APIC held its regular general assembly meeting in Amman, Jordan, attended by members of the board and an independent auditor. During the meeting, items on the agenda were discussed and the 2009 audited financial statements were adopted.
Despite the difficult conditions, overall sales for 2009 increased to $274 million, compared to $237 million in 2008, a 16 percent growth rate, despite the drop in the value of the shekel, the currency of 80 percent of sales, to the dollar during the first half of the year. The group‘s consolidated profits dropped to $3.84 million, compared to $4.75 million in 2008, due to the problems and challenges that APIC and its subsidiaries faced. The devastating fire in Siniora’s Jerusalem factory caused more than $2 million in losses due to the loss of sales and the increase in the costs of production. The company‘s total assets increased from $132.8 million in 2008 to $166.3 million towards the end of 2009.
The General Assembly adopted a proposal by the board to distribute dividends of 5 percent of the capital value of rounded profits, giving shareholders the option to distribute them as free shares, with the same nominal value of the share equivalent to $1, or in cash.
During the meeting, the projected financial results for 2010 were presented, in light of the distinctive results achieved in the first quarter. The results were clear indications that APIC is well on track to fully recover and achieve significant profit growth this year, especially now that Siniora’s Jerusalem factory has resumed operations in record time, having been rebuilt with state-of-the-art meat processing techniques.
In his opening remarks, Chairman of the Board Tarek Aggad addressed last year‘s financial results by saying, "The company made significant achievements despite the continuous global economic crisis, the long strangulating blockade on Gaza Strip and several other challenges. These included the huge fire that fully destroyed the production ward at Siniora Food Industries Company in Jerusalem on May 15, 2009, resulting in total loss of its productive capacity for seven months, and consequently, a large decrease in its profits." He added, "The continuous Israeli embargo imposed on importing chemicals for producing aluminum oxide led to the continued stoppage of one of the main production lines at National Aluminum and Profile Company (NAPCO), resulting in the decrease of the company‘s sales."
As to the goal of listing APIC on the Palestine Securities Exchange, Mr. Aggad said that the company aims to increase its capital through the placement of part of its shares for public offering, explaining that APIC has signed agreements with specialized companies in Jordan and Palestine to provide financial consultations, management and issuance. APIC shall be evaluated and transformed into a public shareholding company, placed for public offering and listed at PSE in due course. These procedures are expected to be finalized during the fourth quarter of the current year, 2010.
Aggad explained that APIC aspires to provide high quality products and services, have a positive and sustainable impact on the economic community, increase its investments in the market, achieve prosperity and growth and make continuous growth in profits through investing in pioneering companies. APIC also adopts an efficient strategy stemming from a number of core principles, namely developing and promoting the existing business strategy at all APIC companies and investments, which are achieving remarkable success.
APIC is comprised of seven subsidiary companies, with over 950 employees working at the Arab Palestinian Shopping Centers Company (Plaza), the Palestine Automobile Company Ltd.-Hyundai, the National Aluminum and Profile Company (NAPCO), Unipal General Trading Company, Medical Supplies and Services (MSS), Siniora Food Industries Company and Sky Advertising.