With its eyes on expansion of its operations to countries in the West Africa Sub-Region, the management of BOC Gases Plc has promised to sustain its improved performance.
The Managing Director, Mr. Johnson Idowu said the growth in the last one year was quite significant because the company had put more emphasis on wielding products than gases.
According to him, the sorry state of energy in the country, which has not afforded them the pleasure of running an efficient manufacturing concern, made the company to add marketing of wielding products to its portfolio.
He explained that although contribution from the wielding products in the turnover has been small, it was much better than what they had in years past. “We have made significant improvement in the marketing and distribution of beverage gases”, he said.
Idowu stated that the diversification has really been responsible for the significant performance the company witnessed. BOC Gases, in the 12 months result for the last financial year posted a turnover almost equal to 15 months result it posted in the previous financial year end from September to December to reflect the Linde Group AG.
In the 12 months endings December 31, 2008, the company has a turnover of N1.87 billion against N1.872 billion representing 15 months results ended December 31, 2007.
Idowu stated: “All other sister companies in Africa are into Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) and they are very big, and these countries are not oil producing but we are oil producing country. You can see our plight. This is part of our long strategy”.
He said it should have been a short term strategy but because the source of supply of the gas in the country was not dependable the company had to put it at a long term.
Shareholders at the 50th annual general meeting of the company commended the management for improved performance recorded in spite of the financial crisis rocking companies across the world.
BOC Gases won an award in Germany for having 27 million employee hours without recording any casualty. To this the Managing Director said the company tried to operate first world standard in a third world environment.
The president, Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria (PSAN), Mr. Boniface Okezie, however, urged the company to move into domestic supply of gases to enable the company enjoy more patronage.