The National, Thursday, May 5, 2011
THE Wamp Nga Group of Companies is in the second consecutive year of outstanding performance and growth and there should be no question about its operations, financials or future, chief executive officer Jim Maxwell told The National.
Maxwell, who was only recently appointed CEO of the group, refuted as absolutely “nonsensical” suggestions contained in a newspaper report earlier this week that the Western Highlands’ flagship business group might be in trouble and in financial crisis.
Maxwell said: “For example, Western Star Trucks Pacific, a division of Wamp Nga, tripled its turnover from K9 million in 2009 to K30 million and is on track to repeat that performance to K108 million in 2011. With K27 million of its 2011 projected turnover already achieved after only three months, with its trade finance loan fully paid and with the surplus of K3 million left in the bank, there is no need to create panic or fear among shareholders by scaremonger news releases.”
Maxwell said what seemed to have triggered the confusion was a restructure of the company that had just been completed.
“In a business of this size we must make an assessment of the existing situation. We must audit and assess our liabilities and opportunities,” he said.
“We must ensure that all compliance issues are brought up to date such as taxation, audit and company returns etc to establish good corporate governance. In order to achieve this, we have now formed a support team consisting of experts and professionals in finance and business management, audit, accounting, investigation and taxation, legal, property and corporate advisory services.”
These compliance issues seemed to have been ignored or were not diligently attended to in the past.
He said the restructure would take control of cost and make the company more efficient but it did not mean a change of ownership or sell off of properties.
“Indeed the company is reinvesting in the Wamp Nga Group to grow it and make it something that the Hagen people will be proud of,” Maxwell said.
Ultimately, the aim of the restructure was to reduce unproductive overheads and increase efficiency to maximise profit so that maximum dividend could be paid to the shareholders.
The restructure also aimed to create sufficient investment reserves to cater for the future growth of the company within the next five years.
All of this will be reported to the board later this month.
As part of the restructure, the various divisions in the group are made to be financially independent with their own separate accounts and funding rather than the previous practice of pooling all divisions’ funds into the one account.
Each division will be set tasks or budgets and performance measured against profitability.
The company headquarters has also been rearranged to save costs. However, the headquarters of the group will remain in Mt Hagen.
Maxwell said: “Every division and their personnel are being assessed. This is normal in any restructure. It does not mean the company is in crisis. There should be no panic. The efficient will stay and the inefficient will exit.”
Wamp Nga is an asset rich and diversified company with business divisions in trucking dealership, motor workshops and parts, liquor and beverage, IT, hospitality and property.
Wamp Nga is the only 100% nationally-owned company in PNG that has entered into a dealership-franchise arrangement with the third largest trucking company in the world, Western Star Trucks Australia and US as the sole distributor in PNG.