Date: January 29, 2019
138 Student Living Jamaica Limited (138SL) held its 4th Annual General Meeting today at the Mona Visitors Lodge, UWI Mona. Chairman, Mr. Richard Byles, in his opening remarks, highlighted that this was a very challenging year for the Group which concluded with a loss after taxation of $16.25 million. The Chairman indicated that, “there was an increase in the number of rooms which impacted the Group’s profitability negatively as income was less than optimal while expenses continued to increase.”
Mr. Byles further elaborated that the Group has been working assiduously to get the Group on the right path as such management took the initiative to introduce short-term rental option in the summer season primarily to house sports and church groups as well as for private individuals.
Chief Financial Officer, Ms. Beverley Williamson, provided some insight on the financial performance of the Group. 138 SL reported revenues of $780.74 million, expenses increased drastically by 91% amounting to $519.14 million. The Company recorded a net loss which totalled $16.25 million for the year end, compared to a profit of $70.08 million twelve months earlier. Ms. Williamson highlighted that, “the challenges were in line with strategies employed to gain occupancy for the increased stock of rooms under management, dealing with post construction issues and implementing several key aspects of the respective Concession Agreements (CAs).
Mr. Byles concluded by stating that, “given all of the challenges faced by 138 Student Living, especially in the last year, it is very likely that the Group will have to do further equity raise, in the form of a rights issue, in which the Board will constitute a Committee who will look at how much equity is to be raised and how the Group will go about doing so.”
Looking ahead, the following outlook was provided by the Chairman:
- A joint review of the Agreements is to be undertaken so that there can be a consensus ad idem on the rights and obligations of all parties involved. This will present an opportunity for negotiation of changes as deemed necessary.
- In adopting a more discerning approach to filling the rooms with students, as the Group await the meaningful flow of UWI’s recruitments of overseas students, the need for short-term rental product will increase as 138SL must continue to generate revenues according to plan.
- Execution of a Heads of Agreement in respect of an opportunity for development of student housing in St. Kitts strategically intended to address the housing needs of the captive market of Ross University Veterinary School of Medicine.
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