NATIONAL Flour Mills (NFM) has said remains committed to providing basic food products at competitive prices to the population during the covid19 pandemic.
The company expressed this commitment in its unaudited financial results at March 31, 2021.
NFM chairman Nigel Romano said after the company's reasonable financial performance last year, its performance in the first quarter of this year was affected by escalating grain prices, with wheat, soybean and corn prices increasing by 25, 40 and 60 per cent respectively.
He said NFM's revenue for first quarter 2021 was $100.4 million compared to $105.2 million for the same period last year.
"Our gross profit margin decreased by 25 per cent with gross profit declining from $30.8 million in 2020 to $23 million in 2021."
Notwithstanding this, Romano said, "Mindful of its role in feeding the nation, NFM absorbed as much of the price increases as it could. However a portion of the increases had to be passed on to the customer."
He said in first quarter 2021, NFM implemented minimal price increases for feed products, dry-mix products and traded goods.
Romano said the surge in grain prices is expected to continue this year and NFM would continue to monitor closely and look for savings wherever possible.
While expecting the remainder of the year to be challenging, Romano said, "With the rollout of covid19 vaccines, we are optimistic that life will return closer to what it was before, and activities will resume to some extent."
He said NFM is aggressively pursuing "continuous improvement initiatives" to maximise initiatives and productivity while mitigating the covid19 risks to its workforce.