36% sales surge at Fontana

Sales surged 36 percent at Fontana for the March 2020 quarter, to $1.1 billion, from $885 million in 2019 and rose 25 percent for the nine months, to $3.5 billion from $2.8 billion in 2019, with the company’s new Kingston store adding to revenues for the first time.

Fontana Waterloo Square Branch just after it was opened in October 2019.

Gross profit jumped similarly to sales, with a 36 percent increase in the third quarter to $404 million from $297 million in 2019. For the nine months, gross profit was up 25 percent at $1.3 million from $1 million for the comparative 2019 period.  The surge in gross profit is mainly due to revenues generated by the new flagship location at Waterloo Square in Kingston.
The store opened in October 2019 and helped in pushing revenues up by 21 percent year-over-year for the six months to December, with gross profit increasing 20 percent. Revenues to September before the Waterloo store opening were up 9 percent. In the December quarter, revenues climbed 30.5 percent and 33 percent for the March quarter. The numbers suggest that the new store contributed approximately $235 million in the December quarter to revenues and $220 million in the March quarter. Information gleaned, indicates that this may be understating the actual numbers generated by tat store. The odds suggest that there is some cannibalizing of sales at the Barbican store by the new store.
Profit before other income and finance cost rose a healthy 67 percent for the March quarter to $57 million and grew 13 percent for the nine months to $281 million. The operating profit numbers provide a great indication of the impact of the new store is having on profit.
While gross profit advanced for the third quarter, net profit dropped 27 percent from $29.7 million in 2019 to $21.6 million in 2020. Still, it was up 15 percent for the nine months to $235 million, with the 2019 results incurring taxation of $40 million the 2020 profit is down 4 percent from the pretax profit of $244 million.

Fontana patrons lined up at the cashiers In October 2019.

The decline in profit for the quarter was mainly due to a $10.6 million unrealized loss in the value of a Unit Trust investment and a near doubling of finance cost to $25 million from $13 million in 2019. Without, the loss on the investment profit would have increased in the third quarter over the 2019 amount.
Overall, operating expenses rose 32 percent to $369 million in the quarter with “the Waterloo Square location accounting for $79.7 million of the increase”, the directors advised in a report accompanying the results. Selling and promotion cost increased by 31 percent for the third quarter, up $5.3 million, from the $17 million recorded over the comparative period in 2019. Depreciation went up by a staggering 374 percent from $21 million to $100 million for the nine months, while operating expenses increased by 29 percent coming in at $1 billion from $794 million from the prior year.
Fontana generated a gross cash flow of $335 million for the nine months, pushing cash and equivalents to $533 million. As of March 2020, current assets stood at $1.4 billion with trade and other receivables landing at $66 million; inventories ended at $751 million, an increase of $130 million over March 2019. Current liabilities ended at $846 million, including the current portion of bank loans at $52 million and trade and other payables of $655 million. The company has loans payable amounting to $221 million of which, $52 million is due during the next twelve months. Shareholders’ equity closed the period $1.45 billion, up from $1.16 billion, year over year.
Earnings per share came out at 2 cents for the quarter and 19 cents for the nine months and should end the fiscal year ending June under 30 cents. IC Insider.com is forecasting 55 cents per share for PE of 10.7 times earnings.

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