April 18, 2018
Chief Executive Officer of Jamaican Teas Limited, John Mahfood, pledges to continue to drive export growth as the firm’s strategic plan for the short term. At the General Annual Meeting (AGM) held today, John Mahfood proudly told shareholders that export sales in the 2017 financial year had surpassed domestic sales. “ In 2017, Jamaican Teas Limited grew export sales to 54% of total revenues compared to 50% in 2016 and just 39% when we listed in 2010.”
The company’s strategy is to drive overseas sale through continuously adding new products to its already existing brands, while at the same time redesigning its packages. Its line of Tetley products have already been repackaged and JAMT is focused on redesigning other brands.
During his presentation, Mr. Mahfood displayed three new products, one of which he said was launched two months ago and is doing well in Trinidad. Trinidad, he said is the fastest growing market, which is also the largest Caribbean market. Mahfood blames the high crime rate in Jamaica for the low growth in the domestic market.
John Jackson who sits on the Board as a Mentor/Non-Executive Director highlighted JAMT’s positive Cash Flow from Operation as the firm’s ability to grow inorganically. The firm recently purchased real estate in Down Town Kingston which it intends to rent as warehouse space and is eying other buildings in the area. This, even as the firm sold the warehouse space that came with its acquisition of KIW International Limited (KIW). Also, in 2017, JAMT disposed of its supermarket operations in Montego Bay and Savanna-la-mar, which were loss-making entities, to refocus on its Kingston store on Chancery Street in Meadowbrook.
Orchid Estate, a housing project in Yallahs, St Thomas is completed. However, the CEO is attributing the losses made from the project to delays in getting approval from local government regarding issuing of land titles and the fact that the firm was locked into low prices for its housing units. The CEO was adamant that opportunity still exists in developing real estate but at the upper end of the market. “We will not be doing low-cost housing in the future and certainly not outside Kingston,” Mahfood assured shareholders.
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