Academy Press posts N2.18b full year revenue
• Bemoans inability to access forex
Academy Press has bemoaned the inability to access foreign exchange (forex) under the current flexible exchange policy, urging government to address the issue to improve productivity and increase shareholders value
Specifically, the Managing Director, Olugbenga Ladipo, in a chat with The Guardian at the 54th yearly general meeting held in Lagos, on Friday, said non-accessibility of forex affected the company’s ability to procure raw materials for production, which had a multiplier effect on its overall performance during the period under review.
Besides, he argued that government must direct it policies towards optimal protection of local industries to reduce increasing level of moribund firms’ in Nigeria. He said: “The inability to access foreign exchange affected our procurement of raw material. Dollar was not available, and it was also expensive, which affected the cost of production. The affected cost was largely cost of material and cost of equipment, this is the condition under which we operated.
“The dollar issue started by not being there, and it escalated; so when the flexible forex came as a palliative, it helped but that did not take us to where we started. Dollar went to N500 plus froN160, it is now at N360, should we be happy? We are trying to adapt because it is not helping; the dollar is not even readily available, because you have to invest for some time, you have to put down cash at least two months before you get that forex from the banks. You know what locking down money for two months without doing anything can do to a business. He pleaded with the federal government to address the forex issue to enhance growth and profitability.
Meanwhile, Academy Press Chairman, Simeon Oguntimehim, while addressing shareholders at the meeting said the company recorded appreciable in revenue to N2.18 billion, slightly above N2.12 billion achieved in the corresponding period in 2016.
According to him, the group’s loss before tax trend was shrunk to N10 million against previous year’s loss of N387 million.
“While the printing and publishing industry is one of the first to suffer the impact of an economic slowdown, it is usually among the last to benefit from the economic recovery. We are much hopeful of the ability of our strategies in taking our company out of the current performance predicament and returning to the path of profitability in due course. “We would continue to engage and reach out the relevant authorities on the need to address the gaps that exist in the policies and other regulatory deficits that militate against our industry.”