The publicly listed National Tea Company Ltd posted losses amid falling auction prices in the recent quarter, despite record production.
Average auction price per kilogram of tea declined 40 percent during the third quarter - January to March - of the FY2019-2020.
The average price was set at Tk147.34 per kilogram in March this year as compared to Tk246.27 in 2019, according to the auction held at Srimongol on March 18, 2020.
Revenue of the company declined 25 percent due to the fall in auction prices, showed financial statements of the company.
The company posted a revenue of Tk17.67 crore, resulting in a net loss of Tk27.60 crore, which translated to a loss of Tk41.83 per share, according to its third quarter unaudited financial statement.
"We sold tea at an average price of Tk110.58 per kg in the third quarter of the last financial year while our production cost was more than the sale price," said a company source asking not to be named.
An official of the National Tea Board said the price of tea depends on its quality.
He added: "In the last financial year, a record amount of tea was produced in the country but tea makers did not maintain standard quality in Sylhet zone."
National Tea produced 43.46 lakh kilogram of tea during the nine month period - July to March - of the last financial year, which was 12.43 percent higher as compared to the same period previous year.
The company, in the nine month period of the last financial year, earned revenue of Tk79.45 crore, which was Tk105.32 crore during the same period in the previous year.
It posted a net loss of Tk23.24 crore and its loss per share stood at Tk35.21 during the period.
The company paid a 22 percent cash dividend to its shareholders in each of the last two years.
Out of total shares, sponsors and directors jointly hold 50.72 percent, government 4.33 percent, institutional investors 7.15 percent and the general shareholders hold 37.80 percent shares.
The closing price of the company's each share was Tk453.70 on Monday at the Dhaka Stock Exchange. Its highest share price was Tk750 within the last one year.
National Tea Company Ltd was listed with the Dhaka Stock Exchange in 1979.