The meeting does not only focus on presenting and approving audited accounts, but also on elections of directors, appointment of auditors for the new accounting term, compensation of officers, confirmation of proposed dividend and issues raised by the stockholders.
During his address to the shareholders on behalf of the Chairman, Mr. Boudewijn Haarsma spoke on the company’s 2014 Operating results as they ran into an eleven billion Leones loss. He said the year 2014 was characterised by the Ebola outbreak, which recorded its index case in May 2014. The outbreak, he explained, saw the declaration of public health emergency in August 2014 by the government of Sierra Leone which instituted strong measures including travelling restrictions, bans on all entertainment centres and which also resulted in a significant decline of economic activities, high level of unemployment, liquidity crisis, unavailability of foreign currency among others and leaving the manufacturing sector severely impacted in which the Sierra Leone Brewery was among.
The Net Financing cost he said, increased by Le 22 billion, compared to Le 3.6 billion in 2013 driven mainly by new loans and exchange rate movements. The net profit declined to a loss of 33.9 billion compared to a profit of 404 million in 2013.
Speaking on the financial status of the Company, Mr. Vidal Decker, Senior Partner, KPMG, which are the auditors of the Sierra Leone Brewery said that given the country’s current economic status, the company is gradually moving to where it should be as the reason for the company’s loss was as a result of the Ebola outbreak which affected the company’s primary source of income which is the sale of their beverages. However, he said that there will be a turnaround in the company’s financial status because even the company’s international company, Heineken, has promised to continue to invest in this local company.
To secure future growth and ensure sustainability of the Sierra Leone Brewery Limited, the board of directors have defined a new transformational agenda and started the implementation of clear plans focused on investing in people development, production equipment and top line growth, coupled with tight cost management.