Bashar Masri elected as Chairman of PADICO Holding
PADICO Holding general meeting holds its 24th ordinary annual meeting
Amman, April 24th, 2019 - The board of directors of PADICO Holding elected Bashar Masri as its new chairman to replace Mr. Munib Al-Masri. This came after the 24th ordinary general assembly meeting, which was held today, Monday, in the Jordanian capital of Amman, where a new board was elected. The new board consists of representatives of major shareholders, whether individuals or companies that played their role in naming distinguished businessmen and women in order to achieve further successes. Together, the new board members have a diverse range of experiences, backgrounds and skills, and, at the same time, enjoy that kind of vitality that would enable them to push for change with a modern spirit.
Mr. Munib Al-Masri praised the general meeting’s election of a new board. He welcomed the new board members, saying they would enrich the company with different experiences in a variety of fields. He confirmed that this was an important step that reflects the vitality and spirit of renewal which PADICO Holding believes in.
The following names and entities were elected: Sabih T. Masri , Bashar Masri, Nabil Al-Sarraf, Dina Al-Masri, Ammar Aker, Hisham Masri, the Arab Bank, Cairo Amman Bank, Palestine Telecommunications Company (Paltel), Masera International, Massar International Group (MASSAR), al-Nowat Investments Company , and Palestine Company for Technology Transfer .Mr. Ziad al-Turk was also elected as the general secretary of the board.
Mr. Masri stressed the importance of “continuous change to keep up with the latest developments on all levels, especially in this critical phase of our national cause which requires more steadfastness, solidarity, cooperation, use of potential, and mobilization of Palestinian expertise, both inside our country and outside it, so we may all help consolidate the steadfastness of our people and put their capabilities to the best use. This is in addition to the urgent need to empower the younger generation who is highly capable of employing their potential and creativity in the interest of the Palestinian economy.”
Mr. Munib Al- Masri also praised the choice of Bashar Masri as the new Chairman of PADICO Holding, confirming that he is a high-caliber Palestinian economic expert who has made unprecedented achievements in many vital economic sectors, and has long, varied investment experience locally, regionally and globally. He also expressed his strong confidence in Mr. Bashar Al-Masri’s ability to guide PADICO Holding to more achievements and progress.
In his turn, Mr. Bashar Masri thanked the board and partners for their trust, which he said he highly valued. He confirmed he would continue to do his best to make more achievements for PADICO, one of the pioneering companies in Palestine and a major contributor to its economy.
He said he looked forward to making important breakthroughs and achievements in the fields of industry, agriculture, and construction in co-operation with the board and all company’s employees. This is in addition to the project of generating electricity from solar panels in Gaza and the inspiring challenge it poses towards bigger projects in the alternative energy field.
Mr. Masri concluded by expressing his appreciation and thanks on behalf of the company’s board and employees to Mr. Munib Masri for the years of hard work and the achievements he made as Chairman of PADICO. He also thanked members of the former board for their sincere and responsible efforts that have had a major impact and led to a lot of achievements. Meanwhile, he expressed his belief in the company’s ability to make even more achievements, arguing that PADICO’s success means the success of the Palestinian economy as a whole given the company’s weight in a number of fields, especially industry, agriculture and alternative energy.
Financial Performance in 2018
As far as the company’s financial performance is concerned, Mr. Munib Al-Masri said the company made solid growth in the results of its operations, amounting to 213.7% in 2018, with consolidated net profits of $15.57 million in that year, as compared to $4.96 million in 2017. He noted that this growth of profits is credited to the improved performance of a number of subsidiaries, especially PADICO Tourism, which achieved a growth of 40.2%, and Palestine Real Estate Investment Company (PRICO), which reduced its net losses by 70.9%. He added that the growth in profits was backed by a decline in the administrative expenses of the group’s companies as a direct result of the restructuring process which PADICO and its affiliates conducted, and which cut the consolidated G&A expenses in 2018 by 22.8%.
As to the distribution dividends, the general meeting approved the board’s recommendation for not distributing dividends for the 2018 fiscal year. This is in view of the company’s trend towards investing in major strategic projects as an integral part of the company’s mission and key goals. These projects need the mobilization of resources to secure huge funds without relying on loans to finance such projects, given that these projects would be a lever for the company’s profits and the diversification of its sources of income in the future. At the same time, this would enhance the company’s ability to overcome difficulties and challenges, especially at this critical juncture of the Palestinian cause.
Comprehensive presentation of operational performance and projects:
For his part, Deputy General Manager Mr. Nihad Kamal gave a full presentation on the company’s performance, plan and achievements in 2018. He confirmed that many achievements and positive developments were made in 2018 in the performance of subsidiaries and affiliates, and referred to the signing of an agreement with the International Finance Corporation to build an electricity-generating project from solar power with a capacity of 7 MW and a cost of more than $11 million in the Industrial Zone in Gaza.
As to the Jericho Gate project, Kamal said, “Work is underway on the development of infrastructure for the 1st phase and in sales.” He noted that all the relevant bids for this phase have already been awarded, and that this phase is expected to be handed over before the year end.
Kamal added that Palestine Industrial Investment Company (PADICO Industrial) and subsidiaries have completed the construction work on a cow farm in Tulkarm with a daily production capacity of 14,000 liters of milk. It also started constructing a feed mill factory in Hebron in partnership with the Palestine Investment Fund (PIF) at a cost of $13 million. In addition, work has started on constructing a huge milk factory in Ramallah. Meanwhile, the National Carton Industry Company purchased and installed a production line for corrugated carton board, an important pillar in the company’s business for the coming period.
Kamal noted that Nakheel Palestine for Agricultural Investment is the largest producer of dates in Palestine, as it owns 42,000 palm trees and 3,400 donums of cultivated land, and employs 480 employees. “The company has made 15% growth of medjoul dates production in 2018, producing 1,300 tons,” he said.
He also praised the achievements of PADICO Tourism, noting that its hotels, including St. George Hotel in al-Quds which won the Palestine Exporter Award for Tourism, and Jacir Palace Hotel which won the award for the best historic hotel in the Middle East and the best classical hotel in the region, won many local and international awards.
Action Plan for the Upcoming Period
As to PADICO Holding’s future trends, Mr. Bashar Masri said the company plans to invest in new projects that would serve as a lever for its profitability on the medium and long terms, especially in alternative energy, infrastructure, and basic industries sectors. He added that the company would endeavor to secure financing for these investments from sources other than loans, and that it would forge ahead with its efforts to cut expenses, control indebtedness and gradually reduce it.