When economies and businesses took a mighty blow during the Covid-19 pandemic, a few sectors and companies in Bangladesh like elsewhere in the world have found a silver lining amidst the crisis.
Biscuits and confectionery manufacturer Olympic Industries Limited is among the lucky few companies.
It has registered continuous growth in business since the outbreak of the coronavirus in the country in March 2020.
The demand for the branded biscuits and confectionery products has taken the shape in alternate ways as people are avoiding eating out in hotels and restaurants in fear of infection during the pandemic.
In the July-March period of the ongoing 2020-2021 fiscal year, the revenue and the net profit of Olympic, the market leader, increased by 15% and 3%, respectively, compared to the same time of the previous fiscal year.
But at the same time, its cost of goods sold rose by 19.6%, while administrative and selling expenses soared by 9%.
Sources in the company said the price of raw material for biscuits and confectioneries shot up in the pandemic, resulting in an increase in both manufacturing costs and other expenses.
According to financial statements, in the first nine months of the current fiscal year, the company's revenue stood at Tk1,372.97 crore, which was Tk1,196.11 crore in the same period of the previous fiscal year.
The net profit rose to Tk159.06 crore from Tk154.49 crore in the same time of the previous fiscal year.
In this period, the cost of goods sold reached Tk963.27 crore, up from Tk804.89 in the previous fiscal year.
In the January-March quarter, the revenue rose 11% and profit Tk4.61% to Tk440.05 crore and Tk51.68 crore, respectively.
"During the pandemic, people are avoiding eating out at hotels and restaurants and, as an alternative, prefer branded biscuits," said an official at the company, desiring not to be named.
"Pandemic has boosted our business but at the same time, the raw material price also rose. The other cost of the company also went up."
Olympic Industries, which got listed on stock exchanges in 1989, is engaged in manufacturing and marketing biscuits, candies and confectionery items in the local market as well as exporting the products abroad.
Also, the company sells dry cell batteries, carton and plastic products.
New building at a cost of Tk51 crore
Olympic Industries will dismantle an old building and construct a new five-storey one at a cost of Tk51 crore by August 2024.
The fund will be arranged from the own sources of the company.
It said the dismantling is expected to start in August and the piling for the new building is likely to kick off in October this year.
The basic construction for starting machinery installation is expected to complete by August 2024.
The new building will have more than 1.69 lakh square feet of floor area in its place at the company's Madanpur factory in Narayanganj.
Each floor – from the ground to the third floor of the new building – will have 37,400 square feet of floor area, and the fourth floor will have 20,000 square feet of floor area.