Amid the devastating impact of the pandemic, a good number of publicly traded companies have recorded better earnings
As the Covid-19 pandemic hit the economic activities hard, 2020 is unprecedented for businesses especially for manufacturers as demands of goods are sending earnings down.
However, amid the devastating impact of the pandemic, a good number of publicly traded companies have recorded better earnings.
The companies, which manufacture pharmaceutical products, Covid-19 related products and provide telecommunication services, saw better earnings and surge in demands for their products rose amid the pandemic.
According to financial disclosures posted in the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) website, multinational companies and some big companies have seen a rise in profits in their respective areas.
Reckitt Benckiser Bangladesh, a multinational company listed with Dhaka and Chittagong Stock Exchanges, witnessed sharp rise in profits due to strong revenue growth driven by increased demand of personal hygiene products during the pandemic.
Reckitt Benckiser is engaged in manufacturing and marketing of household and toiletries, pharmaceuticals and food products.
The company’s profit after tax rose to Tk15.8 crore during April-June period of 2020, up by 53%, which was Tk10.3 crore in the same period of the previous year.
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In six months, January-June of 2020, the company’s earnings per share (EPS) was Tk57.51 as against Tk37.28 for January-June, 2019.
Citing the reasons for sharp rise in profits, the company management credited the rise of demands for the personal protective care products due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
On the other hand, medicine producers also recorded good profits as the demands for medicine and protective care products went up sharply.
Square Pharmaceuticals, the local giant in medicine production, posted a 4% growth in its consolidated revenue of Tk5,293 crore for the year ending 30 June 2020.
Meanwhile, a telecom operator and service provider also saw better growth in earnings as people used more internet and took services to remain connected with the people while remaining at home.
Largest local mobile operator Grameenphone's net profit after taxes rose by 25% in the third quarter (Jul-Sep) of 2020, compared to the same period of previous year
Its EPS rose to Tk19.89 in the first nine months (Jan-Sp’20) of the year, as against Tk18.75 for the same period of 2019.
“Grameenphone is reporting a recovering top line in the Jul-Sep’20 period as the economic activity of Bangladesh gradually resumes following the initial months of Covid-19 pandemic,” said Grameenphone CEO Yasir Azman.
Continued growth in data and users reinforces our focus on strengthening our network with planned investment. Rise in data use also helped the company to earn better.
On top of that, multinational companies also recorded better earnings due to their efforts in maintaining supply chain and better corporate practices.
LafargeHolcim Bangladesh, a leading multinational company, registered a 28% increase in earnings per share in the first nine months of the 2020 calendar year compared to the same period in the last year.
During July-September quarter of 2020, the cement company earned Tk84.4 crore, a 31% year-on-year rise from Tk642 crore earned during the same period in 2019.
“We are very proud of the resilience, agility and great team work of our employees and the strong cooperation with our customers and suppliers. Our efforts on health, cost and cash have ensured that we stay focused during the crisis, while our fast progress on digital helped us being effective in the marketplace” said Rajesh Kumar Surana, CEO and Country Representative.
"Despite the uncertainty and disruptions surrounding Covid-19, the company believes that our country with its strong record of growth and sound economic policies will rebound on its growth trajectory," he said.
The recent initiatives by the government coupled with improvements in inward remittances will help resurgence of rural demand and government impetus on infrastructure will play a strong role in driving cement demand, said the representative.
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Another multinational company, British American Tobacco Bangladesh Company Limited (BATBC) registered a 35.77% rise to Tk48.45 in its EPS during January-September of 2020, compared to Tk35.95 during the same period last year.
"The beginning of 2020 was good. The cigarette's sales, growth and profits were higher enough in the first quarter of this year than the same period of last year. Business activities were severely disrupted in the second and third quarter due to the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic from March," said Sheikh Shabab Ahmed, head of external affairs at BATBC, while also fearing that the business activities of the fourth quarter will be similar.
Considering the current situation of the stock market, the board of directors decided to declare an interim dividend of 300% for the shareholders, he further remarked.
However, despite the pandemic, BAT Bangladesh has provided Tk825 crore more revenue to the government in the third quarter of this year or the first quarter of the current fiscal year as compared to the same period of the last year.
Marico Bangladesh Limited, another listed multinational with the bourse, recently declared a 300% interim cash dividend for three months (April-June’20) of 2020.
The company’s earnings per share (EPS) went up by 17.40% during the period compared to the same period of previous year despite Covid -19 pandemic. Its EPS was Tk31.64 as against Tk 26.95 in the same period of the last year.
The company produces coconut oil, hair care, skincare, and baby care products.