PCL delists from London Stock Exchange Print
Wednesday, 29 July 2020 07:44

Khembo centre addresses the Virtual AGM flanked by PCL Group Chief Executive Officer Dr George Partridge left and PCL Company Secretary Bernard Ndau

PCL delists from London Stock Exchange

Conglomerate Press Corporation plc has delisted from the London Stock Exchange (LSE) as a global depository receipt following a review of continued benefits of listing on the bourse.

Press Corporation plc Board Chairman Patrick Khembo told the company’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) which was held virtually due to the Covid-19 pandemic in Blantyre on Friday that Press Corporation plc delisted on LSE on 10th July 2020.

“I would like to inform all shareholders that, following our application, the Company was delisted from the London Stock Exchange with effect from 10th July 2020. The Board took the decision following a careful and thorough assessment of the benefits of our continued listing on the London Stock Exchange.”

“The factors that were considered included the extremely low trading volumes for the past years; huge regulatory, compliance and administrative costs the Company incurs annually; the likely liquidity benefits that a cancellation could trigger on the local market,” said Khembo.

He said the Board determined that the cancellation will not adversely affect its shareholders, since the Company’s common shares will continue to be listed and tradeable on the Malawi Stock Exchange (MSE).

Press Corporation plc was the only firm in the country which was duo listed on both MSE and LSE as a global depository receipt which is a general name for a depository receipt where a certificate issued by a depository bank, which purchases shares of foreign companies, creates a security on a local exchange backed by those shares.

During the AGM, Press Corporation plc also announced a group profit after tax of K24.76 billion for the financial year ending 31 December 2019 which is below prior year profit of K36.71 billion representing a 33% decline.

Khembo said excluding exceptional K8.86 billion profit on restructuring the telecoms segment in prior year and one-off expenses relating to restructuring costs in subsidiary companies National Bank of Malawi (NBM) plc(K892m), TNM (K1.02bn) and EthCo (K450m), the decline in underlying profit is 3%.

“However, the Group balance sheet at K687.4 billion grew by 10% from K622.4 billion prior year,” said Khembo.

He also said Press Corporation plc has remained resilient and enhanced shareholder value with the share price increasing by 27% from K1,100 to K1,400 per share.

“Once again, our management team demonstrated remarkable flexibility and professionalism in how they adjusted the operating strategies to suit the post-election environment which was unprecedented in the country’s history,” said Khembo.

The AGM also declared a final dividend for the year 2019 of MK2.403 billion representing MK20.00 per share, which brought the total dividend for the year to MK3.122 billion representing MK26.00 per share having already declared a dividend amounting to K721.20 million representing MK6.00 per share which was already paid on 25th October 2019.

The meeting also re-elected Stewart Malata as a director on the board who retired by rotation but being eligible offered himself for re-election.

Press Corporation plc is one of the largest holding company in Malawi and has interests in different sectors of the Malawi economy including financial services, telecommunications, food and beverages, energy and consumer goods.

The highly diversified company has stakes in thirteen companies comprising of eight subsidiaries, four joint ventures and one associate.