Covid-19 has hit frozen food manufacturer Golden Harvest Agro Industries hard, with the company incurring losses in the first half of FY21 after seeing its revenue and profit decline in the last fiscal year.
Golden Harvest, as well as its subsidiaries and associate companies, are facing adverse impacts of the pandemic as the demand for some of their products – which are used for making school tiffin, in restaurants and the catering industry – has plummeted.
As a result, the company, which had been making profits, has slid into losses.
Company Secretary Nirmal Chandra Sardar told The Business Standard, "As the demand for some of our products has fallen, we are trying to diversify. We are also introducing products that saw an increase in demand after the lockdown was over."
"All frozen food makers are facing the same situation due to the pandemic, but the extent of impacts depends on the product lines of each company. Ice cream makers are particularly facing big challenges to survive."
To recover from the pandemic blows, the company has started producing ready-to-eat paratha and has set up a fully automated plant for this. It is also making ready-to-eat tehari and is offering home delivery for the item.
Nirmal said they are making these products as the pandemic has changed people's food habits.
"After we launched the products, the response was good," he added.
Golden Harvest's exports remained closed since 2014 but resumed recently. A consignment set off for Canada on Sunday night.
Nirmal added, "We slightly improved compared to the first quarter of FY21 as we introduced new products. I hope we will overcome the situation."
Industry sources said not only Golden Harvest but other frozen food companies are also having a bad time because of Covid-19. After the lockdown was lifted, their business did not return to normalcy.
Data shows Golden Harvest incurred a big loss in the first half of FY21, though it was in profit in the previous fiscal year.
In the first six months of FY21, the company lost about Tk13.60 crore and its consolidated earnings per share (EPS) stood at Tk0.63, which was Tk0.97 in the same period of the previous fiscal year.
Also, during the first quarter, it lost Tk7.32 crore and EPS stood at negative Tk0.34. In the same period of the previous fiscal year, profit was Tk7.15 crore and EPS was Tk0.33.
In the first quarter of FY21, sales decreased by 56% while EPS loss was 204%.
The company also incurred losses during the second quarter, but the amount was less than that in the first quarter.
In the second quarter, its consolidated loss stood at Tk6.26 crore and EPS loss was Tk0.29. During the same period of the previous fiscal year, profit was Tk8.42 crore and EPS was Tk0.39.
In fiscal years 2017-2018 and 2018-2019, the company saw a double-digit growth in revenue and profit.
But in FY20, revenue and profit growth was negative. Revenue decreased by 3.44% and profit declined by 96.88% compared to the previous fiscal year.
Golden Harvest distributes products nationwide and also exports to the US, Canada, Australia, the Middle East and European countries, maintaining a temperature of -18⁰C through its cold chain network.
The company got listed on the stock exchanges in 2013 and was placed in A category.
As of 31 December 2020, of the 215,837,622 shares, sponsors and directors held 32.88%, institutions held 39.78%, and general investors owned 27.25%.