CHAIRMAN of DAAR Communications Plc, Chief Raymond Dokpesi Jnr, has warned that unless there is a fresh cash injection, the company may go into extinction in the next two years.
DAAR Communications Plc is the operators of Ray Power FM radio stations and African Independent Television (AIT).
Addressing shareholders at the combined 2015 and 2016 annual general meeting of the company in Abuja at the weekend, Dokpesi said the company’s operating loss grew from N1.515 billion in 2015 to a new height of N2.139 billion in 2016.
“The adverse business environment together with the biting economic recession caused the 2016 turnover of the Company to plummet to an all-time low of N3.733 billion representing 47 per cent decline over 2015 earnings.
“The loss after taxation in 2016 was N2.139 while in 2015 loss after taxation was N1.515 billion.
“As encapsulated earlier, the losses were as a result of the astronomical increase in cost of operations occasioned by the economic recession and the severe devaluation of the Naira which could not be matched with corresponding growth in earnings as the advert budget in the industry declined in the ensuing period.”
He however assured shareholders that there was a bright hope of returning the company to profitability in the coming years following a conscious business restructuring and operations, digitalisation and expansion initiative project, which is at its final implementation stage.
As part of the initiatives, DAAR Communications has successfully resolved all her pending litigation matters in several courts arising from the last general election in Nigeria in 2015 and in the process saved a lot of funds in litigation fees as some were settled out of court or struck out for want of evidence, he reported.
Dokpesi described the Executive Orders signed by the Acting President on ease of doing business as not only a step in the right direction but which should be extended to addressing infrastructural deficit.
At the meeting, shareholders declined a share bonus offer declared by the company as part of their contribution to DAAR’s quick recovery and return to profitability.
Also addressing shareholders, Group Managing Director of the company, Mr Tony Akiotu disclosed that despite harsh operating environment and low business, the Group did not shirk in its corporate social responsibility (CSR), as it offered free aired services to some 135 patients seeking assistance on their medical conditions from different locations across the country.
“In the years under review, on AIT alone, we have aired medical fund appeals for 135 patients. This is apart from our other initiatives and projects in our various locations such as donations, rural road construction, free medical tests in conjunction with some Foundations and medical institutions.