SUPERMARKET chain RB Patel Group recorded an increase in sales turnover by 7.7 per cent for the past six months with operating profit before tax at $3.1million.
The company said this was an increase of almost 20 per cent over the same period last year. Making the announcement this week, Group chairman Padam Lala said the board declared a first interim dividend of 4 cents per share, totalling $1.2m to be paid on February 19 this year.
"The daunting challenges facing both the Fiji and world economies continue to overshadow growth prospects and the results for the six months are therefore a breath of fresh air for the group," he said in a statement.
"We hope these trends continue into the new year and look forward to a favourable year.
"We are concerned with the continued increases in the cost of doing business, for example, business licence fees together with new regulations and licences and increasing electricity costs present challenges for businesses."
Mr Lala said the opening of its newest store in Lami — HabourPoint Supermarket — in March last year added to the company's profile with very encouraging results.
He said the board would continue its tradition of paying out dividends regularly as with previous years.
"The company's shares are currently trading at their highest levels ever and reflect the confidence placed by investors in the RB Patel name," he said.
The company also released its half-year financial statements for the six months ending December 31, 2012 in accordance with the South Pacific Stock Exchange listing rules.
According to the company, a turnover of $50.90m was noted for the past six months of trading compared to $47.26m for the six months to December 31, 2011.
The unaudited figures also revealed the company recorded a net profit after tax of $2.39m compared to $2.12m for the same period in 2011. In its half-year report ending December last year, the group had total assets valued at more than $13.806m compared to more than $12.310m for the same period in 2011.
"Total non-current assets were more than $34.89m compared to $35.44m in 2011. Current liabilities were valued at more than $16.12m compared to $14.19m in 2011," the report said.
"Total liabilities were more than $27.008m compared to $27.248m in 2011 while net assets totalled more than $21.69m compared to more than $20.50m in 2011."
For shareholders equity, the report said share capital was valued at $15m, retained profits increased to $6.65m while investment revaluation reserve totalled $36,230.