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Press Corporation Limited records mixed H1

Malawi Stock Exchange-listed conglomerate, Press Corporation Limited plc, registered a mixed first half of 2017, as some subsidiaries recorded robust performances with others posting losses.

In a half year financial statement released Thursday, PCL said as a result of the mixed performance, the group’s profit before tax inched up by three percent from K13.89 billion in the first half of last year to K14.23 in the first six months of 2017.

The statement, which was signed by directors, Patrick Khembo, George Partridge, Damien Kafoteka and Elizabeth Mafeni, shows that National Bank of Malawi and TNM recorded strong performances while other subsidiaries posted weak returns in the first half.

PCL says National Bank of Malawi continued with its strong performance as its profit before tax jumped by 22 percent despite the high risk of bad debts and lackluster demand for lending and related products due to the prevailing high interest rates.

“The mobile phone company continued with its outstanding performance and delivered excellent results. The company registered a 72 percent growth in its profit driven by a 23 percent growth in service revenue and a 26 percent in Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation,” reads the statement in part.

PCL said its fixed telephone business, Malawi Telecommunications Limited, posted a loss, though lower than that recorded during the first half of last year.

According to PCL, MTL is reviewing its business model to streamline operations as a provider of fixed broadband and fixed voice to enterprises and high-end consumers.

Weak performances were also recorded in ethanol manufacturing firms, Presscane and Ethanol Company of Malawi (Ethco).

“Results from both companies were affected by a late start in production due to a prolonged rain season as the first half recorded only one month of production,” PCL said.

Retail chain, Peoples, Madelco and Press Properties also recorded losses in the first half of 2017, according to PCL.

Looking ahead, the conglomerate says the current improvements in the economy are expected to continue, although with continued power challenges.

“The group is reviewing business models for some of its companies along with the restructuring exercises to position itself for future growth.

“While these exercises entail significant once-off costs, the group is poised to deliver satisfactory results for the year. The focus remains to turn around loss making entities while continuing to search for profitable opportunities and technical partners,” PCL said.