Agostini’s Ltd has recorded 3.7 per cent in growth as its net profit moved from $163 million to $169 million.
This was reflected in the company’s bottom line growth for the year ended September 30.
The company said this was achieved in spite of the ravaging effects of COVID-19.
Agostini’s chairman Christian Mouttet said, “We do not take this achievement for granted and recognise that in 2020, this has much to do with the industries in which we operate as it does with the quality of our people and the strength of our underlying businesses.”
Mouttet added that though the year was not short of challenges, the company was able to deliver on its two core objectives; sustainable long term growth and financial strength.
He also noted that the company showed its true strength and resilience, which was underpinned by dedicated and committed people, a strong portfolio of brands and products, an improved financial performances and support to its staff and community.
For the year ended September 30, Agostini’s sales increased by five per cent from the $3.27 billion to $3.43 billion and profit attributable to shareholders increased by three per cent from $122 million to $126 million.
The company also recorded an increase in profit before tax by 10 per cent and its operating cash flow improved by 24 per cent from $221 million to $275 million.
Mouttet noted that the lesson learnt from 2020, if any at all, was that the world can be an unpredictable place.
“The cost that the COVID-19 pandemic has had, and continues to have, is immeasurable and, in many cases, irreparable. The pandemic and its devastating health and economic impact can truly be described as a ‘black swan’ event, the very nature of which is the difficulty in predicting its type and timing,” he said.
Nonetheless, Mouttet said the company does have a responsibility to be prepared, so when similar events do occur it will be positioned as best as it can not only to survive, but thrive, when conditions once again improve.
Noting that the after effects of COVID-19 crisis will bring many challenges to the industries and economies in which the company operates, Mouttet said in years ahead the company’s success will be determined by its ability to manage and influence change in its industries, and not just reacting to it.
In the short term, Mouttet acknowledged that there remains much uncertainty in T&T and the other economies in the region in which the company operates.
In looking at the new financial year, he said the company expects its businesses in pharmaceutical and healthcare and the fast moving consumer goods sectors to remain stable, but without the short-term spike in sales that it enjoyed during the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis.
Mouttet said that the group expects to see some improvement in its construction and energy services businesses as energy prices stabilise and companies once again resume capital and maintenance expenditure, and construction activity improves.
“We also expect that construction incentives announced in the recent national budget will act as a catalyst for new construction projects,” Mouttet added.
As a group, he said that Agostini’s remains optimistic in its ability to achieve growth and improve profitability over the medium to long term.