NFM: No more price increases for 2022

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Isreal Cudjoe checks a 10kg sack of flour at Harris Megastore Supermarket on Mucurapo Street, San Fernando. FILE PHOTO –

THE National Flour Mills (NFM) is assuring the public there would be no changes in the prices of any of its products for the rest of this year.

The assurance came from company chairman Nigel Romano in a statement attached to NFM’s unaudited financial results for June 30, 2022. Those results showed the company experienced a $2.3 million after tax loss in the first six months of this year.

He said, “We have secured supplies for the rest of the year and do not expect to change prices in the near future.”

NFM is very aware of the importance of flour to the living standards of its customers.

The company’s board continues to work with its management to monitor the global markets and ensure availability of wheat supplies, while improving the efficiency of the production process.

Despite the challenges it continues to face, Romano said NFM’s objective remains providing basic food items to the public while continuing to look for innovative ways to “sustainably manage our operations while ensuring availability of these invaluable staples at affordable prices.”

Romano recalled that in his first quarter report, he mentioned the impact that Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine on February 25 had on supplies of wheat, fuel and fertiliser.

He said in June, the Food and Agricultural Organisation highlighted climate change and market uncertaintites as contributing to record-high food prices globally.

“We earned revenue of $228.2 million for the first six months of 2022, an increase of 8.7 per cent year on year.”

But Romano said the Russia-Ukraine conflict, climate change and other uncontrollable factors saw NFM experience a 12.3 per cent increase in cost of sales year-on-year from $168.9 million in 2021 to $189.7 million this year.

“The net effect was a 6.3 per cent decrease in gross profit; an 85 per cent decrease in operating profit, down from $3.4 million to $0.5 million and an after tax loss of $2.3 million compared to an after tax profit of $2.1 million for the first six months of 2021.”

Romano said, “This was the context for the 33 per cent increase in the price of flour in June.”