June 19, 2020
Chairman of Jamaica Producers (JP) Group, Mr. Charles Johnston, at their Annual General Meeting, commenced by paying tribute to the Hon. Oliver Clarke and Tortuga founder, Captain Robert Michael Hamaty. Mr. Clarke served on the board of directors of JP from 1975 to 1998 and 2008 to 2020.
The company’s Chief Executive officer (CEO), Mr. Jeffrey Hall, highlighted that, “the company’s two broad strategic objectives are to build a diversified specialty food and drink group and the second is to develop world class Logistics Infrastructure for the Caribbean.” The company operates in different countries, 47% in Jamaica, approximately a quarter in Europe and another quarter in America and the rest is elsewhere. Furthermore, Mr. Hall mentioned that, “49% of revenue is from Jamaica, 42% from Europe and 9% from America and the Caribbean. Approximately 88% of revenue is generated in hard currency that is foreign exchange or non-Jamaica dollars, with 55% coming from Food & Distribution and 45% from Logistics & Infractructure operations.” Also, at the end of the 2019FY Food and Drinks generated $12.6 billion and Logistics and Infrastructure made $8.8 billion of total revenue. Additionally, he expressed his satisfaction with the company’s financial position, and highlighted, “the group revenue compound growth rate (CAGR) of 15% per annum and shareholders’ equity CAGR of 12%.”
Mr. Hall stated that, “during the 2019 fiscal year the company expanded the Tortuga business in South East and South West United States. Also, we took advantage of the increased demand for rum cakes and added a new spirit cake to market, since then we have noticed significant growth in revenue.” Mr. Hall, also noted that, “in the Caribbean in our snack business we increased our distribution and expanded our product line through our new partnership with Wisynco. While in Europe we aim to maintain our reputation and increase the shelf life of our product through technology advancement.”
Mr. Hall further mentioned that the company identified four phases of the COVID19 response program. Interestingly, the company is currently at the restore phase, phase three, where it must force the business to operate in the economic downturn and uncertainty condition. The phases of the COVID19 response program as are follow:
- Avoid– Address the immediate COVID-19 health, safety and business continuity challenges facing our workforce, customers and business partners.
- Adapt– Address near term challenges, supply chain and sales working capital resiliency issues during government enforced lockdowns
- Restore– Return the core business to a sustainable “survival scale” and profit level even in the event of a prolonged economic downturn from COVID-19 crisis.
- Re-invent– Winning in the new normal assuming bold new shifts in product/services supply chain, pricing, route to marketing, competition and regulation.
In addition, Mr. Hall noted that the company’s priorities at this time are to;
- Peruse E-ecommerce prospects.
- Take best advantage of the healthy eating trends noticeable in Europe.
- Optimize on business that benefit from supermarket sales channels.
- Maintain global supply chain and logistics, also ensure the business benefits from its logistics service and is always equipped.
- Provide essential services so that operation continues.
- M&A opportunities.
In closing, Mr. Jeffrey Hall stated that, “we see this moment for JP as an opportunity to expand, we believe that this moment presents acquisition opportunities, we believe in the diversity of our business and the strength of our balance sheet and the prospects for signages that spreads overhead in larger base will put us in a very strong position to identify and acquire other businesses. That is our focus for the remainder of the year.”
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