Press Corporation Limited (PCL) says it is advancing a scoping study for the construction of a 50MW solar power production plant.
PCL has announced this in a summary of unaudited financial results for the six months period ended June 30, 22.
In the report signed by PCL Chairman Randson Mwadiwa, the conglomerate says in the first half of the year 2022, business has been challenged by numerous risks including electricity blackouts, scarcity of foreign exchange, the pressure on inflation and; Covid- 19 pandemic.
Mwadiwa, however, says despite the challenges the Group is ensuring steadfast delivery of its strategy.
The Press Corporation Plc’s strategy emphasizes on the growth and sustainability of the companies in which it holds stakes. The strategy further embraces new sectors earmarked for future investments like tourism and energy.
Mwadiwa says: “The Group will continue implementing turnaround strategies in companies whose performance is unsatisfactory.”
“Further investment opportunities are also being explored in various sectors to further diversify the Group and its portfolio mix market presence.”
Despite the challenges, the Group has registered profit after tax for the period of MK15.98 billion, representing a 24 percent growth above prior year profit of K12.87 billion.
Mwadiwa says the growth in profitability was driven by an 11 percent growth in revenue, improved gross profit margin growth by 4 percent and successful implementation of cost containment measures.
He also says the disposal of Peoples Trading Centre (PTC) has contributed to the improved results as losses associated with this investment are no longer part of the Group results.
Meanwhile, in a separate summary for unaudited results for the same period, NICO Holdings Limited, a financial service Group, says despite facing similar challenges, it has registered profit after tax and other comprehensive income of MK12.7 billion representing 76% above the MK7.2 billion recorded for the same period in 2021.
The statement signed by NICO Chairman Gaffar Hassam and Managing Director Vizenge Kumwenda explains that other compressive income for the period was MK913 million higher than the MK12 million loss reported in 2021 due to translation gains in the current period on consolidation of NICO Zambia.
The statement reads: “The general insurance business in Malawi registered premium of Mk12.6 billion in the six months to 30 June 2022. The lack of premium growth was due to reduction in insurance covers and policy extensions by some clients in the first half of the year.”
“The Business registered profit after tax of MK236.7 million, a turnaround from the MK922.2 million loss recorded in the same period in 2021,” reads the statement.