October 30, 2019
Acting General Manager, Terry Peyrefitte, at the Annual General Meeting, indicated that “2018/2019 financial year marked 1834’s third full year as a standalone investment company since the media amalgamation of RJR in 2016.” Furthermore, Ms. Peyrefitte stated that the company, “the company seeks to rent the fifth floor on the Gleaner building (North Street) to tenants. However, they have been unsuccessful in finding suitable tenants.” Additionally the BPO sector is now a potential tenant in which the Company plans to approach.
1834 Investments has concluded the wind-up of four dormant local subsidiary companies namely Digjamaica.com Limited, Popular Printers Limited, Associated Enterprise Limited. However, Selectco Publications Limited is to be disposed of within the next financial year.
Furthermore, Ms. Peyrefitte also mentioned that 1834 Investments was also successful in disposing of three non-strategic commercial properties over the year. The proceeds were distributed to shareholders December 2018 and the remainder were re-invested as follows:
- #146 Harbour Street, Kingston (sold June 2018)
- #1-3 Service Road & #16-17 First Street, Newport West, St. Andrew (sold November 2018)
- #4 Bradley Avenue, St. Andrew (sold November 2018)
Currently, “the Company’s investment portfolio is valued over $1.1 billion and is heavily weighted towards real estate which accounts for 46% or $510.2 million, whereas bond assets comprises of 16%, equities 6%, cash and short-term instruments 30% and loans 2% of total investments,” as mentioned by Management.
Ms. Peyrefitte spoke on the financial performance for the 2018/2019 financial year where the Company generated revenues of $55 million compared to $161 million the year before. She stated that, “approximately $100 million of the $106 million year over year reduction was due to prior year gains on one off transactions (disposal of investments and a write-back from a former related party), which gave the impression of a sharp drop in revenue.” Expenses increased to $107 million (2018: $117 million) due largely to the positive impact of the lower cost structure was which was taken after the re-valuation of some investment properties at fair value. There was a decline in the Company total assets to $1.55 billion (2018: $1.75 billion) due to cash used to settle various expenses over the period including dividends of $121M paid by the company.’ “During the year, real estate (being five vacant lots located in Newport West) was sold which resulted in the reduction of “Investment properties” to $414 million (2018: $549 million). Properties at # 146 Harbour Street, Kingston and #4 Bradley Avenue, Kingston were also sold in the financial period, which resulted in the reduction of “Assets held for sale” to $96 million (2018: $197 million).,” the Acting General Manager further indicated.
The Acting General Manager concluded her presentation by stating that the Company’s, “financial position stands strong on a foundation of high quality income-generating assets, zero long-term debt and the strategic guidance of its experienced Board of Directors. For 2019/20, the Board will continue to focus its efforts on maximizing shareholder return via optimal asset allocation and further cost and operational efficiencies.”
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