PACRA Maintains Entity Ratings of Packages Limited
The ratings reflects sound risk profile of Packages Limited. Over the years, the Company has shown a strong character converting its challenges into opportunities. Sponsor's business acumen and their widespread reach have been beneficial.
The Company enjoys a strong market presence in its segments - Packaging (Flexible and Folding Cartons) and Consumer Products (Tissue). The Company continues to increase its top-line backed by volumetric growth. Overall a decline was witnessed in the margins owing to surge in raw material prices followed by increase in marketing expenses, impacting operating profits of the Company's core business. Although competition is heating up for its tissue and flexible packaging businesses, the management is confident to hold current performance pattern.
The Company holds a sizeable investment book of PKR 53bln comprising strategic (PKR 18bln) and non-strategic investments (PKR 35bln). Packages Mall, a diversified venture of the Group, is progressing as envisaged. The new JV of calcium carbonate - OmyaPack (Pvt.) Ltd, with an international player, became commercially operational in Oct-18. Bulleh Shah has been able to achieve operational efficiency and is expected to overcome its' difficult times. The management is eyeing on compensating the ending dividend stream from TetraPak through potential dividend income from local and international investments.
The ratings are dependent upon achieving operational efficiency in growth activities and inflow of stable investment income. The ratings draw comfort low leveraged capital structure and its ability to maintain margins from it's core operations.
Packages Limited was established in 1957 as a Joint Venture between Ali Group of Pakistan and Akerlund & Rausing of Sweden, to convert paper and paperboard into packaging for consumer industry. Packages is listed on the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) since 1965. Over the years, Packages has continued to enhance its facilities to meet the growing demand of packaging products. The Company has two business units in packaging division: folding cartons and flexible packaging. It started commercial production of tissue paper in 1982 and currently provides a complete range of tissues and personal hygiene products. Over the years, Packages has invested in other businesses that has given it character of a sizeable investment company as well.
Ali Group holds 55% shares of the company through individual family members (16%) and various entities (39%), with IGI Holdings owning the prime share of 30%. Foreign partners and financial institutions own 8% and 21% stake respectively, in the company. Remaining 17% shares are held by general public.