We have extracted the Chairman’s Statement from the 2019 annual report for Guinness Ghana Breweries Limited (GGBL.gh), listed on the Ghana Stock Exchange:
Our cherished shareholders, invited partners, ladies and gentlemen, on behalf of the Board of Directors of this great company, I warmly welcome all of you to the 47th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of your business – Guinness Ghana Breweries PLC. I am honoured to be presenting this year’s annual report and financial statements to you here in Kumasi, following my appointment as Board Chairman on 12 September 2018. I feel obliged to officially introduce myself to you, especially our shareholders in Kumasi and those who were not present at our last AGM in Accra. You may recall my previous role as Chairman of the audit subcommittee. I am the immediate past Country Senior
Partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Ghana and a former member of the PwC Africa Governance Board. I hold a BSc (Administration) from the University of Ghana and an MA (Professional Accounting) from Loyola College, Maryland (USA). I am also a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Institutes of Chartered Accountants Ghana and Sierra Leone. I was recently honored with a D.Sc (honorary causa) by the University of Mines and Technology, Tarkwa.
As your new Chairman, I am currently focusing on:
- ensuring a sustainable performance and value creation for your company (i.e. delivering on our strategic priorities);
- ensuring that we maintain our best in class corporate governance structures and behaviours; and
- proactively engaging our stakeholders, especially our communities, staff, distributors and consumer
The only changes in the Board membership since the last AGM are that, Stephen Nirenstein has resigned and has taken on a new Managing Director role in our Diageo market in Ethiopia, and, we have welcomed Hina Nagarajan in his place. Hina was appointed onto the Board on 11 February 2019. Since 31 August 2018, she has held the role of Managing Director, Africa Emerging Markets – Diageo Plc, leading business operations across Ghana, Ethiopia, Cameroon, Indian Ocean, Angola and several other West and Central Africa countries. Her key responsibilities include Profit & Loss delivery, investment, category and innovation strategies, M&A as well as partnership opportunities. She is responsible for Corporate Governance and Compliance within all the business units in her region and leads over 1,400 people in her current role. She was previously the Senior Vice President – Regional Director of RB (Reckitt Benckiser) North Asia in 2015, leading business operations across China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Hina has an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, India. Our cherished shareholders, ladies and gentlemen, in the period under review, your company saw a number of positive changes and with your kind permission, I will now provide the key highlights:
During the financial year, 2018 GDP growth was 6.3%, albeit down from 8.4% GDP growth reported in 2017. Inflation remained below 10%, although we note that there continues to be a divergence between food inflation and non-food inflation. There has been a rising trajectory of non-food inflation, taking it up to an average 10.5%. This has been driven by rising utility and commodity costs. In addition,
Ghana Cedi depreciation has fuelled inflation on imported items. In the fiscal year to June 2019, the Ghana Cedi to US Dollar rate cumulatively depreciated by 18%, compared with 2.4% depreciation over the comparative period ended June 2018. The Monetary Policy Committee kept the policy rate steady at 16% as at June 2019. The 91-day Treasury bill rate, which is the reference rate for our company loan, increased to 14.8% in June 2019 from 13.3% over the comparative