|Date: September 29, 2011|
PSO’s 35th AGM amidst mounting debt concerns
Pakistan State Oil (PSO), the nation’s largest energy company, held its 35th Annual General Meeting earlier today. The Chairman, Board of Management, Sohail Wajahat Siddiqui, presided over the meeting and highlighted the salient features of the Company’s financial performance during the preceding fiscal year.
The Chairman in his speech announced that this year PSO had increased its turnover to Rs. 975 billion in comparison to Rs. 877 billion last year. Earnings per share (EPS) also recorded an increase to Rs. 86.17 per share in comparison to Rs. 52.76 per share last year. The Chairman stressed the importance of good corporate governance and highlighted the measures that are being undertaken to ensure the implementation of the same.
The Managing Director of PSO, Jehangir Ali Shah, also addressed the shareholders and highlighted the strong foundation of PSO which was proven by the facts that profit after tax had increased to 14.78 billion in comparison to Rs. 9.05 billion last year. PSO maintained its market leadership with 65.6% of the total market share and recorded the highest ever sales of 1.1 million MTs of Motor Gasoline in the past year. This was attributed mainly to CNG load shedding as well as the increasing number of vehicles on the road. He further apprised the shareholders on the various challenges that the company faced during FY-11. These included floods which caused massive damage to communication infrastructure resulting in reduced furnace oil sales in Q1 of FY-11.
Speaking on future plans, Jehangir Ali Shah reaffirmed the management’s drive to work towards optimum performance. He shared PSO’s plans to promote PSO’s lubricants range in the market to further strengthen the company’s balance sheet.
Shareholders appreciated the company’s overall performance and praised the management for their commitment towards company’s profitability. They appreciated the record profits that the company posted despite numerous challenges. While expressing their confidence in the management, the shareholders showed grave concern over the mounting circular debt and its impact on the liquidity situation of the company as well as the subsequent impact on dividend pay-out. The shareholders put forward several suggestions including implementation of cost control measures and recovery of company debts to overcome the liquidity and cash flow concerns. PSO’s Board and Management acknowledged these points and also assured the shareholders that they were working closely with the government and the relevant stakeholders to devise strategies to overcome liquidity concerns.