Bogala Graphite emerges through difficult 2002

Bogala Graphite Chairman Vijaya Malalsekera in his 2002 review said that the past year was a difficult one for the company mainly, due to the decline of sales in the US, Europe and Japan with the release of stocks by the US Government in the year 2001 and beginning of year 2002 and the continued recession in Japan.

Anticipating this situation the management reduced production and concentrated more on product improvement and new product development. As a result productivity in mining increased by 14% while processing recorded an all time high figure of 34.5%. Better management of the resources at all levels and commitment of every single employee was the key to these achievements.

With the successful commissioning and fine tuning of the floatation/beneficiation plant with an investment of Rs 29.4 million, we were able to use the low quality materials hitherto presumed worthless and produce higher grade material at a relatively low cost significantly reducing losses for the period. The future for the beneficiated products looks promising, specially in the Asian region.

With production targets halved to 2500 metric tons for the year to ensure overall cost reduction and preventing a glut in the market, forcing price levels down; our energies were largely directed towards gearing the company to face future challenges.

In August 2002, a collective agreement was signed with the trade unions, ensuring better benefits for the work force for 3 years and industrial harmony.

The principal shareholder, Graphit Kropfmuhl AG, continued their support by way of cost free financing and most needed technical assistance.

My task of managing the company during this diffficult year was made easier by the unqualified support extended by the main shareholder GKAG and excellent guidance provided by the Chairman & Board of Directors and commitment of the entire work force and the understanding demonstrated by our shareholders who will no doubt benefit in the long term.