Firm overcoming worker shortage

Hamed (centre) chairing the AGM with Wong on his left and Abdul Karim.

SIBU: Ta Ann Holdings Berhad, a timber and oil palm plantation conglomerate, which is facing shortage of general workers, is taking several measures to overcome it.

Among them is to work closely with the government in looking at alternative sources of recruitment.

Ta Ann non-independent executive chairman Datuk Amar Abdul Hamed Sepawai in his annual report at the company’s annual general meeting said the group acknowledged that shortage of workers might have material impact on its operation.

Among those present at the meeting were non-independent group managing director and chief executive officer Datuk Wong Kuo Hea and senior independent non-executive director Datuk Abang Abdul Karim Tun Openg.

“The group aims to achieve high worker retention and low staff turnover rate,” he said.

It had also pursued alternative harvesting mechanism to reduce dependency on foreigh workers.

On its outlook for this year, Hamed said they were aware of the challenges that 2019 will bring.

“Our oil palm division will continue to be the main contributor to the group’s profitability.

“We anticipate higher fresh fruit bunch production due to increase in matured planted area.

“Demand in key export market is also expected to rise this year largely driven by India and China,” he added.

Its timber division, however, is going through a challenging period, mainly due to rising production cost, emergence of substitute products and stiff competition from timber producing countries like Vietnam and Indonesia.

On its performance for 2018, Hamed said the group’s revenue for 2018 was RM967.23mil while profit before tax was RM113.12mil, 30% lower than the total in 2017.

Net profit after tax was RM88.23mil.

Barring unforeseen circumstances, the group is confident of a satisfactory performance for this year despite current global geopolitical situations such as trade war between China and US, slowing external demand and rising borrowing cost, which are expected to continue to weigh on global economy as well as Malaysia.

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