14 January, 2016
Bestway Cement, together with Pakcem, was honoured for its efforts in contributing positively to sustainable development, when it bagged four awards at the prestigious award ceremony held in Islamabad on 14 January.
Bestway won the coveted awards in the categories of Green Energy Initiatives, Community Development & Service, Education & Scholarship and Employee Engagement & Volunteering. The Waste Heat Recovery Power Plants, Health & Safety in Schools campaign, Community Development, and Education & Scholarship initiatives were selected from over 100 nominations received this year. The participants of the awards were the leading local and multinational firms of Pakistan who are in the forefront of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) efforts in Pakistan. The awards are yet another milestone for Bestway Cement in its endeavour to strengthen lives.
Organised by the National Forum for Environment & Health (NFEH), the Corporate Social Responsibility Awards are an annual affair that recognise best practices and excellence in Corporate Social Responsibility in sustainable business. The awards aim to showcase innovative corporate initiatives which are part of a comprehensive sustainable strategy and address the most pressing environmental and social challenges. The finalists are selected by an independent jury who evaluate the participants on their performance in the past and their ongoing projects in the CSR realm.
Through its green energy initiatives such as the installation of waste heat recovery power plants, Bestway recognises the importance of minimising environmental externalities and contributing to the country’s power generation capacity. The company plays an active part in the socio-economic development of local communities such as improving access to health services and education, taking part in urban development and environmental conservation programs, and helping create businesses and jobs.
"We at Bestway are honored by this recognition. This is testimony of our commitment to realise our company's purpose of building on strength across the country. To date we have contributed nearly Rs100 million through programmes in the field of education, health and hygiene awareness. Our work does not stop here - we remain devoted to strengthening lives in every way that we can; be it through our products or our sustainability programmes", said Irfan Sheikh, Chief Financial Officer and Director Finance, Bestway Cement and Pakcem.
12 January, 2016
2015 – BESTWAY GROUP ANNOUNCES FINANCIAL RESULTS – Turnover crosses £3 bn
The Bestway Group has announced its financial results for the year ended 30 June 2015. The Group’s annual turnover increased by 20% to £ 3.06 billion from £2.55 billion in 2014. Profit before tax for the year ended 30 June 2015 was up 39.9% to £373.8 million from £267.1 million in 2014. All group businesses continued to be profitable.
Mr Zameer Choudrey CBE, the Group Chief Executive said, “The past financial year has been very exciting for the Group. Despite difficult business conditions we have maintained our focus on our strategic goals by increasing turnover and market share of our businesses both in the UK and in Pakistan”.
During the year the Group undertook two major acquisitions. The Group acquired The Co-operative Pharmacy (now re-branded as Well Pharmacy) in the UK for £641.3 million. Well Pharmacy is the UK’s 3rd largest retail pharmacy with 795 stores nationwide and represents a key diversification for the Group.
The Group also acquired an 88% shareholding in Lafarge Pakistan (now re-branded as Pakcem) for a total consideration of £182.0 million, of which £161.6 million is direct consideration and £20.4 million is existing debt within Pakcem, taken on by the Group on completion. Pakcem’s cement plant has a capacity of 2.4 million tonnes per annum and the acquisition has resulted in Bestway Cement becoming Pakistan’s largest cement producer, with an annual production capacity of 8 million tonnes.
Mr Choudrey said, “Both the acquisitions were completed through a competitive bidding process where the Group saw off some major competitors. Despite the fact that the Group’s offers were not the highest, the Group was seen as the most credible party and the best fit to complement the existing businesses”.
Turnover in the wholesale business was £2.27 billion as compared to £2.37 billion in the corresponding period last year. Profit before tax for the year ended 30 June 2015 was £44.6 million as compared to £49.2 million in 2014.
The year under review has been a busy and challenging year for the company as we maintained our focus on the three pillars of Symbol & Club, Foodservice and Digital.
During the year, the Best-one and Xtra Local retail club membership increased to 4,300 stores with a combined turnover of £650 million. The Group is further investing in this area by continuing our crusade on developing a market leading chilled, fresh and retail foodservice offering to help our customers compete, as well as doubling the number of business development executives.
Bestway Batleys Foodservice signed on new contracts including Accuro Catering, Warwickshire Colleges and East Lancashire & Birmingham NHS hospitals. We were also re-awarded two 4-year contracts worth over £24 million.
Last year we became the first wholesaler to introduce a fully functional mobile app. In a year, the app has been downloaded over 12,000 times. Net sales from the app during the year averaged £2 million per month. We also introduced i-beacon technology in our depots that transmits promotional offers to customers’ smart phones as they shop in the depot. At our Abbey Road Depot we have become the first wholesaler to introduce Apple Pay which allows our customers to pay using their iPhone or iWatch.
During the year we completed the installation of 12 dedicated world food hubs in the depots that serve multicultural communities. We also created a multiple account division within Bestway Direct to service the supply requirements of multi-site forecourt and convenience operators. In order to facilitate our customers and improve their cash flows, we removed all charges for credit card transactions and delivery surcharges. This underlines Bestway’s commitment to the wholesale sector and reiterates the Group’s mission of “Building Business for the Independents”.
In July 2014, Bestway Cement Limited (BCL) entered into a binding agreement to acquire Pakcem and on 22nd April 2015, BCL completed the transaction and assumed management control of the company after a public tender. Pakcem’s plant has a production capacity of 2.4 million tonnes per year. Consequently, BCL has now become the largest cement manufacturer in Pakistan with an annual capacity of 8 million tonnes.
Recently, there has been a shift in market dynamics with domestic demand continuing to exhibit strong growth, while the export market has declined due to less activity in Afghanistan and the imposition of import levies in certain economies.
Consequently, BCL’s domestic despatches increased by 15.4% to 4.1 million tonnes from 3.5 million tonnes in 2014, with like for like sales up by 7.8%. Export despatches decreased by 7.9% to 772 thousand tonnes in 2015 as compared to 838 thousand tonnes in 2014. Despite a decrease in exports to Afghanistan, we were able to maintain our position as the largest exporter of cement to Afghanistan.
During the financial year BCL consolidated despatches increased by 10.9% to 4.9 million tonnes from 4.4 million tonnes in the corresponding period last year. The strong despatches performance is due to domestic demand and due to the recognition of despatches from the acquisition of Pakcem for the two months to June 2015.
Turnover for the financial year 2015 amounted to £205.0 million compared to £174.5 million for 2014, an increase of 17.5%. Profit before tax registered an increase of 19.9% from £56.9 million in 2014 to £68.2 million for the year to 30 June 2015. This is attributable to the increased economies of scale and synergies generated through the acquisition of Pakcem as well as our continued focus on cost control.
During the financial year, the cement business settled in full the £14.2 million of debt it had outstanding at 30 June 2014. During the year, BCL took on debt of £182.0 million in order to complete the acquisition of Pakcem.
During the year, BCL installed a 7.5 MW and 6.0 MW Waste Heat Recovery Power Plant (WHRPP) at Hattar plant and Farooqia plant respectively. The Hattar WHRPP became fully operational in May 2015 and Farooqia’s power plant became operational in June 2015. We also signed a contract for a 12MW WHRPP at the newly acquired Pakcem plant and this is currently under construction. The plant is estimated to cost £9.5 million and is expected to come online by March 2017. The investments in WHRPPs are part of our continued strategy to reduce our reliance on the national grid as well as to reduce the environmental impact of our operations through the reduction of carbon emissions. This will reduce our cost of production and we shall be able to enjoy financial benefits in future years.
For the year ended 30 June 2015, the BCL declared a combined dividend of 10 PKR per share compared to a 7.5 PKR per share dividend last year.
UBL’s total assets at 30 June 2015 were £9.0 billion as compared to £6.9 billion for the corresponding period last year, an increase of 30%. UBL’s deposit base grew by 20% to £6.6 billion for the year to 30 June 2015.
UBL’s profit before tax recognised in the Group’s accounts during the period under review increased from £163.9 million in 2014 to £300.6 million, an increase of 83.4%. This increase has largely been due to a change in accounting methodology as UBL has now been reflected as a subsidiary for the full year, whereas in the prior year it was accounted for as an associate for 6 months and as a subsidiary for 6 months. On a like for like basis UBL’s profit before tax increased by 39.7% to £300.6 million in 2015 from £215.2 million in 2014.
UBL was able to increase its like for like net interest income by 27.1% from £277.1 million in 2014 to £352.1 million in 2015. Critically, UBL was also able to deliver an increased focus on non-financial income which grew, like for like, by 25.8% from £131.5 million in 2014 to £165.4 million in 2015.
During the year UBL’s operation in Tanzania continued to perform well and has started to make a positive contribution to the group after being opened in June 2013. This is a significant milestone and presents an opportunity for UBL to increase its presence in the region.
The Pakistani banking market has started to witness increased pressure on net interest margins as a result of the State Bank of Pakistan’s policy of reducing interest rates. There is a clear indication that this margin compression will continue going forward as inflation has been on a downward trend. Consequently, there has been an increased focus on diversifying income streams into non-interest derived income to better counteract any changes to margin spreads.
UBL continues to pursue its goal of financial inclusion. During the financial year UBL has grown its Omni division of the bank, which provides communities with branchless banking. This is a major milestone in the evolution of banking that will reshape the traditional banking model by offering basic banking services across urban and rural Pakistan, well beyond the regular branch networks. UBL is the largest supplier of this service in Pakistan with over 36,800 agents, an increase of 15,100 agents on the prior year.
The Group also remains committed to Khushhali Bank, the largest micro-finance institution in Pakistan, which UBL had invested in June 2012. Khushhali Bank increased its deposits by 35.4% from £41.3 million at December 2013 to £55.9 million at December 2014. Khushhali Bank also grew its loan portfolio by 54.0% to £78.0 million over the same period. Khushhali Bank contributed profit before tax of £7.1 million in the year to 30 June 2015, compared to £4.0 million in the year to 30 June 2014.
The acquisition of Well Pharmacy for £641.3 million was completed in October 2014. The Group had been searching for a target that was asset backed, in a defensive sector which generated stable cashflows and Well Pharmacy met these criteria.
Turnover of the pharmacy business for the 9 months ended June 2015 slightly exceeded expectations at £583.0 million, with profit before tax of £14.6 million.
The main focus since acquisition has been separating the business from The Co-operative Group, such that it is a fully standalone business, as well as re branding all 795 pharmacy branches under the new name “Well Pharmacy”. This rebranding exercise was completed in October 2015. The majority of the separation process has been completed and we expect final separation activities to be completed by the end of December 2015, thus ensuring we have a strong platform to execute our future growth strategy. During the year £5.9 million has been invested in separating and restructuring the business post-acquisition.
A further £1.6 million was invested into establishing a new headquarter for Well Pharmacy in Manchester, relocating 227 colleagues. The new office was inaugurated by The Chancellor, George Osborne in October 2015.
30 December, 2015
Bestway Group Chief Executive, Zameer Choudrey, has been appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Her Majesty the Queen.
Mr Choudrey was awarded his CBE as part of the Queen’s New Year 2016 Honours List in recognition of his contributions to advancing Britain through his services to the UK Wholesale industry and the wide array of philanthropic work he passionately engages in both in the UK and abroad.
Mr Choudrey appreciates the significance of this appointment, saying: “I cannot begin to express how honoured I am to have been included by the Queen in her New Years Honours List. It gives me great pleasure to be recognised for my contributions in this manner. These honours represent everything that makes Britain great reinforcing how it doesn’t matter where you have come from, what matters is your work ethic and the impact you can make. It shows what matters is that you contribute and you help to make Britain even better, something many immigrants do on a daily basis across the nation.”
He continued: “At Bestway, we strive to sit at the heart of local communities throughout Britain, servicing them and supporting them however we can – whether that be by providing food and drink to local shopkeepers through our Wholesale business, or providing medicines and health services through Well Pharmacy, or whether that be by providing support to those in need through Bestway Foundation and its charitable work.”
Having graduated in Accountancy from the University of Kent in 1981, Mr Choudrey joined Bestway in 1984 as Financial Controller, before being appointed to the role of Chief Executive for Bestway Group in 2004.
During his tenure as Chief Executive of the Group, Mr Choudrey has led the group to invest almost £300m into the UK wholesale and retail sectors. He has overseen the takeovers of Batleys, Martex, Bellevue and most recently Sher Brothers in addition to establishing a greater footprint for Bestway in England and Scotland. His latest acquisition of Co-op Pharmacy - the UK’s third largest retail pharmacy group which has since been rebranded to Well Pharmacy - was finalised in a deal worth £620m in October 2014 and has set the company on yet another pathway to growth.
Overseas, Mr Choudrey has led the expansion of Bestway Group to become the largest producer of cement in Pakistan and has also spearheaded the spectacular rise of Bestway-owned United Bank Limited (UBL) to become Pakistan’s second largest private bank.
He has been responsible for transforming Bestway from a predominantly UK wholesale business with turnover of £1.1 billion and EBITDA of £47 million in 2004, into an organisation with diverse global interests that generate turnover of £3.4 billion, EBITDA of £340 million and employs 33,700 people globally (12,000 of which are in the UK).
Under Mr Choudrey’s leadership, Bestway Group now consists of the UK’s 2nd largest independent wholesaler (Bestway Wholesale), the UK’s 3rd largest retail pharmacy (Well Pharmacy – formerly The Co-Operative Pharmacy), Pakistan’s largest cement producer (Bestway Cement Limited) and Pakistan’s 2nd largest private bank (United Bank Limited). Bestway is the UK’s 17th largest private company.
And alongside all of this, Mr Choudrey has always been a firm believer in giving back to the community and is renowned for his philanthropy and voluntary roles, sitting as a trustee on a number of charities including Crimestoppers and GroceryAid, in addition to playing a leading role in the Advisory Council at the British Asian Trust set up by Prince Charles as part of the Prince’s Trust.
He is a founding trustee of Bestway Foundation UK and the chairman of Bestway Foundation Pakistan. The Group donates 2.5% of its annual profits to the Foundation for worthy causes both in the UK and overseas, with a particular focus on two areas close to Mr. Choudrey’s heart – health and education.
In the UK, Bestway Foundation has set up a number of scholarships for underprivileged students, giving them the opportunity to improve their lives by gaining a quality education. Only this year, Zameer announced that Bestway Foundation had teamed up with University of Oxford to create a £1.8 million endowment fund which will provide financial support to two deserving graduate students from Pakistan every year to study at Oxford.
Overseas, the Foundation has prioritised providing basic care and resources in deprived communities. This has included the building of schools, setting up health units that provide free healthcare and clean drinking water initiatives.
2016 is an important milestone for the business itself as Bestway celebrates its 40th anniversary, and in some ways this appointment aptly sums up how far the business and Mr Choudrey himself have come.
18 December, 2015
Younus Sheikh strikes Gold at FWD Awards
The Federation of Wholesale Distributors honoured Bestway Wholesale managing director Younus Sheikh by awarding him the prestigious Outstanding Achievement award at Gold Medal Awards ceremony.
The Awards held annually at the HAC Royal Artillery Gardens in the City of London saw James Bielby, director general of the FWD, present Mr Sheikh with the prize in front of 800 guests from the food and drink and wholesale sectors, bringing the whole room to their feet.
Acknowledging his leadership in developing Bestway Group’s wholesale business, the judges also paid tribute to his honesty, integrity and incredible dedication to the wholesale channel over the past forty years.
Mr Sheikh was delighted to accept the award and speaking afterwards said "When the citation was being read, I was thinking 'Wow this person has really devoted his life to wholesale' then after a few seconds it dawned on me that it was me they were talking about. It really was a fantastic surprise and an incredible honour to receive this recognition. It goes without saying that I could not have done any of this if it wasn’t for the fantastic team I have been lucky enough to have around me over the years. I would like to thank all Bestway and Batleys colleagues, past and present, for all their support, their hard work and dedication, and the many successes we have achieved together. This award is for them as much as it is for me."
19 November, 2015
PACRA Upgrades Bestway Cement’s Long-Term Rating to “AA-” and Short-Term Rating to “A1+”
11 October, 2015
Bestway Cement posts profit of Rs 3.2b in 1QFY 15/16
The Board of Directors at Bestway Cement Limitedannounced financial results for first quarter from July to September, 2015.
Bestway’s turnover on a consolidated basis jumped by 38% from Rs6.8 billion to Rs9.4 billion. This was largely due to acquisition of Pakcem Limited, increase in domestic demand and stable retention prices during the quarter.Gross margin of Rs3.7 billion grew by more than 50% over the same period last year. Profit before tax for the quarter amounted to Rs3.2 billion, showing an increase of 28% as compared to Rs2.5 billion during the quarter ended30September, 2014. The company’s consolidated profit after tax also registered a growth of 34% to reach Rs2.3b in this quarter against Rs1.7 billion from the corresponding period of FY0214-15.
On a consolidated basis, domestic sales volume increased by 48%from 814,610tonnesto 1.2 milliontonnes, while exports saw a decline of 4% from 197,824 tonnes to 189,208tonnes in this quarter. Overall, cement dispatches increased by 38% during the reporting period to 1.4 million tonnes from 1.0 million tonnes.Despite fierce competition, Bestway was able to maintain its market share in the north zone and retained its position as the largest exporter of cement to Afghanistan and India.
On a consolidated basis earnings per share for Bestway Cement stood at Rs3.88 against Rs2.94 from the corresponding period. The companyannounced an interim dividend of Rs2.5 per share keeping in viewits excellent performance.
During the quarter, Bestway Cement further reduced its reliance on the national grid by taking energy-saving initiatives and launched a 12MW waste heat recovery power plants at itsPakcemKallarKahar operations. The implementation of this project, which is expected to cost US $15million, will support in alleviating the country’s power crisis to a certain extent, but also reduce cost of production whilst generating clean, affordable energy.
Bestway brands are synonymous with quality in international markets and the company continues to explore all opportunities for expanding its presence in regional and international markets. The company brought innovation to new heights by introducing Sulphate Resistant Cement (SRC) to its product portfolio, which is gradually being launched in domestic markets.
17 September, 2015
Bestway Cement wins exporter of the year award for 2014-15
Bestway CementLimited (BCL) was awarded ‘Exporter of the Year 2015’ award at the 28th Annual Achievement Awards held at Jinnah Convention Centre, Islamabad.
In anaward ceremony organised by the Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce on 17 September 2015, Bestway Cement Limited received an award for being the largest exporter to Afghanistan. BCL is already firmly established as one of the leading brands in Afghanistan and exported US$53 million worth of cement to Afghanistan during the last financial year. The Company has become a market leader in the cement industry with a production capacity of over 8 million tonnes per annum.
ShahidSohail Khan, Director Sales received the award from Ishaq Dar, Federal Minister for Finance. After receiving the award, Mr Khan said,“After all our hard work, an unwavering commitment from the team and sheer belief in taking Bestway Cement to an international audience, we are absolutely delighted to have been recognised by the Chamber of Commerce for our efforts. Export represents one of the most viable routes to business growth and this will only increase as international trade becomes more accessible. We are proud to have secured an international following and aim to continue expanding our international presence. “Theawards paid tribute to the achievements and contributions companies from across industries have made to the Pakistan’s economy.
14 September, 2015
Bestway Group announces results for Bestway Cement Limited and Pakcem Limited
Islamabad: The Boards of Directors of Bestway Cement and Pakcem met on 12 September 2015 and approved the accounts for both companies for the period ended 30 June 2015.
2014-15 financial highlights
Highest ever turnover for Bestway Cement; Revenue rises by 4.18% to Rs. 38.7 billion (previous year: Rs. 37.2 billion) for Bestwayand 11.5% to Rs. 7.1 billion for Pakcem** (previous period: Rs 6.4 billion)
Profit before taxfor the financial year reaches Rs. 12.6 billion with a 10% increase for Bestway Cement (previous year: Rs. 11.4 billion) and Rs. 1.64 billion with 11% increase for Pakcem** (previous period: Rs. 1.48 billion)
Sales volume improves by 1.20% to 4.424 million tonnesfor Bestway Cement (previous year: 4.371) and 8% increase to 0.836 million tonnes for Pakcem** (previous period: 0.775 million tonnes)
EPS increases to Rs. 14.96 for Bestway Cement (previous year: Rs. 14.76) and Rs. 0.41 for Pakcem** (previous period: Rs. 0.34)
** Pakcem Limited’s figures are based on a six-month comparison period ended 30 June 2015.
Outlook for 2015 – 16
Positive outlook for economy; geopolitical and macroeconomic risks remain
Global coal prices are expected to remain fairly stable. Interest rates and inflation are likely to remain low
Growth in export sales volumes of cement and power deficiency will remain main challenges
“We are confident about 2015-16,”explainedZameerChoudrey. “The outlook for Pakistan’s economy is positive, but there are still macroeconomic and geopolitical risks. We will continue to benefit from the positive development trend witnessed in infrastructure projects such as Pakistan China Economic Corridor.The considerable drop in global coal prices and lowerinterest rates will provide us with additional tailwind. In view of our strong positioning, our excellent product portfolio,our production sites in attractive locations, and the commitment of our people, we are well-equipped to achieve our goals.”
03 August, 2015
Bestway Cement signs MoU with NUST Institute of Civil Engineering for research on innovative cement solutions.
Marking a momentous leap in its devotion to innovation, Bestway Cement signed an MoU with NUST Institute of Civil Engineering on 27 July’15. TheMoU marks a collaborative effort between both organizations to promote research and development of cutting edge, innovative construction materials and building solutions in Pakistan.
Gracing the occasion of the MoU signing, were Irfan Sheikh (Director Finance &CFO Bestway Cement & Pakcem Limited) and Asif Shah (Director Administration & Marketing). Speaking on the occasion, Irfan Sheikh expressed his delight and stressed the need for construction materials related cutting-edge R&D in Pakistan. “We aim to develop products through collaborative R&D that will add value for our customers. Innovation defines our focus on our customers’ needs, provide solutions for improving quality of life and generate much needed economic activity in the country, while ensuring that our environment is safeguarded.”
The company only last month commissionedtwo 13.5MW waste heat recoverypower plants at its operations in Hattar and Farooqia. Aimed at not only reducing Bestway Cement’s reliance on national grid,the waste heat recovery plants willhelp in alleviating the country’s power crisis to a certain extent and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
With a total capacity of over 8 million tonnes per annum, Bestway continues to be a pioneer in the cement industry focused on reducing environmental impact and contributing to the country’s power generation.Bestway Group is committed to growing the cement industry of Pakistan and offers the widest product portfolio ofcement and building materials.
24 July, 2015
Bestway Cement, the largest cement producer, inaugurates 13.5 MW environmentally-friendly waste heat recovery plants at its Hattar and Farooqia operations.
The inauguration ceremony of the 6MW and 7.5MW waste heat recovery power plants was held at Bestway Cement Limited’s operations at Hattar and Farooqia, District Haripurrespectively on Friday, 24 July, 2015.
Speaking at the ceremony held to mark the occasion, group Chairman Sir Anwar Pervez, OBE, HPkhailed the accomplishment as yet another milestone in the long series of achievements by Bestway since its entry in Pakistan.
“The investment of nearly Rs.1.7 billion to set up these Waste Heat Recovery Power Plants in challenging economic times is a testament of Bestway’s unwavering commitment towards propelling economic development of Pakistan. It follows the company’s successful acquisition of Lafarge Pakistan, now known as Pakcem Limited, for an enterprise value of US$329 million in July 2014,” Sir Anwar added.
He expressed his commitment to further developing the acquired company into a role model for cement industry to follow and stated that Bestwayplans to invest nearly $30 million inPakcemLimited, includinga 9.8 MWwaste heat recovery power plant at its KallarKahar operations later this year.
Waste Heat Recovery Power Generation consumes no fuel with zero greenhouse gas emission in the process. Dust emission and temperature of discharged flue gas is further lowered simultaneously, thus having a positive impact on the environment. The waste heat recovery plants have enabled Bestway to significantly reduce its reliance on external source of power.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Zameer Choudrey CEO Bestway Group said that these power plants will not only reduce Bestway’s reliance on national grid but also help in alleviating the country’s power crisis to a certain extent and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 27,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide.
In 2011, Bestway installed a 15MW waste heat recovery power plant at its Chakwal plant – the first of its kind in the local cement industry. The plant conforms to CDM (Clean Development Mechanism) and has been successfully registered with UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change).
With a total capacity of over 8 million tonnes per annum, Bestwaycontinues to be a pioneer in the cement industry focused on reducing environmental impact and contributing to the country’s power generation.Bestway Group is committed to growing the cement industry of Pakistan and offers the widest product portfolio ofcement and building materials.
23 June, 2015
Bestway sets up fund at Oxford varsity to sponsor two Pak students every year
The Bestway Foundation, announced setting up of an exciting new £1.8 million endowment fund with the world renowned Oxford University to sponsor two Pakistani students at the university every year.
The group has teamed up with the university to create a scholarship programme that will see two graduates from Pakistan study at the university every year in perpetuity.
The scholarship, to which the Bestway Foundation has committed £1.1 million, will cover all expenses including tuition and accommodation fees and will be open to students wanting to study science, technology, maths and engineering-related disciplines.
Zameer Choudrey, Chief Executive of the Bestway Group and Trustee of Bestway Foundation said, “The Bestway Foundation has a history of supporting educational scholarships both in the UK and Pakistan. In Pakistan our donations have now exceeded US $3.5 million and our latest endowment to Oxford University follows on from our five year agreement with the University of Bradford to fund five annual scholarships to support postgraduate students applying from Pakistan.”
Zameer Choudrey continued, “We are determined to contribute to the communities in which we operate with health and education being two core areas for our donations. I am delighted at this new endowment, which will give students from Pakistan the opportunity to study at unarguably one of the greatest seats of learning in the world.”
The Bestway Foundation was established in 1987 by the group founder Sir Anwar Pervez. Zameer Choudrey said that the group contributes approximately 2.5% of its profit every year to the charitable causes. He said that the group, which also has set up Bestway Cement and United Bank, has so far donated over US $10.5 million towards charitable causes.
Mr. Choudrey further added that the future of any nation lies in the empowerment of youth through education. He said that Pakistan’s problems were linked with literacy and once this problem is overcome the country will make rapid progress.
He said that the two Pakistanis will be selected to study at the Oxford University on merit and there will be no interference from any side as to who is picked up or not by the university. He said that the criterion has been set that the two students will be from Pakistan and the selection will be made by the university. He said that this was a gesture of the Bestway towards Pakistan in making sure that Pakistan’s future leaders have the opportunity to study at the top UK educational institution which has produced many leaders of the world. Many current and former leaders of Pakistan have studied at the Oxford University.
22nd April 2015
Bestway Celebrates Earth Day – “To Plant a Garden is to believe in Tomorrow”
22nd April 2015
Bestway Cement Limited takes over Lafarge Pakistan Cement Limited
Bestway Cement Limited ("Bestway Cement"), a subsidiary of Bestway Group ("Bestway") has announced assumption of management control of Lafarge Pakistan Cement Limited ("Lafarge Pakistan"). This follows the company’s successful bid for 75.86% of Lafarge Pakistan’s shares for an enterprise value of USD 329 million in July 2014. Bestway Cement also acquired another 12.07% shares of the target company through the public offer process taking its shareholding in Lafarge Pakistan to 87.93%.
Acquisition of Lafarge Pakistan's approximately 2.5 million tonnes per annum ("TPA") cement plant located in Chakwal, means that Bestway Cement has now become the largest cement manufacturer in Pakistan with a total capacity of more than 8 million TPA representing 18% of the entire industry's capacity in the country.
Mr. Zameer Choudrey, Bestway Group’s Chief Executive and CEO of Bestway Cement, in his address to a large gathering of staff, various stakeholders and dignitaries at a prestigious ceremony at Islamabad to celebrate the occasion said that taking over of Lafarge Pakistan was a momentous occasion and a major milestone for Bestway Group. He extended warm welcome to the staff of Lafarge Pakistan into Bestway family. He expressed his commitment to further developing the acquired company into a role model for cement industry to follow and stated that Bestway intended to invest nearly US$ 30 million in the acquired company including, among other things, an environmentally friendly waste heat recovery power plant. Bestway is by far the largest overseas Pakistani investor in the country and Mr. Choudrey reaffirmed his determination to continue playing his role in the economic development of Pakistan.
The UK-based global conglomerate is the UK's eighteenth largest privately owned company and seventh largest family-owned business.
Bestway includes the UK's second largest wholesaler serving 125,000 independent retailers and caterers from 64 warehouses nationwide and with over 6 million square feet of selling space. The Group also recently acquired UK's third largest pharmacy business – The Co-Operative Pharmacy (now rebranded as Well Pharmacy http://www.pharmacy.co.uk). The pharmacy business has over 770 branches across the UK and over 7,000 employees.
United Bank Limited, Bestway's banking division, is Pakistan's second largest private bank with assets under management of US$10.3 billion and a branch network of over 1,400 branches serving over five million customers.
Bestway has a turnover of more than US$ 3.4 billion and a global workforce of nearly 34,000 of which 12,000 is in the UK and the rest is in Pakistan and the Gulf.
21st December 2014
Bestway Cement receives Certificate of Appreciation from the Board of Architectural Education, Institute of Architects Pakistan (BAE-IAP) for its contributions in a 3 day International Conference on Architectural Education (ICAE) from 19th to 21st December 2014 at a local Hotel in Islamabad.
International Conference on Architectural Education (ICAE) was held under the auspices of BAE-IAP. It was organized as a result of the BAE Roundtable Conferences that proposed to bring together noted architects and educationists on a single platform for the enhancement of the Architecture Education System in Pakistan.
The theme of the Conference was “Connecting the Disconnects: Architectural Pedagogy, Practice and Research in Pakistan.”
The chosen subject brings to attention how a revised pedagogy is needed that strengthens the weak interaction between Education, Research and Practice, which currently results in poor Architectural decision-making. There is much need for a debate regarding the Architectural and Educational Solutions that could help define how our Architectural Institutions could address this problem and how the relationship between “Learning and Practice” can be revised.
10th December 2014
Zameer Choudrey awarded honorary doctorate
The University of Kent has awarded an honorary doctorate to Bestway Group's Chief Executive Zameer Choudrey.
Mr Choudrey was awarded the Doctor of Civil Law degree at a recent graduation ceremony in Canterbury Cathedral in recognition of his contribution to services to public life and business.
Having graduated in Accountancy from the University of Kent in 1981, Mr Choudrey joined Bestway in 1984 as Financial Controller and this year celebrates a decade leading the Bestway Group as its Chief Executive.
Mr Choudrey is extremely honored by his degree saying, “To be recognized for one’s achievements in life is always extremely gratifying and I would like to thank the University of Kent for this honorary doctorate. My links with the university go way back to my student days. I chose Kent as it provided me with a great learning experience. It is fantastic to see how the University has flourished and continues to be a centre of excellence with an outstanding reputation both internationally and domestically.”
During his ten year tenure as Chief executive of the Bestway Group, Mr Choudrey has led the group to invest almost £300m into the UK wholesale and retail sectors. He has overseen the takeovers of Batleys, Martex, Bellevue and most recently Sher Brothers in addition to establishing a greater footprint for Bestway in England and Scotland. His latest acquisition of Co-op Pharmacy - the UK’s third largest retail pharmacy group - was finalised in a deal worth £620m in October and sets the company on yet another pathway to growth.
Overseas, Mr Choudrey has led the expansion of the Bestway Group to become the largest producer of cement in Pakistan through organic growth and acquisitions and has also spearheaded the spectacular rise of Bestway-owned United Bank Limited (UBL) to become Pakistan’s second largest private bank.
Mr Choudrey is also a firm believer in giving back to the community and is renowned for his philanthropy and voluntary roles sitting as a trustee on a number of charities including Crimestoppers and Groceryaid in addition to playing a leading role in the Advisory Council at the British Asian Trust.
He is a trustee of Bestway Foundation UK and the chairman of Bestway Foundation Pakistan. The Group donates 2.5% of its annual profits to the Foundation for worthy causes both in the UK and overseas.
3rd December 2014
Zameer Choudrey recognised by Asian community
Bestway Chief Executive Zameer Choudrey was recognised for his outstanding achievements to the Asian retailing community at the Asian Trader Awards in London on Wednedsay 19th November.
Mr Choudrey was awarded the prestigious Editor’s Award from Ramniklal Solanki OBE, editor in chief of Asian Trader magazine, for his outstanding leadership and philanthropy.
Shailesh Solanki, chairman of the judging panel, said “Under Zameer’s leadership Bestway has become a diversified conglomerate and is one of the country’s biggest and most respected privately owned businesses."
“Despite its size and diversified interests, the independent sector remains at the core and heart of the business. Above all Zameer, who is personally a trustee of many charities, and Bestway are prodigious philanthropists, contributing 2.5 per cent of profits each year to charitable causes.”
31st October 2014
Bestway Group donates Rs.150 Million to Foreman Christian College
On Friday 31 October 2014, Dr James Tebbe, Rector Forman Christian College, presented a shield to Sir Anwar Pervez OBE HPk recognising the contribution of Bestway Group Companies & Charitable Trusts towards the FC College.
FC College which is one of the oldest academic institutions of South Asia was founded in 1864 by Dr Charles W Forman, a Presbyterian missionary from the United States of America.
To mark the sesquicentennial of this iconic institution Bestway Foundation has announced a donation of Rs. 50 Million along with Rs. 100 Million pledge by United Bank Limited.
Chief Executive Mr Zameer Choudrey who spoke on behalf on Bestway Group said; “On behalf of Bestway I commend you and your team Dr. Tebbe for the invaluable services FC College has been providing for the last 150 years”.
He went on to add further, “The cornerstone of Bestway’s corporate philosophy is the desire to help the less fortunate in society. Our social investments in Pakistan have exclusively focused on community empowerment; whether it is establishing basic health units; adopting village schools or providing affordable financial services to the unbanked masses – we are always striving to give back to the community”.
In the last two decades Bestway Group entities have donated over US$10.0 million towards heath, education and humanitarian causes in Pakistan alone.
Acknowledging these contributions, as well as past donations by the Bestway Foundation, Dr Tebbe said the donations would allow the programs housed in the building to increase student enrolment as well as the number of degree specializations, contributing to the education of future business leaders as well as producing responsible citizens of Pakistan.
The impressive ceremony was graced by captains of industry; members of the diplomatic community; faculty members; students and alumni of FC College.
Bestway Group is the largest overseas Pakistani investor in the local economy with investments in excess of US$1.8 billion.
Sir Anwar Pervez is the patron-in-Chief of Bestway Foundation Pakistan. The Trust is chaired by Zameer Choudrey and provides funding to local schools; national universities and hospitals throughout the country.
6th October 2014
Bestway Group completes acquisition of Co-operative Group's Pharmacy business
Development of a new brand for the Pharmacy business underway Potential sites for Manchester HQ identified
London and Manchester: Bestway Group ("Bestway" or “the Group”) today takes formal control of the Co-operative Group’s Pharmacy business. This follows July’s announcement of the £620 million deal. The Group worked with JPMorgan and Nomura, supported by Barclays, RBS and its other relationship banks to secure the financing for the acquisition.
Bestway, which has the right to operate under The Co-operative Pharmacy brand for a transitional period of 12 months, has begun developing and testing possible new brands for the business. It expects to confirm the new name for the business before the end of first quarter 2015.
In the meantime, the Group has identified a number of possible sites in Manchester for the new HQ of the pharmacy business.
Following this (and with the Group’s subsequent acquisition of Lafarge Pakistan Cement Limited a week after the announcement of The Co-operative Pharmacy deal), Bestway will now have an annual turnover of approximately £3.6 billion and a global workforce of 33,000 people, with over 11,900 people in the UK. It is the UK’s eighteenth largest privately owned company and seventh largest family-owned business.
Along with The Co-operative Pharmacy, which is the UK’s 3rd largest pharmacy business, the Group now consists of the UK’s 2nd largest wholesale business, and both the largest cement manufacturer and 2nd largest private bank in Pakistan. The Pharmacy acquisition marks the latest move in the multinational Group’s continuing diversification strategy.
Zameer M. Choudrey, Bestway Group Chief Executive, said:
“We are delighted to have brought The Co-operative Pharmacy business into the Bestway family, adding an exciting 4th pillar to our growing and diverse business portfolio. Since announcing the transaction, we have continued to be impressed by the business which has carried on performing strongly, operating ahead of budget. At the time, we said our approach was to support the existing management to drive the business forward, and this is precisely what we are doing, ensuring minimum disruption. To this effect, I am also delighted that this thriving business will remain based in Manchester.”
“We were also pleased with the positive response to our fundraising. In the end our Group Corporate facility of £725m was well received by the market. The fact that our credit was significantly oversubscribed really showed the City’s enthusiasm for our strategy, as well as their trust and confidence in the Group and its strong prospects for long-term, profitable growth. We truly value the commitment and dedication all our partners have demonstrated throughout the process. They played a big role in helping Bestway Group to succeed in acquiring the Pharmacy business.”
Notes to editors:
1. The Co-operative Pharmacy is the third largest pharmacy business in the UK, and the largest in Wales. It has over 770 branches across the UK and over 7,000 employees. In 2013 it reported total revenues of £760 million and operating profit of £33 million.
2. Founded by Sir Anwar Pervez OBE HPk, the Bestway Group is the UK’s seventh largest family owned entity, with businesses in multiple sectors both in the UK and abroad. It includes the UK’s second largest independent wholesaler serving 125,000 independent retailers and caterers from 64 warehouses nationwide, and with over 6 million square feet of selling space offering a product range of over 25,000 items. Bestway’s retail club business is the largest in the UK with over 4,000 members.
Bestway’s Cement division is Pakistan’s largest cement manufacturer with an annual capacity of 8 million tonnes. Bestway’s banking division is Pakistan’s second largest private bank with assets under management of US$10.3 billion and a branch network of over 1,400 branches serving over five million customers.
3. Bestway has built up a successful global business over 50 years by investing in and connecting with the communities it serves. The philanthropic arm of the group, the Bestway Foundation, annually donates 2.5 per cent of its post-tax profits to social projects in the countries in which it operates.
4. KPMG acted as financial advisors for Bestway Group on this transaction, with Hogan Lovells for Legal, JP Morgan/Nomura for Acquisition Finance, and supported by Barclays, RBS and other relationship banks to secure the financing for the acquisition.
2nd October 2014
Bestway Cement Limited wins 11th Annual Environment Excellence Award
In recognition of it’s tireless efforts for environment conservation, Bestway Cement Limited has been awarded the 11th Annual Environment Excellence Award for 2014. The award was presented by the Federal Minister Planning and Development, Mr. Ahsan Iqbal and Governor Punjab, Chaudhry M. Sarwar in a colourful ceremony held in a local hotel.
Bestway has won the most coveted environment award for the fifth year running.
16th September 2014
PACRA reaffirms Long Term Rating of “A+” and Short Term Rating of “A1” to Bestway Cement Limited
24th July 2014
Bestway Cement Limited announces acquisition of Lafarge Pakistan Cement Limited for an enterprise value of US$329 million
Bestway Cement Limited ("Bestway Cement"), a subsidiary of Bestway Group ("Bestway") has today announced the successful acquisition of Lafarge Pakistan Cement Limited ("Lafarge Pakistan")
The Pakistan-listed subsidiary has acquired Lafarge Pakistan's 2.4 million tonnes per annum ("TPA") cement plant located in Chakwal, Pakistan for an enterprise value of US$329 million. As a result of the acquisition, Bestway Cement now represents 18% of the entire industry's capacity in Pakistan, with its capacity set to increase to 8 million TPA. The transaction means Bestway Cement has now become the country's largest cement manufacturer.
Zameer Choudrey, Bestway Group Chief Executive and CEO of Bestway Cement, said:
"We are excited about the prospect of adding Lafarge Pakistan Cement to our existing portfolio. Through this investment we have reinforced our commitment to Pakistan where our cement and banking businesses continue to flourish. We see great potential for the cement business to keep growing, and will continue to review opportunities to invest in it further. For now, we will be working to integrate Lafarge into our existing cement business, adding efficiencies and synergies where possible."
The UK-based global conglomerate is the UK's eighteenth largest privately owned company and seventh largest family-owned business.
Bestway includes the UK's second largest wholesaler serving 125,000 independent retailers and caterers from 64 warehouses nationwide and with over 6 million square feet of selling space.
United Bank Limited, Bestway's banking division, is Pakistan's second largest private bank with assets under management of US$10.3 billion and a branch network of over 1,400 branches serving over five million customers.
This latest acquisition comes less than a week after the Group's US$1.1 billion acquisition of the UK's third largest pharmacy business. – The Co-Operative Pharmacy. The pharmacy business has over 770 branches across the UK and over 7,000 employees. In 2013 it reported total revenue of US$1.3 billion and EBITDA of US$116 million.
With these recent acquisitions, Bestway will have an annual turnover of approximately US$6 billion and a global workforce of 33,000 people.
The Bestway Group's charitable trust, Bestway Foundation, has donated in excess of US$9.0 million in Pakistan since 1997 for health, education and humanitarian causes.
18th July 2014
Bestway Group acquires The Co-operative Pharmacy Business
Bestway Group (“Bestway”) and The Co-operative Group ("Co-op") have announced today that they have acquired Co-op’s Pharmacy business for a purchase price of £620 million*. The transaction is due to complete in October 2014, following final separation of the Pharmacy business from Co-op.
The agreement follows a competitive sale process initiated by Co-op and Bestway saw off competition from the likes of Lloyds Pharmacy, Alliance Boots and Carlyle, the US buyout firm. The sale process came about following a decision by Co-op that the Pharmacy business was not part of its future strategy. The net proceeds will be used to reduce Co-op group debt and the transaction will enable Co-op to focus strategically on its core Retail and Consumer Services Divisions.
Co-op has agreed to continue to provide certain services to the Pharmacy business for up to 18 months, under a transitional services agreement. Bestway will have the right to operate under the Co-operative Pharmacy brand for a transitional period of up to 12 months.
Bestway is the UK’s eighteenth largest privately owned company and seventh largest family-owned business.
Bestway includes the UK’s second largest independent wholesaler serving 125,000 independent retailers and caterers from 64 warehouses nationwide and with over 6 million square feet of selling space offering a product range of over 25,000 items. Bestway’s retail club business is the largest in the UK with over 4,000 members.
Bestway’s Cement division is Pakistan’s second largest cement manufacturer with an annual capacity of 6 million tonnes. Bestway’s banking division is Pakistan’s second largest private bank with assets under management of US$10.3 billion and a branch network of over 1,400 branches serving over five million customers.
Bestway has built up a successful global business over 40 years by investing in and connecting with the communities it serves. The philanthropic arm of the group, the Bestway Foundation, annually donates 2.5 per cent of its post-tax profits to social projects in the countries in which it operates.
With this acquisition, Bestway will have an annual turnover of approximately £3.4 billion and a global workforce of more than 32,600 people, with over 11,900 people in the UK.
Zameer Choudrey, Bestway Group Chief Executive, said:
"We are delighted to be bringing The Co-operative Pharmacy business into our Group, adding to our growing and diverse business portfolio. In line with our own ethos, there is a strong focus on supporting and interacting with local communities within this sector.
The Co-operative Pharmacy itself is a strong, competitive business, operating in a sector where demographic trends show an increasing demand for healthcare services amongst the wider community. We see great potential to grow the business organically and through future acquisitions. We always look to take a long term approach and have a strong track record of successful acquisitions, and successfully growing employee and customer bases. We are confident that we will continue to do so with this business.
On behalf of Bestway Group, I look forward to working in partnership with the management and staff at The Co-operative Pharmacy.”
Richard Pennycook, Interim Group Chief Executive of The Co-operative Group, said:
"The successful sale of our Pharmacy business is an important move for The Co-operative Group. The proceeds will enable the group to reduce debt and is part of the focused delivery of our clear strategic plans and priorities. I am pleased we have reached agreement with Bestway, a strong family-run business that reflects the quality of the business and the high level of interest from a number of bidders. Bestway is acquiring an excellent pharmacy business characterised by the quality and professionalism of colleagues and high levels of customer advocacy. Bestway in return is an ideal owner for the business, with a proven track-record of putting the needs of customers first. I expect the Pharmacy business to go from strength to strength under the committed long-term ownership of Bestway and we look forward to working with them through the transition period”.
Rothschild and UBS acted as financial advisers to The Co-operative Group in this transaction, with Addleshaw Goddard and Allen & Overy acting as principal legal advisors to The Co-operative Group.
KPMG acted as financial advisors for Bestway Group on this transaction, with Hogan Lovells for Legal and JP Morgan/Nomura for Acquisition Finance.
For further information contact:
- The Co-operative Group
Russ Brady / Catherine Turner
Tel: 07880 784442 / 07834 090783
- Tulchan Communications
Susanna Voyle / Jonathan Sibun
Tel: 020 7353 4200
- Bestway Group
Tel: 020 84531234
Jonathan Glass / Craig Breheny
Tel: 020 7409 5959
Notes for editors:
* the purchase price of £620m is the enterprise value attributed to the business on a cash and debt free basis
The Co-operative Pharmacy is the third largest pharmacy business in the UK, and the largest in Wales. It has over 770 branches across the UK and over 7,000 employees. In 2013 it reported total revenues of £760 million and operating profit of £33 million.
The Co-operative Group is the UK’s largest mutual business, whose purpose is “Championing a better way to do business for you and your communities.” Owned by over eight million members, The Group operates a total of 4,500 outlets, with around 87,000 employees and has an annual turnover of £11 billion with interests across food, funerals, insurance and legal services.
Founded by Sir Anwar Pervez OBE HPk, the Bestway Group is the UK’s 7th largest family owned entity, with businesses in multiple sectors both in the UK and abroad. With this acquisition, the Group will have an annual turnover of c. £3.4 billion and a global work force of more than 32,600 people with over 11,900 people in the UK.
Its Wholesale business is the second largest operator in the UK with an annual turnover in excess of £2.4 billion and profit before tax of £53.5 million. It serves 125,000 independent retailers and caterers from 64 warehouses nationwide with over 6 million square feet of selling space. The business’ retail club business is the largest in the UK with over 4,000 members consisting of 1,113 Best one stores and 2,895 Xtra Local retailers.
Its cement manufacturing business, set up from scratch, is now the second largest in Pakistan with an annual capacity of 6 million tonnes and over 3,000 employees. It has a turnover of US$282 million and profit before tax of US$105 million. The company is also the largest exporter of cement to Afghanistan and India.
Its bank, United Bank Limited, is the second largest private bank in Pakistan with assets under management of US$10.3 billion and profit before tax of US$292 million. A workforce of 17,700 employees operate its network of 1,400 branches serving over 5 million customers. It pioneered the introduction of branchless banking with UBL Omni which currently has 16,000 agents. It has been voted Banker Magazine’s ‘Bank of the Year’ for 2 successive years.
20th June 2014
Bestway donates fans to Central Jail, Haripur, Hattar, KPK
Bestway Cement is once again in the forefront at doing good. While backing it’s other CSR initiatives like corporate philanthropy, educational support programs and socially responsible employment and manufacturing practices, Bestway again fulfills its social obligation of welfare works by donating 160 fans to Central Jail, Haripur, Hattar, KPK on Friday, June 20, 2014 in order to provide a healthier habitat to it’s prisoners. The distribution of fans was done in a ceremony at Central Jail, Haripur, Hattar attended by some senior officials of Bestway and the Deputy & Assistant Commissioner of District Haripur in the KPK.
3rd June 2014
PACRA Assigns Long-term rating of “A+” and Short-term rating of “A1” to Bestway Cement Limited
11th May 2014
Bestway Cement Limited ranked 10th out of 478 PLCs by volume of donations in Pakistan according to Pakistan Centre for Philanthropy’s (PCP) Philanthropy Survey 2012
16th April 2014
Sir Anwar Pervez honoured by the Asian business community
Sir Anwar Pervez, OBE H Pk, was the toast of the UK’s Asian business community when he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the recently held Asian Business Awards in London.
The annual event, which took place on 11th April with Education secretary Michael Gove as its chief guest, celebrated the achievements of the Asian community and the impact it has made to the UK and global economy.
Mr Gove paid tribute to the invaluable contribution to the economy and resilience of the Asian community, saying, "Today we celebrate some of the most successful Asians in the UK, many of whom started with a small idea and worked their way up the ladder to where they are today"
Sir Anwar's story is exactly that.
Sir Anwar began his career in food business in 1963 when he opened a convenience store in Earls Court, London. He ventured into the cash & carry business in 1976 with the launch of a depot in Acton. Today the wholesale business's annual turnover is £2.5bn operating from 63 depots with Best-one, its symbol retail operation, boasting over 1,000 stores.
Under Sir Anwar's guidance, the Group has diversified into milling of food staples (Map Trading); cement manufacturing (Bestway Cement), real estate management (Palmbest) and banking (UBL) employing over 25,000 people globally. He is also the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Bestway Foundation UK, the philanthropic and charitable arm of Bestway, which annually donates 2.5% of its pre-tax profits to worthy causes in both the UK and South Asia.
Sir Anwar was delighted to accept the award, "It means a great deal to receive recognition for my efforts. Like so many others, I came to the UK with very little other than a willingness to work hard, the dream of starting a business and the desire to create better life for myself and family. I relied on a few, trusted men to help me develop the business. That taught me that, in business, people are your greatest asset. The board of directors and all the staff deserve immense credit for the success of the business and the award is as much for the Bestway Group as it is for me."
25th March 2014
Bestway Cement certifies as “Corporate Supporter” of WWF-Pakistan
Bestway Cement donates towards nature conservation in Pakistan as a Corporate donor to WWF-Pakistan
28th November 2013
UBL awarded Best Pakistan Bank for second successive year
Bestway Group is proud to announce that its banking subsidiary United Bank Limited (UBL) has been awarded the prestigious Bank of The Year award for the second year running.
The awards organised by ‘The Banker’ magazine recognise excellence in banking and attracted 483 entries from around the globe.
The Banker commented, “The editorial judging committee at the Banker is delighted to report that the high standards we have come to expect was more than maintained this year. The banks awarded have truly excelled and are out performing their competitors on numerous fronts.”
UBL was singled out for particular praise as “Pakistani banks have faced a number of challenges over the past year….However UBL has been working hard to overcome these challenges and push ahead with its own strategy for the local market achieving 35% growth in non-funded incomes and significant growth in UBL Omni, its branchless proposition.”
Bestway Group Chairman Sir Anwar Pervez OBE HPk and Chief Executive, Zameer Choudrey collected the accolade on behalf of UBL. Zameer said “UBL is performing phenomenally well in Pakistan given declining interest rates and the increasing cost of deposits. Under the stewardship of CEO Atif Bokhari, the bank continues to outperform both the market and its competition and he and his staff can be very proud of their achievements”.
In October 2002, Zameer Choudrey led a Bestway Group consortium to acquire UBL. Under Zameer’s guidance in just over a decade UBL has grown to be Pakistan’s second largest private commercial bank with asset base in excess of US$9 billion. “
This year the Bank’s UK operations were rebranded with the aim to place the Bestway owned bank at the heart of community to better engage, serve and assist in local community development. Today, UBL UK offers a full range of financial products and has a branch network spread across the country.
14th October 2013
Mustehkam Cement Limited Amalgamates Merges into Bestway Cement Limited
As a response to the implementation of Sanctioned Scheme of Arrangement for Amalgamation of Mustehkam Cement Limited with and into Bestway Cement Limited on October 14, 2013 Mustehkam Cement Limited has no more remained an independent entity.
Both, Bestway Cement Limited and Mustehkam Cement Limited are the Bestway Group Companies and are interlinked to each other as parent and subsidiary since 2005, carrying the same business of manufacturing and sale of Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC).
On November 11, 2005 Bestway Cement Limited acquired Mustehkam Cement Limited and revived an almost dead cement plant by generating employment opportunities as well as massive government revenue. Since then, Mustehkam Cement Limited has been operating as an individual entity but under the umbrella and as a segment of Bestway Cement Limited.
Around the beginning of the second quarter of 2013 it was proposed that Mustehkam Cement Limited be amalgamated into Bestway Cement Limited which was approved by the Islamabad High Court in October 2013.
The main object of this amalgamation was to bring both companies under one management in order to avoid duplication of work, reduction of overheads while aiming to achieve economies of scales. Also, the majority of Directors of the representative Boards of both amalgamating companies were common. It was clearly understood that this merger would not affect the interest of the shareholders, instead would be taken better care of by, one Board.
Merger will broaden the assets base of the amalgamated company which will result in achieving operational synergies and facilitate capacity backed endeavors for meeting the growing demands of construction giants involved in mega projects.
Subsequently, operation at higher scale of production results in higher contribution margin leading to solid commercial standing to face the adverse market conditions. Proper planning of annual maintenance of the merging facilities will ensure continued dispatches round the year, hence contributing to major comfort factor for the export customers and the company will get valuable edge and will be able to compete more aggressively in the market.
Due to higher scale of production, the merged company would be able to achieve improvement in its contribution margin which will resultantly increase its risk absorption capacity and help to meet potential risks arising out of the adverse and uncertain operational and marketing environment.
20th December 2013
Sir Anwar Pervez inaugurates UBL Sports Arena and Boys Hostel at IBA Karachi
On 20th of December 2013, Sir Anwar Pervez, OBE H Pk, Chairman Bestway Group inaugurated the Institute of Business Administration (IBA) University of Karachi’s UBL Sports Arena and Boys Hostel.
The impressive inauguration ceremony was graced by the Governor State Bank of Pakistan Mr. Yasin Anwar. The prestigious event was hosted by Dr. Ishrat Husain Dean of IBA; in attendance were captains of industry; diplomats; faculty members; students and alumni of IBA.
The UBL Sports Arena was constructed over a period of two years through donations of US$ 750,000 by United Bank Limited.
Bestway Foundation Pakistan donated US$ 1 million for the Boys Hostel.
In recognition of Sir Anwar’s entrepreneurial successes and selfless philanthropic endeavours, Dr. Ishrat announced that IBA has decided to dedicate the Boys Hostel as Sir Anwar Pervez Boys Hostel.
Bestway Group Chief Executive Mr Zameer Choudrey who has been championing the Group’s corporate social responsibly initiatives said; “Bestway Group prides itself at being at the heart of the community. As the country’s leading foreign investor we have actively contributed towards the capacity enhancement of IBA, Pakistan’s premier public business school, thus facilitating the creation of an enviable alliance between academia, enterprise and philanthropy”.
Mr. Choudrey further said; “In the last two decades, Bestway has donated in excess of US$ 9 million for community empowerment through investments in schools, universities and hospitals”.
Bestway Group is the largest overseas Pakistani investor in the local economy with investments in excess of US$ 1.5 billion.
Bestway Group owned UBL is Pakistan’s 2nd largest private bank and for the 2nd year running was declared the Bank of the Year for Pakistan by UK’s Banker Magazine.
Bestway Foundation Pakistan is a charitable trust which is chaired by Zameer Choudrey and provides funding to local schools, national universities and hospitals throughout the country.
In the last three years alone UBL and Bestway Foundation Pakistan have jointly donated/pledged over US$ 1.7 million to IBA.
10th July 2013
Ramadan, Bestway distributes Ramadan Packages to the needy
Bestway distributed more than 200 Ramadan Packages comprising of basic food items to Widows and Needy individuals around Mustehkam Cement Plant , Farooquia, Hattar area during the Holy month of Ramadan. Individuals belonged to five villages namely Shadi, Bhalar Top, Nazar Abad, Gar and Bhoi.
6th-10th December 2012
Exhibition PITEX-12 was held at Ranjit Avenue, Amritsar.
Bestway Cement Limited was a delegate at PITEX-12 Exhibition in Amritsar. The company was represented by its authorised dealer Mr M P Singh Chatha. Bestway Cement is one of the largest exporter of cement to India from Pakistan.
6th December 2012
Bestway Recieves EC-Certificate of Conformity for Portland Cement from Council for Quality and Environment, Turkey
28th November 2012
UBL wins "Bank of the Year 2012 Pakistan" Award
United Bank Limited (UBL) was awarded ‘Bank of the Year 2012 Pakistan’ by the prestigious international publication ‘The Banker’ in a ceremony held at the Intercontinental Hotel, Park Lane, London, on November 28, 2012. UBL won the award for promoting industry-wide excellence in the global banking community – characteristics that The Banker advocates and rewards.
5th November 2012
Bestway Cement’s Board of Directors’ Field Study Visit to UAE
Bestway Cement Limited’s directors visited three cement plants in UAE from 3 – 5th November. The aim of this visit was to study and analyze the measures which have been adopted by the UAE companies for operations, maintenance and cleanliness with a view to improving existing measures in place at the four Bestway factories.
The team visited Ras Al Khaimah Cement Company, National Cement Company and Emirates Cement Lafarge.
Sir Anwar Pervez, Mr Asif Shah, Mr Mehmood Afzal, Mr Irshad Ameer, Mr Ijaz Malik and Mr Abdus Sattar at the National Cement Company
4th November 2012
Katas Raj Restored
Due to its historical background particularly being the sacred place for Hindus, the water shortage problem in the water pond of “Katas Raj” was recently highlighted in the press and electronic media by different quarters. The pond had dried up mainly due to drought and huge quantities of silt and debris which had blocked the outlets of the springs. The Government of Punjab took serious notice of this and made concerted efforts to restore the pond.
Besides efforts made by the District Government, Bestway Cement Limited also played a vital role in the restoration whereby debris and garbage was removed with the help of heavy equipment and manpower. Consequently, faces of many springs were opened and the water level in the pond was restored to its normal level.
Rehabilitation Work undertaken by BCL Chakwal at Katas Raj in Progress
Katas Raj after its restoration
29th September 2012
BCL's profit after tax increases to Rs 3.06 billion
Bestway Cement Limited announced it results for the year ended 30 June 2012. Turnover for the year increased by 33% to Rs 17.8 billion. This was due to increase in domestic demand and improvement in the selling price of cement.
Gross profit nearly doubled to Rs 5.7 billion because of higher turnover and lower cost of production on the back of declining coal prices and efficient utilisation of the waste heat recovery power plant. Profit after tax increased to Rs 3.1 billion as compared to Rs 0.2 billion for the year ended June 2011.
Administration Building at BCL Chakwal
During the year, the parent company injected extra equity in BCL. The total equity injection of Rs 3.8 billion through a rights issue allowed the company to reduce its debt and financial charges.
The board of directors of the company in its meeting held in Islamabad declared that the company's earning per share has increased to Rs 5.29 in the period under review against Rs 0.57 in the same period last year.
Bestway Cement Limited is the 2nd largest cement producer in Pakistan. It continues to maintain its position as the largest exporter of cement to Afghanistan and India. The company has also acquired certification from the South African Bureau of Standardisation.
5th June 2012
World Environment Day celebrated at Bestway Cement Chakwal
The 40th World Environment Day 2012 was celebrated in Pakistan and across the globe with the theme ‘Green Economy: Does it include you?’ to raise global awareness of the need to take positive environmental action.
Green Economy is an economy which is low carbon, resource efficient and socially inclusive. Different government departments and companies held seminars to commemorate the day with great enthusiasm and aimed to bring about drastic developmental changes for safe and protected environment in the country. Bestway Cement Limited conducted a similar seminar at the District Council Hall in Chakwal.
Mr Irshad Ameer distributing Merit Certificates among Participants of the Essay Competition on Environment on eve of Seminar on Environment Day
16th April 2012
First truck to cross the border to India carries Bestway’s cement
Bestway Cement Limited has become the first company to export cement to India via trucks. Bestway Cement Limited is the largest exporter of cement to India and historically, these exports were done through the Wagah border on trains. With this latest development, Bestway cement has now become the first Pakistani exporter of cement to India on trucks.
Bestway Cement truck crossing the Wagah border to India
3rd April 2012
Bestway Group announces 2011 results; Sales up 11% as profit crossed £100 million
The Bestway Group has announced the financial results for the year ended 30 June 2011. The Group’s annual turnover increased by 11.1% to £2.34 billion from £2.10 billion in 2010. Profit before tax for the year ended 30 June 2011 crossed the £100 million mark and was up 65.3% to £119.1 million as compared to £72.0 million in 2010. All group businesses were profitable.
Mr Zameer Choudrey, the Group chief executive said, “The past twelve months have been very exciting for the Group and despite the difficult business conditions we have maintained our focus on the strategic goals by increasing turnover and market share of our businesses both in the UK and in Pakistan”.
During the period under review Bestway Cement Limited's despatches declined by 15.8% to 4,163,183 tonnes from 4,944,440 tonnes in the corresponding period last year. This decrease was due to a weak domestic market on the back of the severe flooding in first quarter of the year under review. Despite this Bestway maintained its position as the second largest cement producer in Pakistan.
Export sales decreased by 13.4% to 859,557 tonnes in 2011 as compared to 992,296 tonnes in 2010. Overall exports suffered due to a slow down in construction activity in the Middle East. However, exports to Afghanistan and India increased by 8.1% and the company was therefore able to maintain its position as the largest Pakistani exporter of cement to these areas.
Turnover net of excise duty, rebates and discounts to customers amounted to £124.5million compared to £113.7 million for 2010, which is an increase of 9.5%. Despite a decrease of 15.8% in sales volumes, the turnover increased due to improvement in selling price of cement. Better profit margins turned the loss before tax of £14.1 million in 2010 to a profit before tax of £1.96 million for the year to 30 June 2011.
The WHRPP has helped reduce the cost of production for the Chakwal plants. The WHRPP has been registered with the UN Framework Convention of Climate Change (UNFCCC) under the Clean Development Mechanism, making it the first project in the Pakistani cement industry.
1st March 2012
Bestway Cement posts Rs 724.99 million profit after tax
Bestway Cement Limited has posted Rs 724.99 million as profit after tax in the half year period ended 31 December 2011 as compared to after tax loss of Rs 477.05 million in the corresponding period in 2010. The board of directors of the company declared that the company's earning per share stood at Rs 1.25 in the period under review against per share loss of Rs 1.46 in the same period last year.
According to the financial results sent to Karachi Stock Exchange, the company's net turnover increased to Rs 7.93 billion in the half year period in 2011 against Rs 5.68 billion in the same period in 2010. The cost of sales increased to Rs 5.68 billion against Rs 4.83 billion in the corresponding period last year.
22nd December 2011
Bestway Cement Acquires SABS
Bestway Cement Limited has acquired certification from the South African Bureau of Standardisation (SABS). This will allow BCL to export its cement to South Africa. The company is now actively pursuing export opportunities to South Africa and its neighbouring countries.
29th July 2011
Bestway Cement Limited wins Annual Environment Excellence Award
Bestway Cement Limited has won the 8th Annual Environment Excellence Award 2011 for being a socially responsible and environment-friendly organization. The award is organised by the National Forum for Environment and Health (NFEH) in collaboration with the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) with the support of the Ministry of Environment. The award is aimed at recognising organisations that promote environmental stewardship, build sustainable communities and adopt internal environmental health and safety practices.
Bestway’s cement plants are environmentally friendly and the company pursues protection of environment by ensuring that its plants continue to company with established environmental standards.
Mr Khalid Siraj Subhani presenting the Environment Excellence Award to Mr Irshad Ali Ameer
15th July 2011
Bestway Cement Chakwal Awarded Certificate for ISO 9000
Bestway Cement Chakwal has been awarded the ISO 9000 quality certificate. The company is driven by efficiency and quality consciousness and to ensure this, some of the best quality control equipment is in use at the plants. Bestway’s laboratories are equipped with state of the art technology including X-ray Fluorescent Analyser and Diffractometer. By virtue of this equipment, Bestway Cement has been able to consistently produce better quality cement than is currently available in the country. The certificate below is a testament to this.
6th April 2011
Bestway injects Rs1.25 billion into Mustehkam Cement
Bestway Cement has invested Rs 1.25 billion into the company’s subsidiary, Mustehkam Cement Limited through purchase of right shares. An extraordinary general meeting of Bestway Cement approved the move to subscribe to the shares at a price of Rs 15 per share, compared with a six-month average price of Rs 13.07 per share.
After the latest capital injection, Bestway Group’s stake in Mustehkam Cement stands at 95.03% of the total paid-up capital. The group purchased Mustehkam Cement in September 2005 after a successful bid of $70 million for an 85.29% stake. The plant had been dormant since 1999; however it became operational a month after the deal in November 2005. It is located in Haripur, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, and has an installed capacity of 0.6 million tons per annum. The capital inflow is part of a series of measures being carried out since the acquisition of the plant to improve efficiency and productivity.
19th January 2011
Bestway Opens Rs 2.5 billion Waste Heat Recovery Plant
Bestway Cement Limited recently inaugurated its state of the art 15 MW Waste Heat Recovery Power Plant located at its Chakwal site. Speaking at a simple ceremony held to mark the occasion, the Group Chief Executive Mr. Zameer Choudrey remarked that this was yet another milestone in a long series of achievements by Bestway since its entry in Pakistan
An investment of more than Rs 2.5 billion to set up the Waste Heat Recovery Power Plant in difficult economic times demonstrated Bestway’s unwavering commitment towards economic development of Pakistan while keeping environment protection its top priority.
Bestway’s WHRPP is the 1st of its kind in the cement industry of Pakistan. As Waste Heat Recovery Power Generation consumes no fuel, there is no greenhouse gas emission in the process. The Plant has enabled Bestway to significantly reduce its reliance on external source of power. Bestway’s WHRPP conforms to the CDM (Clean Development Mechanism) and has been successfully registered with UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change).
Bestway’s 15 MW Waste Heat Recovery Power Plant turbine
1st October 2010
Public welfare dispensary inaugurated at Chakwal plant site
Bestway always takes its social responsibility seriously especially towards the local community. A public welfare dispensary at the Chakwal plant site was inaugurated on 1st October in the presence of the notable locals. A qualified medical officer supported by the factory nursing staff will be available during evening hours to provide medical support to locals. It is expected that up to a 1,000 people a month will be able to benefit from this basic health unit.
Local child being seen by a doctor, at the public welfare dispensary at the Chakwal plant site
Bestway Looks After Its Employees - Recreational Facilities available for staff
For Bestway Cement Limited, its employees are one of its biggest assets. Therefore, the company likes to provide recreational facilities for its staff members. Recently, the company held its annual badminton tournament at the Sports Complex on the Chakwal site. The sports complex is equipped with indoor game facilities. The complex also includes a fully functional gym and a swimming pool. A match during Annual Badminton tournament held at Sports Complex at Bestway Cement Chakwal works is underway.
New sports hall open on the Chakwal site
2nd August 2010
Bestway Cement Limited wins 7th Annual Environment Excellence Award
Bestway Cement Limited has won the Annual Environment Excellence Award for 2010 for being a socially responsible and environment-friendly organization. The award was presented by the Federal Minister for Environment, Mr Hameedullah Jan Afridi to Mr Irshad Ameer GM Works Chakwal in a ceremony in Karachi.
11th January 2010
Bestway Group’s turnover exceeds £2 billion
The Bestway Group has announced the financial results for the year ended 30 June 2009. The Group’s annual turnover increased by 8.6% to £2.05 billion from £1.89 billion in 2008. Profit before tax for the year ended 30 June 2009 was £80.6 million as compared to £63.9 million in 2008, an increase of 26.1%.
Mr Zameer Choudrey, said when announcing the results, “During the year under review, our businesses showed robust performance, both in the UK and Pakistan with all Group businesses continuing to enhance their respective market shares during the year. We are very proud to have broken the £2 billion barrier for the first time.”
Total fixed asset additions in Pakistan for the year were £53.0 million of which investments of £33.8 million were made on the upgrade of Mustehkam Cement Limited and £19.2 million was spent on setting up the Waste Heat Recovery Power Plant at Chakwal. This was partly financed by internally generated cashflows of £16.2 million and partly by bank borrowings of £36.8 million.
Mr Choudrey added, “All of these investments are a testimony of the Bestway Group’s long term commitment to all of its businesses and proves how we are continuing to invest for the future.”
12th September 2009
Mustehkam Cement Production Capacity Upgraded
Work on upgrading Mustehkam Cement Limited’s production capacity from 1,000 tonnes to 3,300 tonnes of clinker per day has been completed at a cost of £33.8 million. The new line commenced trial production today. This should result in significantly lower consumption of fuel and power and will make the plant more efficient. The main supplier for the pyro process equipment is FLSmidth. The raw mills have been supplied by Loesche and the motors, operation and control units and instrumentation has been supplied by Siemens.
Mustehkam Cement Limited was acquired by Bestway Cement in 2005 and started production in December 2005, one month after acquisition.
19th August 2009
Bestway Cement wins exporter of the year award for 2009
In a recent awards ceremony organised by the Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce, Bestway Cement Limited received an award for being the largest exporter to Afghanistan. Bestway is already firmly established as one of the leading brands in Afghanistan and exported US$ 35 million worth of cement to Afghanistan.
Mr Shahid Sohail Khan receiving the award from Mian Shahbaz Sharif
9th April 2009
Bestway Cement Receives Certification from SLSI
The Srilankan Standard Institution has granted Bestway Cement Chakwal to use the SLS certification mark on its cement bags. This means that Bestway Cement can now export its cements to Srilanka.
3rd-07th December 2008
Punjab International Trade Expo 2008, Amritsar
Bestway Cement Limited was a delegate at the Punjab International Trade Expo 2008 in Amritsar. The company was represented by its authorised dealer Mr M P Singh Chatha. Bestway’s stall was visited by Mr Sukhbir Singh, President of Shromani Akali Dal; Mr S Prakash Singh, son of CM Punjab ad other dignitaries. Bestway Cement is one of the largest exporter of cement to India from Pakistan.
19th August 2008
Bestway Cement Limited Wins the Exporter of the Year Award 2008
Bestway Cement Limited was awarded the exporter of the year award 2008 for being the largest exporter of cement to Afghanistan. During the year overall exports from Pakistan were 7.71 million and exports to Afghanistan were 2.81 million. BCL exported 387,000 tonnes of cement to Afghanistan which was 14% of total exports.
BCL’s achievements were awarded by The Sarhad Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
Mr Shahid Sohail Khan receiving the award from Mr. Awais Ahmed Ghani (Governor KPK)
1st August 2008
Bestway Cement Limited is awarded Merit Certificate and Exports Award
Bestway Cement Limited was awarded the exporter of the year award 2008 for being the largest exporter of cement to Afghanistan. Mr Shahid Sohail collected the award from Mian Shahbaz Sharif, Chief Minister of Punjab.
Mr Shahid Sohail Khan receiving the Merit Certificate and Exports Award from Mr.Mian Shahbaz Sharif
6th June 2008
Bestway Cement Limited’s second line at Chakwal commences operations
The kiln at Bestway Cement’s second plant at its Chakwal site was lighted today. The line has a capacity of 5,700 tonnes per day and has been completed in a record time of 25 months at a cost of Rs 7 billion.
Bestway continues to be among the top brands both in the domestic market and in Afghanistan where it is an established best brand. With the successful completion of Line II, Bestway Cement has now become the second largest cement producer in the country.
Bestway Cement Chakwal Line II
17th October 2007
Bestway Goes to India.
Zameer Choudrey, Group CEO announced today that Bestway Cement Limited has been granted a licence by Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) which will enable the company to export cement to India. Bestway is one of the few foreign cement manufacturers who have been granted this licence.
This opens up new markets for Bestway and gives us an opportunity to supply cement to one of the world’s largest economies. Given the unprecedented demand of cement in India, the company has already been approached by numerous importers.
Education is very important to Bestway Group. Earlier this year, Bestway Cement committed in excess of US$ 400,000 towards the establishment of the Chakwal Campus of University of Engineering and Technology, Taxila which will be paid over a two year period in 2008 and 2009.
The company is providing financial assistance to the District Government to reconstruct Choa Saiden By-pass road into a dual carriageway for faster communications. The group has already established many educational and health facilities for the people of the surrounding areas to help improve their living standard.
University Of Engineering and Technology, Taxila’s Chakwal Campus
8th September 2007
Bestway Cement Limited Wins the Export Trade Trophy
Bestway Cement Limited was awarded the 20th Export Trade Trophy for exports to Afghanistan.
Bestway views itself as an important strategic component in the development of the South Asian and Middle Eastern regions. Bestway has remained the single largest exporter of cement to Afghanistan for past many years; hence it continues to play an important role in the rebuilding and development of that country.
Since 2007, Bestway has been regularly exporting cement to India both via land and sea routes. Within a very short span Bestway has become one of the largest exporters of Cement to India also. The Company views India as an important market and is keen to explore all possibilities of increasing the presence of its product there.
Sri Lanka, Africa, Middle East and Central Asia are the other markets which the Company has successfully been able to tap into.
20th Export Trade Trophy, awarded to Bestway Cement Limited for large exports
31st July 2006
President of Pakistan Attends the Inauguration Ceremony of Bestway Cement Chakwal-1 and Laying Foundation Stone of Line II
Today a grand ceremony was held at Bestway Cement Limited Chakwal which was attended by General Pervez Musharraf, President of Pakistan. General Musharraf inaugurated Line I and laid the foundation stone for the Line II. The project was finished within 23 months with high quality.
The facility involves investment of US$ 160 million and has a capacity to produce 6,000 tonnes of cement per day. The President described foreign investment and privatization as the key to the country’s sustainable economic growth. With an additional investment of US$ 235 million, the Group is also entering the power sector and will soon establish three power plants with a total generation capacity of 264 megawatts at three locations.
President Pervez Musharraf along with Sir Anwar Pervez OBE HPk and Zameer Choudrey at the Inauguration of Bestway Cement Chakwal Line I.
13th June 2006
Chakwal Line I commences commercial production in record time
13th June 2006 Chakwal Line I commences commercial production in record time
Bestway Cement Limited’s new state of the art plant in Chakwal commenced production today. The plant has been built at a cost of Rs 7 billion and has been completed in 19 months which is a record in the cement industry.
A brief but impressive ceremony was held at the plant, which was attended by people of the area and local notables. Representatives of foreign suppliers of the plant as well as the chief executive of the company had specially flown in for the occasion.
To mark the commencement of operations, the initial production of cement was despatched in the presence of these notables. Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Executive of the Company, Mr. Zameer Choudrey stated that the project has been completed in a record time of 19 months. He further opined that this added capacity should help alleviate the shortage of cement and stabilise prices in the country. The project will also provide much needed employment to more than 5,000 people directly and indirectly.
It may be recalled that the Prime Minister of Pakistan laid the corner stone of this project on 9th April last year. Bestway Cement has already two existing plants operating in Hattar and Farooquia.
Bestway Cement’s state-of-the-art plant in Chakwal.
The addition of this plant will take their daily production to 12,000 tonnes per day. Bestway has been producing Ordinary Portland Cement of the highest quality - far exceeding the Pakistani, British as well as American standards. For this reason, it is a preferred Brand in the export market also. It was awarded Best Export Trophy by the Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce for the last three consecutive years.
For its Chakwal project, raw mill also coal mill have been supplied by Loesche, electrical fans, electric motors and instrumentation has been provided by ABB and Siemens. This is the largest and single kiln cement plant in Pakistan to date.
The cement plant is built according to the most modern world standards and "every sack of our cement will be checked under a strict computerized quality control," Mr. Zameer Choudrey said. It should also be noted that the plant has been constructed keeping in mind all the environmental concerns of the Environment Protection Authority, Government of Pakistan.
Many international environment agencies were also consulted for the construction of this project. Industry specialists term this expansion as a "welcoming sign" for the investment and industrial policies of the Government of Pakistan.” The stability of the cement price will be a bonus for the consumer," a market observer said.
Mr Mehmood Afzal, GM Project being honoured in the traditional manner
23rd June 2006
Bestway Donates to Pakistan Government’s Relief Effort
Bestway Group donated a total of £1 million towards the Pakistan Government’s relief efforts towards the rehabilitation of the earthquake victims. The group’s latest donation was at its Annual Charity Race Day held at the Royal Ascot Race Course, UK. Sir Anwar Pervez OBE HPk presented a cheque of £100,000 on behalf of Bestway Foundation to the Pakistani High Commissioner in London, Dr. Maleeha Lodhi.
Sir Anwar Pervez OBE HPk, presenting a cheque to the Pakistani High Commissioner in London, Dr. Maleeha Lodhi.on behalf of Bestway Foundation.
2nd March 2006
Bestway to revive Mustehkam Cement
Bestway Cement has planned to start a project in Chakwal, having a capacity of 6,000 tones per day and efforts are underway to revive Mustehkam Cement.
The company said, in a notice, to the Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) that the work of the new plant of 6,000 tons per day cement capacity in Chakwal continues at brisk pace.
The civil work is nearing completion and most of the equipment has arrived at the site. The erection of mechanical and electrical equipment has also commenced. The management anticipates that the project would be completed by end of the current fiscal year.
Regarding Mustehkam Cement, the company said that after full and final payment to the Privatisation Commission, the management of Mustehkam was transferred to Bestway on November 16, 2005. Right from the outset management has made all efforts to revive Mustehkam plant which had remained shut since January 1999.
The company was successful in restarting the 1,000 tons per day dry process line during December 2005 and commercial production commenced just before the end of the same month. Efforts are underway to ensure smooth operation of that line and earliest resumption of the two semi-dry process lines of 550 tons per day each.
About future outlook, the company said that the government's continued emphasis on infrastructure development, including the recent announcement of dams, reservoirs, huge construction requirement as a result of devastating earthquake in the north of the country, adequate availability of water during the second half and acute shortage of housing would continue to derive the domestic market.
While there may be some pressure on the prices as a result of more capacity coming online, robust demand for cement should ensure future price stability.
The profit of the Bestway Cement Ltd registered an impressive increase of 62 percent in the six months ended December 31, 2005 to Rs 659 million compared with Rs 407 million for the same period a year ago.
1st February 2006
Sir Anwar Pervez meets Prime Minister Mr Shaukat Aziz
Sir Anwar Pervez, Chairman Bestway Cement Limited called on Prime Minister Mr Shaukat Aziz at the PM House. Sir Anwar praised the policies of the government which provided a level playing field to both local and foreign investors.
The Prime Minister hailed Bestway Group’s decision to direct their foreign investments to Pakistan. Noting the services and honour of Sir Anwar Pervez, he said that Sir Pervez had set an example worth following for his compatriots living abroad. He also said that overseas Pakistanis, particularly those from UK, should explore the possibility of investing in Pakistan in view of its low cost of production and availability of skilled labour.
Bestway-led Mustehkam Cement Limited put into operation in record one-month time
Bestway Cement Limited, after getting control of the recently offloaded Mustehkam Cement Ltd (MCL), has successfully put this plant into operation within a record period of one month against the three-month target for this purpose.
MCL was privatized to Bestway Cement in the mid November last year against its highest bid of Rs.3.2 billion (Rs. 305 per share) after its remaining closed for over size years.
However, the highly experienced and dedicated staff of the Bestway Cement Ltd working round the clock itself achieved a seemingly impossible goal to start this plant in a record time of one month and the first consignment of the product left the factory premised on December 30, 2005, according to a press release.
Mustehkam Cement Limited after it was privatized to Bestway Cement
Revival of this almost dead cement plant has generated employment opportunities to over 2600 workers including most of the old workers and now the MCL is generating massive government revenue (Excise Duty & GST) to the tune of Rs 15 lakh per day. Out of three kilns (two semi process of 550 TPD capacity each and one dry process of 1000 TPD capacity), the dry process kiln was put in operation on December 10 after extensive repairs and refurbishment registering the full installed capacity (1000 TPD).
Not compromising on the quality, the management is highly conscious that the cement being produced at the plant meets the highest standards of quality before its supply to open market. For this purpose, the chemical laboratory of Bestway’s Hattar plant, equipped with most sophisticated testing instruments, is exercising control on the quality of cement produced at MCL, it said.
Rehabilitation as well as up-gradation of one of the two semi-wet process units lying inoperative for the last ten years is being focused which will further improve overall performance of the unit.
Regular Consultation Meetings
Regular consultation among the plant operation staff, marketing department and cement dealers has made Bestway Cement among the top brands both in the domestic market and international markets. Bestway has been able to maintain its status as a market leader due to its superior quality, effective marketing strategy, customer care and sheer dedication of its marketing team and dealers.
The company holds regular consultation meetings with its dealers. .
Mr. Zameer Choudrey (CEO), conducting a meeting at Bestway Cement Chakwal.
Health & Safety
Health & safety of employees is an essential component of Bestway’s operations. Initiatives including safety meetings, incident reporting, safety audits, good housekeeping and hygiene controls are actively pursued and instil safe behaviour in all personnel.
Regular training sessions and workshops are also conducted to update the staff about safety measures.
HSE Officer Mr. M. Shahid is conducting a training session at Chakwal Plant.
Training & Development
Bestway places great importance on the training, development and education of its employees. In order to keep its workforce abreast with best operational techniques and practices, technical and general managerial training courses are organised for various departments and categories of personnel. The company actively encourages and assists its employees in pursuit of professional development and career enhancement.
As part of its commitment to skills development and grooming of workforce, Bestway employs freshly qualified graduates, professionals and even unskilled human resource. There are carefully planned training programmes in place to ensure that these personnel are equipped with the necessary knowledge, hands on experience and confidence to become a skilled and productive team member. At any given time Bestway has nearly 150 trainees and apprentices undergoing training in such programmes.
Mrs. Tahira Shahid conducting training on Stress Management at Bestway Cement Chakwal.
Bestway Cement Moves into New Head Office
Bestway Cement Limited has moved into its own head office at Bestway Building. This building was acquired in April 2005 at a cost of Rs 560 million.
Bestway Head Office Building, Islamabad
19th November 2005
Bestway Cement wins exporter of the year award
Bestway Cement has won the exporter of the year award. For the year ended June 2005, total industry exports to Afghanistan were 1.41 million tonnes. Bestway Cement exported 281,952 tonnes to Afghanistan thus becoming the lead exporter with 18.05% market share.
Mr Shahid Sohail Khan receiving the Merit Certificate from Mr Sheikh Rashid.
11th November 2005
Bestway offers highest bid for Mustehkam Cement Limited
Bestway Cement Limited offered the highest bid of Rs 305 per share for 85.29% share in Mustehkam Cement Limited at a total cost of Rs 3.2 billion. Maple Leaf Group was the second highest bidder at Rs 300 per share.
MCL is a public limited company listed on the stock exchange. The original unit commenced production in 1966 and the new unit started commercial production in 1981. The plant is located in Hattar and has annual capacity of 630,000 tonnes.
At a ceremony held at the Privatisation Commission, a share purchase agreement was signed by Mr Tahsin Khan, Secretary Privatisation Commission and Mr Zameer Choudrey, CEO Bestway Cement Limited.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Choudrey appreciated the government's privatisation programme and called it very transparent. He added that Bestway Group was bringing huge investment in Pakistan's different sectors and cement was one of them. He said the Bestway Cement's units were playing their role in meeting the cement need of the housing and construction sectors and MCL ultimately adds to its cement production.
Mr Tahsin Khan and Mr Zameer Choudrey at the signing ceremony
9th April 2005
Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz lays the foundation stone of the Chakwal plant.
Prime Minister Mr. Shaukat Aziz laid the foundation stone of Bestway Group’s 1.8 million tonne capacity cement plant in Chakwal District. The Governor & Chief Minister Punjab; Federal Ministers for Industries, Privatization and Investment; foreign dignitaries including the British High Commissioner; District Nazim Chakwal and other local notables attended the ceremony.
While addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister paid rich tribute to Sir Anwar Pervez OBE HPk, Chairman Bestway Group for his contribution to the industrial development of Pakistan and aptly described him as the son of the soil.
The Prime Minister said that Pakistan could become a leading exporter of cement to the regional countries. He added that the reconstruction work in Afghanistan and increased economic activities in Pakistan would create huge demand for cement within the country and in the neighbouring states. Terming the event as “historic” and a “red-letter day”, he said “we are embarking on the journey to progress, prosperity and development that will take us to a new Pakistan”.
Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz with Sir Anwar Pervez OBE HPk and Mr. Zameer Choudrey (CEO) at the ceremony.
Mr Zameer Choudrey, CEO Bestway Cement Limited highlighted Bestway Group’s global achievements that had made it UK’s second largest cash & carry operator; the owner of Pakistan’s third largest bank; fourth largest domestic cement producer and largest exporter of cement to Afghanistan.
Mr. Choudrey noted with satisfaction that today Bestway Group has the singular honour of being the largest overseas Pakistani investor in the local economy with investments in excess of US $ 500 million which is testament of Sir Anwar’s love for his country and its people.
Highlighting Bestway’s impressive cement manufacturing performance, Mr Choudrey stated that although the cement plant in Hattar, NWFP was commissioned in 1998, it had achieved 100% capacity utilization during the last financial year 2003-2004 and 123% in the 9 months of current financial year. Bestway Cement Hattar has one of the best environmental track records and is considered one of the most efficient plants operating in the country.
He said that given the importance placed by the President and the Prime Minister on infrastructure development, Bestway Group had decided to double its cement manufacturing capacity by setting up a US$140 million state of the art cement plant in Chakwal. Once commissioned the plant would provide employment to 600 people and provide indirect employment opportunities to over 2,500 people – thus helping to bring to reality the Prime Minister’s vision of making Chakwal a symbol of economic development and prosperity for the whole country to emulate.
Mr. Choudrey also spoke about the charitable activities of Bestway Group under the umbrella of Bestway Foundation. He said while playing our role in building the country’s industrial infrastructure, Sir Anwar has directed Bestway Foundation to play an active role in enhancing Pakistan’s human capital. With the announcement of the Chakwal plant, Bestway Foundation UK donated US$ 1 million to Bestway Foundation Pakistan to be spent on village schools and hospitals. This is in addition to the scholarships, grants and financial assistance provided to deserving students and widows on an annual basis.
Lastly, Mr Choudrey acknowledged the support of the Government of Pakistan, Governor and Chief Minister of Punjab, Minister of Industries, the District Nazim and all concerned departments of the Provincial Government.
3rd March 2005
Bestway welcomes proposals to introduce Pakistani products in Britain
Bestway Group hosted a reception in honour of the visiting Pakistani parliamentary delegation at its head office in London.
The reception was attended by members of the delegation, Mr Anjum Bashir, Commercial Counsellor Pakistan High Commission and representatives from print and electronic media. Mr Zameer Choudrey informed the guests that Bestway is the largest importer of Pakistani basmati rice in Britain. He said that Bestway would welcome every suggestion aimed to promote and flourish the Pakistani products in the UK and is ready to extend every possible facility to achieve the task.
Zameer Choudrey addressing the reception hosted in honour of visiting Pak parliamentary delegation. Also pictured are Anjum Bashir, Sheikh Younus and Dawood Pervez.
Bestway Cement Wins Exporter of the Year Award
Bestway Cement has won the exporter of the year award. For the year ended June 2004, total industry exports to Afghanistan were 1.12 million tonnes. Bestway Cement exported nearly 250,000 tonnes to Afghanistan thus becoming the lead exporter with 22.23% market share.
Mr Shahid Sohail Khan, GM Marketing collected the merit certificate on the occasion.
Mr Shahid Sohail Khan receiving the Merit Certificate from Mr Mushtaq Cheema, Federal Minister for Textile & Industry.
20th December 2004
Bestway Cement Limited signs term finance deal
A ceremony was held in Karachi to celebrate the signing of term financing for Rs 4.6 billion for Bestway Cement Limited’s 6,000 tonnes per day cement plant in Chakwal. The financing has been arranged by Habib Bank and Muslim Commercial Bank through a syndicate.
Bestway Cement Limited was represented by its Chairman, Sir Anwar Pervez and CEO, Mr Zameer Choudrey. The syndicate was represented by President Habib Bank, Mr Zakir Mehmood; President Muslim Commercial Bank, Mr Aftab Manzoor; President Allied Bank of Pakistan, Mr Khalid Sherwani; and Country Manager Standard Chartered Bank, Mr Badar Kazmi.
Speaking on the occasion, Zameer Choudrey said that “after the successful operation of the cement unit in NWFP over the last six years, Bestway Cement is setting up another state of the art cement plant to cater for the growing cement demand both in the domestic and export markets in the region”.
The new plant is to be located on a green field site in Tehsil Choa Saiden Shah District Chakwal, Punjab. The equipment and machinery is based on modern environmentally friendly technology. Contracts for the procurement of machinery from USA, Western Europe and China have already been signed. Civil works are being executed by competent local contractors..
Bestway was one of the only two producers in the country to have achieved 100% capacity utilisation during the year ended June 2004 while the industry operated at an average of 81%.
Sir Anwar Pervez, Zameer Choudrey, Zakir Mehmood, Khalid Sherwani, Badar Kazmi and Aftab Manzoor
28th February 2003
Plant Conversion to Coal
Bestway Cement has completed the full conversion of its Hattar plant to coal within a record time of 10 months and at a total cost of US$ 10 million. The machinery for coal conversion was procured from IPPR Engineering of China while some of the fabrication and erection work was done locally. The whole project was supervised by a highly skilful team of Chinese engineers alongside the Company’s own engineers. Bestway has also set up its own coal testing and analysis laboratory, which is equipped with the most up-to-date equipment to ensure that only quality coal is used in the process to prevent undesired operational and environmental effects. Conversion to natural gas in 2001 and then to coal has significantly reduced the energy cost component. The timely and strategic decision to move fuel sources has given Bestway Cement a cutting edge in enhancing and maintaining its market share and being the lead exporter to Afghanistan.
The Hattar plant now has the operational flexibility to utilise all three major fuels, namely, furnace oil, Natural gas and coal
9th April 2001
Bestway Cement Listed on Karachi Stock Exchange
Bestway Cement Limited was formally listed on the Karachi Stock Exchange today. The market lot of the company will be 500 shares of Rs 10 each.
Bestway Cement continues to play a key role in the local economy, providing direct employment to over 600 people with a further 1,500 jobs being created in the transportation of cement from the plant. Due to its prudent policies and professional management Bestway has been one of the most profitable entities in the industry since it commenced commercial operations in 1998 making substantial contributions to the public exchequer through direct and indirect taxes.
22nd November 2000
Plant converted to operate on natural gas
Fuel and power constitute more than 65% of the cost of manufacturing cement. Prior to 2001, BCL’s Hattar plant was using furnace oil as fuel. In anticipation of a further hike in petroleum prices, the management decided to modify the plant to operate on natural gas. This decision is the first step in restoring cost efficient production.
Erection Work at Customer Monitoring Station for Natural Gas
23rd October 1998
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif inaugurates Bestway Cement Hattar
Prime Minister Mohammad Nawaz Sharif inaugurated Bestway Cement Limited’s plant in Hattar today. The plant has a daily production capacity of 3,300 tonnes.
The Prime Minister congratulated Bestway Group for investing in this project, the largest foreign investment in the North West Frontier Province. He also said that the commissioning of the cement plant will contribute a great deal to the nation’s economic strength and help improve the infrastructure which is vital for overall development in the country. He complimented Bestway on completing the project and commencing production in record time.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at the inauguration ceremony for Bestway Cement Hattar, along with Sir Anwar Pervez OBE HPk and Mr Zameer Choudrey
18th April 1998
Kiln fired at Bestway Hattar
Bestway Cement Limited’s first cement plant in Hattar has been completed in a record time of 27 months as the kiln was fired yesterday.
Civil works commenced in January 1996. The plant is expected to start commercial production by next month. The plant is based on the dry process technology which is the most energy efficient cement production process. The cement produced by this plant will conform to British Standard BS12-91 and therefore will be a superior product to those already available in the market.
The project has been planned on 60% equity and 40% debt.
Mr Sarwar Malik, GM Works lighting the kiln
Work commences on Bestway’s first cement plant
Civil work has commenced on Bestway Group’s first cement plant in the underdeveloped area of Hattar, Haripur in North West Frontier Province at an initial investment of US$ 120 million. The cement plant at Hattar is the Group’s first major industrial enterprise in Pakistan, and the Group wants it to be in production during Pakistan’s Golden Jubilee year.
The contract for the supply of the main plant was signed by Mitsubishi Corporation of Japan in June 1995. Major equipment such as crushers are being supplied by FAM of Germany, cement mill by Fuller of USA and instrumentation by Siemens of Germany. The plant will be based on dry process technology.
The source for raw material supply, limestone and gypsum is located a kilometre away from the plant site. The plant will have international pollution control standards and is expected to be completed in record time.
When in full production, the plant is estimated to produce 1 million tons of cement a year. It will employ 400 workers and cement sale will provide employment to many more in retail outlets.