Press Corporation Limited (PCL) new board chairperson Simon Itaye has said the dual-listed conglomerate will prioritise and diversify to the energy sector to grow profits.
Itaye, who is also managing director of Nampak Malawi, said on Friday in Blantyre at the PCL annual general meeting that this could be achieved if Capital Hill lowers the cost of doing business in Malawi so that the private sector blossoms.
“From an industry point of view, the cost of doing business in Malawi is very high and government authorities need to look into this. We expect government to champion positive business investment policies,” said Itaye, who has replaced Clement Chilingulo, who has been at the helm of the group since January 1 2013.
He said PLC awaits the final decision from government on its ethanol-driven vehicle project.
PLC subsidiaries Ethanol Company (EthCo) in Nkhotakota and Presscane in Chikwawa began experiments for ethanol-driven vehicles about eight years ago, said Itaye.
“As far as we are concerned, the companies are ready to ensure that we can go on the market,” he said.
Itaye challenged fellow board members and managers of various subsidiaries to engage an extra gear to continue growing the profit.
In the year ending December 2014, PCL reported a K22.1 billion after-tax profit, representing a 27 percent increase compared to the previous year’s K17.3 billion, driven by buoyant performance in the financial services sector, anchored by National Bank of Malawi (NBM).
PCL is listed on Malawi Stock Exchange (MSE) and London Stock Exchange (LSE) as a global depository receipt.