Date: June 21, 2019
Jamaica Producers Group Limited (JP) held its Annual General Meeting today which commenced with opening remarks made by the Chairman, Mr. Charles Johnston. Mr. Johnston outlined that, “for the year ended December 31, 2018, Jamaica Producers Group Limited earned consolidated revenues of $19.6 billion, an increase of 21% over the 2017 result. Net profit attributable to shareholders for 2018 was $816 million, an increase of 23% over the prior year.” Subsequently, Mr. Jeffrey Hall, Group Managing Director, highlighted the strategies employed by the Group during 2018. He stated that, “during 2018 the Group continued to pursue its long-held strategy to leverage its strengths through, pursuing business prospects in all aspects of specialty food and drink, ranging from agricultural production to food processing, marketing, distribution and specialty retail as well as participating in select opportunities to develop and provide world-class logistics services and infrastructure for the Caribbean.
In addition, the following highlights were given by Mr. Hall about the Group’s operating segments:
Logistics and Infrastructure Division
- The logistics and infrastructure division reported a 12% increase in revenues and a 26% increase in earnings. After a significant multi-year capital investment programme, which included the opening of KW’s Total Logistics Facility (TLF), the Global Auto Logistics Centre (GALC) and the acquisition of some of the largest mobile harbour cranes in the region, 2018 capital expenditure was down 65% to $650 million.
- Kingston Wharves Limited continues to develop its port-centred logistics model by providing an increasing portfolio of services to a wide variety of customers. Whilst 73% of its revenues lie within KW’s Terminal Operations Division, it is KW’s Logistics Division that is experiencing faster growth.
- JP Shipping Services Limited (JPSS) continues to be a consistent contributor to Group earnings, but operates in a highly competitive market, and with the continued weakness in the British pound sterling, margin pressures have compressed earnings.
- SAJE Logistics Infrastructure Limited (SAJE) continued to invest in its property portfolio during the year. The business focused on increasing its rental yields and property earnings whilst managing its investment portfolio. During the year, SAJE recorded significant investment gains from this portfolio.
Food and Drink Division
- JP Food and Drink division revenues grew by 29% over the prior year with earnings before interest and tax up by 36% to $378 million. The division saw revenue and earnings growth in all its operations, but in value terms the largest contributor to growth was at our European juice operations.
- JP Foods, during 2018, launched a refreshed line of exciting new packaging for the JP St. Mary’s chips in a range of flavours and sizes. The visually distinct packaging and diverse sizes has allowed the brand to trade more aggressively in global and local markets and has seen significant payoff in brand value and recognition.
- During 2018 the business added a new product range of ready-to-cook breadfruit tostones, which are principally sold in the US and its associated territories.
- Tortuga saw significant progress in its strategic commercial goals in 2018, with strong revenue growth, particularly in Cayman and Florida. 2018 saw the expansion of the provenance rum cake offerings to tap into the Mexican tourist retail market with the introduction of Tortuga Mexican Vanilla Rum Cake.
- The JP Banana Bread was introduced to the Group’s line of products
JP’s outlook according to management will be:
- To seek new investments that meet return requirements and make a tangible contribution to those businesses to realise shareholder earnings.
- The company’s existing businesses exhibiting strong growth potential, and its two largest subsidiaries continually posting record earnings, it is probable that investments for the immediate future will be focused primarily on internal opportunities.
- JP’s investments will continue to be orientated around our two core lines of business – Logistics & Infrastructure and Food & Drink
- The L&I Division will invest in line with the macroeconomic growth that Jamaica and parts of the wider Caribbean are experiencing, whilst seeking to grow exposure to global logistics services. The Group plans to open a location for a Logistics Centre, within London.
- The F&D Division spans Europe and the Americas, using innovation and quality to grow customer relationships with further capital investments, as both territories represent significant opportunities. The Group looks to expand its fresh juices product geographically.
- The Group is actively seeking a location in the UK market to supply their same line of products
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