Business Page must be more careful in its analysis
Stabroek News
April 3, 2002

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Dear Editor,

As a small shareholder, I attended the Banks DIH Annual General Meeting and over 8,000 persons were there to hear and question the Chairman. That gave me a feeling of pride to see the quality, standard, discipline and values of a leading company in Guyana.

The author of Business Page in Sunday Stabroek must be careful in his analysis. To survive in business in any environment is a challenge. One has to analyse under what conditions and how other players in the game have been performing.

Those who play the game of business know that to maintain a level of sales and profit is very, very challenging, even accountants may find that because of competition and other difficulties, their income is getting smaller and smaller, much less when you cater for devaluation of the dollar over the period you may find that in real terms earnings are less.

The Annual Report I received from Banks DIH Limited shows that the profit before tax in l997 was $88l.0 m, in 200l it was $985.0 m, an increase of $l04.0 m or l2%. To infer that profit went up by a mere $8m or l% without addressing the Pretax Profit or taxes paid by the company is not objective analysis.

The mere $8.0 m increase is a laudable achievement, especially for those who contribute heavily in taxes to the tune of $7.0 m every day of the year.

A look at dividends would show that from l997, dividends increased from $l36.0 M to $l90.0 M. To pay dividends you have to have the ability and liquid resources to pay. Some businesses cannot pay their debts or interest on debts, much less their investors.

A shareholder like myself in l997 had 40,000 shares, through bonus issues in l998 and 200l I now have 90,000 shares. I now receive dividends on 90,000 shares and the value of my shares is now far more than in l997. Did the writer take cognisance of this fact, or has he turned on his tunnel vision to paint what he sees - a dismal scene?

His reference to Ross Advertising smacks of irresponsibility and should not have been published.

His statement that the Report is much less useful and intelligible than last year's is again his personal opinion, maybe the Association of Professional Accountants should analyse the report and pronounce on the author's judgement.

The author, if a shareholder, should attend the Annual General Meeting like myself, to understand the investors' appreciation of the performance of the Board and Management.

Yours faithfully,

Diparine Persaud