PACRA Upgrades Entity Ratings of Welcon Chemicals (Pvt.) Limited
Welcon Chemicals (Pvt.) Limited (herein referred to as 'Welcon' or 'the company') operates in three segments, namely: i) pesticides ii) seeds and iii) fertilizer, through its dealer and distribution network. With time, it has expanded its operations by entering into different businesses in the agriculture industry and achieving operational efficiency. The company is part of one of the pioneer groups of the industry. After incorporation in 1995, the company has been able to cement its position as a major market player in the sector. Welcon has reported adequate turnover, with ample contribution of each segment. That being said, pesticide remains the predominant segment, in terms of revenue. Profitability of the company, though, is inferior to the other prominent market participants. The company's plant is located at Jhanian, near the company’s home market (Multan), which has a positive impact on the cost structure. To enhance foot print in the market, the group’s R&D performs research and tests frequently. The customers are engaged by arranging gatherings in far flung areas, to address the farmers' concerns. The company meets its working capital requirements through a mix of internal cashflows and short term borrowings. However, the financial risk remains under control on account of low long term finance and adequate coverages. Supply mechanism of raw material, predominantly from China, was under pressure, in the wake of the global pandemic Covid-19. Subsequent to the ease in lockdown restrictions, such constraints have subsided. The ratings take comfort from the sponsor strength, with AllahDin Group having interests in various segments of the agriculture industry, spanning more than 2 decades. Having a diversified product mix bodes well for the company and the group, in the wake of an ever-changing landscape in the industry. The ratings also take into account the superior quality of the production process and notable production capacity of the company. Going forward, the improvement in bottom-line and cash flows, standardization in governance structure and financial transparency is vital.
The ratings are dependent on improvement in business and financial profile of the company. Any deterioration to topline, margins or cash flows remain critical to the ratings. The company's sustained business performance in the currently stretched economic scenario, amid Covid-19 and locust swarms, remains vital to the ratings.
Welcon, a private limited company, was incorporated in the year 1994. It is the pioneer company of the AllahDin Group. There has been a recent shift in the ownership structure of the company. The shareholding of the founding generation comprising Ch. Ifitikhar Nazir, the Group Chairman and CEO, and his brother Mr. Atta ur Rehman has been transferred to their respective sons, while Mr. Zia ur Rehman has retained his ownership in the company. Welcon is now majorly owned by Mr. Zain Iftikhar (66.4%), followed by Mr. Zia ur Rehman (26.5%) and Mr. Masood Ur Rehman (3.9%). Lastly, Mrs. Ghazala Asmat, the wife of Ch. Iftikhar, holds 3.2% the shareholding of the company. The board of directors comprises two members. Ch. Iftikhar Nazir, is the pioneer of AllahDin Group of companies. He has extensive experience of over 3 decades, in the industry. Mr. Zain Iftikhar Chaudhry, son of Ch. Iftikhar Nazir, is the COO of the company. He is a graduate in Financial Management Services, from York University, Toronto.