June 5, 2018
Stationery and Office Supplies Limited (SOS) held its first Annual General Meeting (AGM) since listing on the Jamaica Stock Exchange(Junior Market) in August of last year. Stationary and Office Supplies (SOS) financial controller, David Charles Plant, expressed satisfaction regarding the firm’s performance. Some of the financial highlights reiterated by Mr. Plant are as follows:
Property Plant and Equipment increase approximately 31% year over year to $322.46 million. This growth was due mainly to the, “expansion of the Beechwood Avenue office and warehouse space from 35,000 sq/ft to 55,000 sq/ft. This was the result of the acquisition of an adjoining lot on Collins Green Avenue.”
Inventory rose to $158 million from $118.8 million in 2016. This growth in inventory was in addition to excess demand for the firm’s own branded line of furniture. The Torch and Image brands together, grew by approximately 60% over the 2017 FY. Management believes that its customers purchase on impulse and that, “higher levels of inventory will allow us to sell more.”
Borrowings grew some 66.28% in the same period to $41.07 million. Majority of this mount represent a $36.35 million loan from JN Fund Manager Ltd. which was used to fully amortized outstanding debt owed to National Export-Import Bank of Jamaica Ltd and to purchased additional warehouse space. An additional $13.16 million owed to MF&G will fall due this year which the firm intends to honour. According to Mr. Plant the firm has made a deliberate attempt to reduce the Financial Lease on its balance sheet; there was a reduction from $16.86 million to just over $6 million. “We have decided to move away from the finance leased in that we are able to get better rates on the loans and the tax advantage of the lease, now that we are tax free is no longer that important” are the reasons given for such decision.
SOS has recently decided to enter the manufacturing of office supply by purchasing manufacturing equipment and the SEEK brand which the firm financed through a $80 million dollar loan at 8% for 7 years. With this locally established brand the firm intends to seek additional markets within the CariCom region. Already, the firm has signed distributors to make their first major push into the wider Caribbean region.
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