I am pleased to present my review as Chairman of the Company for the financial year ended September 30, 2021.
This past year has been a testing time for everyone, but particularly for those who have lost loved ones or have otherwise struggled with the health impacts of COVID-19, and my thoughts go out especially to them. At MSM we have supported, and continue to support, not just our people but also the communities in which we live and work, to get through these difficult times. While the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has brought many challenges, as an organization we have also learned valuable lessons. I therefore believe that MSM will emerge from the pandemic stronger, more focused and better positioned than ever to ensure the long-term success of the Company and meet the expectations of our stakeholders.
Let me briefly highlight the macro-economic environment the Company operates in. The economy has witnessed a V-shaped recovery with 3.94 percent growth in FY2021 against the negative growth of 0.47 percent last year. Sugarcane is a high value cash crop of Pakistan, is of great significance for sugar-related industries and the second largest agro-industry after textiles. It accounts for 3.4 percent of agriculture’s value addition and 0.7 percent of GDP. During 2020/21, the crop was cultivated on 1.165 million hectares, an increase of 12 percent compared to last year’s 1.04 million hectares, which constitutes a significant increase in area under cultivation and yield. This was mainly due to the high economic returns offered to farmers by the sugar mills in comparison to other crops. Unfortunately, such returns did not materialize for the mills; given the long-standing issue of the sugar industry being highly politicized, there continues to be a lack of correlation between the price of sugarcane and that of sugar. During the year 2020/21, sugarcane crushed increased by 20.18 percent to 58.55 million tons, while production of sugar increased by 16.58 percent to 5.62 million tons, up from 4.82 million tons during the previous financial year. The majority of the additional production occurred in Punjab, which registered an increase of 22.17 percent over last year, while in Sindh, the sugar production rose only by 6.65 percent.
Unsurprisingly, the financial year 2020/21 was once again, even without the COVID-19 pandemic, an extremely challenging year for the sugar industry, and specially for Mirpurkhas Sugar Mills. Although the sugarcane crushed increased by 8.57 percent, late rains in Sindh and heavy rains at the mill gates and other operational areas resulted in damage to the crop, impacting both yield and recovery. While sugar prices remained depressed throughout the year, they showed some sign of improvement during the last quarter of the financial year, which in turn helped the company improve its cash flows. The company produced 51,909 metric tons of sugar, with a sucrose recovery of 10.63%. However, during the financial year 2020/2021 there was a decrease of Rs. 776 million in the turnover of the company compared to the previous year due mainly to lower production of sugar as a result of the lower yields and recoveries. The company’s share of profit from Unicoi amounted to Rs. 167.51 million, which permitted the company to make an after tax profit of Rs. 140.32 million for the year. As a result, earnings per share increased to Rs. 10.40.
The Board of Directors performed its duties and responsibilities diligently, continuing to guide the company in its strategic affairs in accordance with applicable regulations. In today’s volatile macroeconomic environment, it is focussed on potentially significant risk areas and is involved in the strategic planning process of the company, as, e.g., is evidenced by the paper project. The Board recognizes the importance of well-defined corporate governance and other processes for the success of the company. Accordingly, the company has an independent Internal Audit Department that follows a risk-based audit methodology. Internal Audit reports are presented to Board Audit Committee on a quarterly basis, and areas of improvement are highlighted and methodically followed up on. All Directors, including the Independent Directors, participated in and contributed to the discussions and the decision-making process. The Board also carried out the annual self-evaluation in line with the requirements of the Code of Corporate Governance.
As already mentioned and despite the challenging conditions, the Company remains positive in its outlook as it continues its strategy to leverage synergies and diversify its operations to enhance its revenues from avenues other than sugar, as is demonstrated by the paper and board project and the success of Unicoi. While the macro-economic environment has led to cost escalations beyond the Company’s reasonable control on the paper project, Management continues to believe in the viability of this venture, which is currently estimated to achieve commissioning in 12 to 15 months. The Company also continues to extend support to its farmers, by providing them with fertilizer and pesticide loans as well as high quality seeds to improve the quality of their sugarcane.
While the year ahead will once again be one of challenges and opportunities, our stakeholders provide us with motivation to succeed, and our experience helps us to continue to deliver an essential product of the highest quality in a sustainable manner for the Company. The Board and Management also remain committed to improve shareholder value through various initiatives, including further efficiency enhancement and diversification initiatives, as well as contribute towards the development of the farming community.
Let me end by extending my sincere appreciation to all our stakeholders, including our customers, suppliers, bankers and shareholders for their trust in the company as well as our employees and my board colleagues for their commitment and hard work under difficult circumstances.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Mr. Arif Faruque
Mr. Arif Faruque is a Swiss – qualified Attorney-at-Law and also holds Masters Degrees in both Law and Business Administration from the USA. He is the Chief Executive of Faruque (Pvt.) Ltd. as well as Madian Hydro Power Ltd. He is on the Board of Directors of Cherat Packaging Ltd., Cherat Cement Company Ltd. and Uni Energy Ltd. Besides the above, he is also a member of the Board of Governors of Lahore University of Management Sciences.
Mr. Aslam Faruque
Mr. Aslam Faruque is a graduate with a major in Marketing. He is the Chief Executive of Mirpurkhas Sugar Mills Ltd., Unicoi Ltd. and UniEnergy Ltd. He is on the Board of Directors of Cherat Packaging Ltd., Greaves Airconditioning (Pvt.) Ltd. and Greaves Engineering Services (Pvt.) Ltd.
In the past, he has served as the Chairman and Senior Vice Chairman of Pakistan Sugar Mills Association – Center. He also served as Chairman of Pakistan Sugar Mills Association Sindh Zone, and Director of Sui Southern Gas Company Ltd., State Life Insurance Corporation of Pakistan and Pakistan Industrial Development Corporation.
Mr. Amer Faruque
Mr. Amer Faruque is a Bachelor of Science (BS) graduate in Business Administration majoring in Management / Marketing from Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa, USA. He is the Chief Executive of Cherat Packaging Ltd. He serves as a member of Board of Directors of Faruque (Pvt.) Ltd., Greaves Pakistan (Pvt.) Ltd., Greaves CNG (Pvt.) Ltd., Greaves Modaraba Management Company (Pvt.) Ltd. and Executive Director Marketing of Cherat Cement Co. Ltd. In the past he has served as a member of the Board of Governors of Ghulam Ishaq Khan (GIK) Institute of Engineering Sciences and Technology, Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) and the Centre of International Private Enterprise (CIPE). He is the Honorary Consul of Brazil in Peshawar.
Ms. Farzana Faruque
Ms. Farzana Faruque graduated from Chelsea College of Art and Design with a BA (Hons) in Graphic Design and Communications. She later pursued her pasion for nutrition and fitness and got certified as a Health Coach and Fitness Trainer.
Ms. Farzana, founded an indoor cycling fitness studio and co-founded a Health and Detox food brand in 2015. She is also the social media and marketing manager for Studio X. Her expertise allow her to be able to grow her brands and become a known name throughout Pakistan.
Mr. Samir Mustapha Chinoy
Mr. Samir M. Chinoy is currently serving as Director and Chief Operating Officer at International Steels Ltd. Mr. Chinoy is a graduate of Babson College, USA with a Bachelors of Science in Finance and Entrepreneurship and a minor in Human Communication. Prior to International Steels Limited, Mr. Chinoy worked at Pakistan Cables, Deloitte & Touche, New York and Foothill Capital (a Wells Fargo Company), Boston.
Mr. Chinoy has served on the management committee of Landhi Association of Trade and Industry and has held the position of Vice Chairman. In addition to being a director of Mirpurkhas Sugar Mills Ltd., IIL Australia Pty Ltd., International Steels Ltd., Pakgen Power Ltd., Haball (Private) Limited and Intermark (Private) Ltd. He is Chairman of The Amir Sultan Chinoy Foundation. Mr. Chinoy is a certified Director from the Pakistan Institute of Corporate Governance.
Mr. Muhammad Izqar Khan
Mr. Muhammad Izqar Khan is presently working as Executive Director, State Life Insurance Corporation of Pakistan. He looks after portfolio ofTakaful, Policyholders Service and Human Resources Development Divisions.
His is a professional Accountant. He is an ACMA from Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, London. He is also the member of Institute of Cost & Executive Accountants, London. He is also Master in Business Administration from Clyton University, London.
He has contributed immensely towards development of Financial Analysis, Planning & Financial Reporting, Project Elevation and Information Technology.
He holds the Directorship of Alpha Insurance Company Limited, Karachi.
Mr. Wasif Khalid
Mr. Wasif Khalid is a Fellow member of Institute of Chartered Accountant of Pakistan (ICAP) and Fellow member of Pakistan Institute of Public Finance Accountants (PIPFA). He has also done his master in Business Administration (Marketing and Operations Management) from Hamdard University, Karachi.
He is the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of Mirpurkhas Sugar Mills Ltd. He is a Chief Financial Officer of Zensoft (Pvt.) Ltd. Mr. Khalid is also serving on the Board of Directors of Mirpurkhas Sugar Mills Ltd., Greaves Airconditioning (Pvt.) Ltd., Greaves CNG (Pvt.) Ltd., Greaves Engineering Services (Pvt.) Ltd. and as an Executive Director Finance of Unicoi Ltd.
He has contributed immensely towards development of financial models and implementation of new projects. He has been actively involved with the regulators, practitioners and leading Shariah scholars of the industry for developing the commercial industry transactions. Prior to Ghulam Faruque Group, Mr. Khalid was associated with various companies in Middle East. In Pakistan, he worked with one of Big 4 audit firms. He has over 21 years’ worth of rich experience in financial restructuring and modeling, project financings, operational management and internal audit.
He has served as a General body member of FPCCI, as Head of cost and budget committee of PSMA- Sindh Zone and Member committee agriculture development and reforms at Ministry of Industries and Production and Kisan Board on behalf of PSMA- Sindh Zone.