Seprod Jamaica Limited held its Annual General meeting on July 10, 2017. The Seprod Chairman Mr. P.B Sccott commenced the Annual General Meeting (AGM) by introducing the members of the board who were in attendance. He then proceeded to give an overview of the company’s performance for the 2016 financial year. Mr. Scott then proceeded to read the chairman’s report located in the annual report. Main highlights of his report were the noted increase in earnings per share from $1.68 to $2.11 and dividend payment of $3.23 in 2016 compared to $0.95 in 2015. He stated that the company will continue to spend capital to drive growth and to also invest in innovation. Mr. Scott stated that “Seprod is developing into a marketing organization that also does manufacturing and sells great products”. Mr. Scott then handed over to CEO Mr. Richard Pandohie for the management analysis and discussion.
Key Financial Performance:
According to Mr. Pandohie, “2016 was a positive year which saw Seprod accelerating its expansion, growing its international business and growing an extensive innovation pipeline”. Mr. Pandohie then proceeded to speak on the major subsidiaries which had a huge impact on the company’s performance.
“Sugar is a sweet product but for us, the financial results over the years have been bitter” stated Mr. Pandohie. He noted that the improved performance was due to Seprod being able to market and distribute their own sugar. With the implementation of new packaging, effective July 1, 2017, Mr. Pandohie stated that “the chairman expected that the company should break even in 2017 barring an act of God”. However, adverse weather activities over the last three months has led to management abandoning the hope of breaking even for the remainder of the 2017 financial year.
Mr. Pandohie stated that they presented a proposal to the government for public private partnerships to integrate small farmers into dairy operations. According to Mr. Pandohie, the purpose of the proposal was to “begin to reverse the catastrophic decision in 1994 by the government that liberalized the importation of subsidized milk powder that led to the total decimation of the local dairy industry”. He also stated that their innovation continues to grow as they are often lauded for their products. The investments made in research has been the backbone for the dairy subsidiary and will continue to increase shareholder value.
Jamaica Grains and Cereal Limited.
Mr. Pandohie stated that the company made a major investment to enhance the corn mill facility and enter into the flour market. He stated that this project is “arguably the largest industrial project taken on in Jamaica in recent years.”
He stated that Seprods growth is built on the companies four pillars:
1. Innovation and Renovation: Creating new products for customers while continuing to invest in core brands.
2. Economies of Scale: Reducing cost of production to remain competitive in the market.
3. High Performance culture: Attracting and investing in people. Mr. Pandohie stated that this is underlined by the company’s continued internship program giving graduates valuable experience.
4. Mutually beneficial partnership: Partnering with stakeholders including government and local farmers to increase local productivity.
Mr. Pandohie closed by saying that the company continues to face higher costs and more stringent requirements to do business compared to importers. He implored politicians to stick to the growth agenda and stated that they are strongly in support of the fight against crime. Mr. Pandohie also noted that the Company will continue to create valuable and sustainable products that they can truly say “made at Seprod must be good”.