JSE speaks of 2012 achievements

Marlene Street Forrest in her overview of the Jamaica Stock Exchange group company’s performance for 2012 and operational plans for 2013 and beyond, stated that although there were economic challenges, the JSE saw an increase in operating income of 93%.

The Company’s operating income moved from $281M in 2011 to $542M in 2012, which contributed to the JSE Group’s net profit increasing from $34M in 2011 to $129M in 2012 an increase of 279% in net profit. Street Forrest told the audience that although most of the Exchange’s revenue came from trading fees she also attributed the increased in profitability to a diversification of the revenue streams for both the company and its subsidiary, which enabled the Exchange to survive in a difficult economic environment.

She indicated that the Exchange achieved a number of other positives during 2012:  Increase in the number of companies on the Junior stock market, sale of member dealer license, progress made towards listing of JSE’s ordinary Shares,  business process improvement, document management and  business continuity plan.

The following goals were set for 2013/2014 period:

  1. Listing of the JSE’s ordinary shares
  2. Concentration of effort at marketing the JSE
  3. Developing markets, new products and services for our customers such as:
      • Trading Government and corporate securities
      • Fixed Income Instruments
      • Depository receipts

At the special board meeting held immediately after the annual general meeting, Messer Donovan Perkins and Allan Lewis were returned as Chairman and Deputy Chairman respectively and Steven Whittingham was elected to the JSE Board subject to the FSC’s approval.

CPJ denies major customs breach

Statement released by Caribbean Producers Ltd | It has come to our attention that recent newspaper articles and press reports refer to breaches of the Customs Act by a major importer operating out of Western Jamaica that is listed on the Jamaica Stock Exchange.

While these reports do not name our Company, CARIBBEAN PRODUCERS (JAMAICA) LIMITED as the entity in question, we wish to advise our shareholders and the wider public that we consider such reports to be erroneous.

The Company is a leading food service company and hotel supplier in Jamaica. It sources its products from some 30 countries and imports thousands of unique items in up to 100 containers per month. The Company considers that it has worked closely with the Customs Department and the Ministry of Finance in establishing and growing its business during the course of the last 18 years.

CaribbeanProducers(CPJ)280X150Contrary to the press reports, the Company continues to have the status of ‘AUTHORISED ECONOMIC OPERATOR’ (AEO), which is granted by the Jamaica Customs Department. Changes to the AEO program were introduced by the Customs Department and the Company, along with other AEOs, will need to comply with certain requirements leading to security certification by 31 October 2013.

More recently, one of the suppliers of the Company mislabelled a relatively small number of cases of pork products that the Company inadvertently imported in a large container containing a total of approximately 500 cases of pork bellies. This matter is under discussion with the Customs Department and the relevant supplier has admitted its liability, which arose due to their error, and has offered to pay any fines on behalf of the Company, which the Company believes will not exceed J$1.1M.

Any other information published by the press in relation to the Company’s position as regards the Customs Act, including references to potential fines in the region of J$3 billion, is not correct. The Company is committed to being a good corporate citizen and responsible publicly traded company, operating within the law and with regard to the principles of good governance.

Reports of Insider trades

Trades by directors or persons or entities connected with company can be a powerful tool as to what may be taking place in a company. That may not always be the case as it all depends on the reasons for each action.

In the Jamaica, there are some companies that have ‘connected parties’ whose trading in the company stock may tell a story as to what can be expected down the road. For example, Mayberry Investment is one company that buying by insiders usually sends a strong message for future prospects. Jamaica Broilers is another company where insider buying and selling more often than not, sends a good message. We list below recent insider trades. Investors can make of them as they see fit.

JMMB | Jamaica Money Market Brokers Limited advised that a connected party sold a total of 5,000,099 JMMB shares during the period June 10 – 13, 2013. Also a connected party sold a total of 426,500 JMMB shares during the period June 4 – 12, 2013.

Honey Bun | Honey Bun (1982) Limited advised that a Director sold 5,000 Honey Bun shares on June 13, 2013.

Sagicor | Sagicor Life Jamaica Limited (SLJ) has advised that an Executive sold 2,000,000 SLJ shares on June 12, 2013.

PanJam | Pan-Jamaican Investment Trust Limited (PJAM) has advised that a director sold 14,200 PJAM shares on June 14, 2013.

MIL | Mayberry Investments Limited (MIL) advised that a related party purchased 26,400 MIL shares on June 14, 201 and that another trade purchase took place by related parties of 238,853 MIL shares during the period June 10 — 11, 2013 and another purchase of 6,739 MIL shares took place on June 5, 2013.

TCL | Trinidad Cement Limited (TCL) advised that two senior managers purchased 207,365 and 99,000 TCL shares on May 14, 2013 and June 4, 2013 respectively and that a person connected to a senior officer purchased 100,000 TCL shares on June 14, 2013.

JAMT | Jamaican Teas Limited has advised that a party related to a director purchased 18,948 shares during the period May 21, 2013 to June 6, 2013.

PURITY  Consolidated Bakeries Jamaica Limited has advised that a Senior Manager purchased 18,300, 000 in the company on May 31, 2013.

KPREIT a medium term investment

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Funding an operation with low interest rate foreign currency loans while the home based currency is weak can prove costly, and the way the accounting profession treats the changes in currency movement can mean profit or loss at least in the short term. That is what’s happening to  Kingston Properties Real Estate Investment Trust (KPREIT) in the latest results to March this year. Revenue was up 13 percent but profit plummeted to a loss, thanks to a foreign exchange loss of $14.5 million incurred in the quarter. The company recorded a net loss of $7.2 million after a tax credit of $3.56 million, but total group comprehensive income was $15.2 million, an increase of 144.8% versus $6.2 million reported for the quarter ended March, 2012.

Revenues | Revenues climbed to $23.5 million in the 2013 quarter up from $20.8 million in 2012. This reflects primarily rental increase for existing tenants and a stronger rental market for new tenants especially at the Loft II in Miami, the company’s management reported.

Group operating expenses, consisting of direct property expenses and administrative costs, were $14.8 million, versus $10.3 million for the similar period a year ago. Direct property expenses include insurance, property taxes, homeowners’ association (HOA) fees, broker fees and repairs & maintenance. These represented 60.4% of operating expenses for the March 2013 quarter versus 58.4% for the similar period last year. Increase in direct property expenses accounted for approximately $2.9 million of the $4.5 million increase in overall operating expenses. The major contributors were repairs & maintenance, HOA fees and property taxes.

KingstonProperitesREIT_logo130X140Group finance costs were $19.6 million for the quarter compared with $7.4 million for the similar period in 2012. These amounts include unrealized losses of $14.3 million and $2.5 million respectively, due to foreign currency translation losses resulting from the devaluation of the Jamaican dollar.

Balance Sheet | Significant balance sheet assets are Investment Properties of $850 million at the end of the quarter versus $641.4 million at March, 2012 and cash & cash equivalent of $195 million compared with $185.3 million for the similar period last year.

The primary drivers of the increase in the investment properties were fair value gains of $166.3 million on the Red Hills Road property and positive currency impact of $30.3 million on the Miami residential condominiums. Included in cash and cash equivalent is restricted amounts of $168.1 million.

Total group liabilities were $350.3 million at March, 2013 versus $331.5 million at March 31, 2012. These amounts include current and non-current loans payable at the end of the quarter of $325.1 million and $305.2 respectively. The liabilities are primarily mortgage loans. The devaluation of the Jamaican dollar resulted in an increase in the loans which are quoted in the United States dollar and amounted to US$3.4 million at end of March 2013 versus US$3.6 million at end of March 2012.

Cash flow | Net cash provided by operations was $23.9 million for the quarter versus $22.7 million for the similar period last year. A dividend was paid in the March 2013 quarter amounting to $9.9 million, a 63.1% increase over the $6.1 million paid in the March 2012 quarter.

Long term pay-off | Real estate investment is not a good cash generator at least not in the early stage of the investment. By its very nature, the level of income to be made in the short term will be limited. One strategy the company has is the investment in the apartments in Florida that could be disposed of when that market fully recovers and therefore provide cash flow for distribution or capital for expansion. Investors in the stock are likely to have to wait for a while for a big pay day. Nevertheless the stock provides a option to diversify ones investments.

Guardian ongoing profits up 29%

Guardian Holdings, an insurance group primarily involved with life insurance underwriting, reported after tax profit of US$11 million compared to $15 million earned in the first quarter last year. Last year’s results were bolstered by an exceptional foreign exchange gain of $3 million and this quarter’s outcome was impaired by the loss of $5 million derived from participation in Jamaica’s National Debt exchange (NDX). Excluding these two items, the after tax profits results would have grown 29 percent to $16 million.

Premium Income | Gross premiums grew 25 percent from $214 million in first quarter 2012 to $268 million in this first quarter. Excluding $12 million generated from a new acquisitions, gross premiums written grew by 20 percent.

Net results from insurance activities improved 52 percent to reach $20 million from $13 million in the previous year’s quarter. New acquisitions contributed $1 million, in line with management’s expectations.

The new Netherlands-based broker, Thoma, contributed $2 million in fee income. Investment income, excluding the loss relating to the NDX, came in at $36 million compared to $37.7 million in 2012 (exceptional foreign exchange gains are included 2012 figures). The new acquisitions resulted in increased operating expenses and finance charges increasing by 21 percent and moving costs from $32 million in 2012 to $38 million in this year’s quarter.

Segment Results | Premiums written in the Life, Health and Pensions business increased by 16 percent over the comparable period.  The Property and Casualty segment’s top line was bolstered by the recent acquisition of Globe Insurance, the quarterly results of which were consolidated into the Group’s figures for the first time, and by low-risk fronting arrangements from which fee income was received. Net premiums written, which are premiums after deducting fronting premiums and reinsurance costs, grew $5 million or 17 percent over the comparable quarter.

GHL_logographic150x150Operating profit, while still strong at $7 million for the first quarter, declined $2 million from the 2012 figure due to increased claims activity and the one-off effect of this segment’s portion of the NDX.

Integration | The company’s management said, “they have moved diligently with the integration of Globe and West Indies Alliance and are quite pleased with the achievements obtained to date. Thoma has been fully consolidated into our reporting and contributed $0.65 million to after tax profits this quarter. Although it has occurred after the reporting period, I am pleased to reveal that we have now received all necessary regulatory approvals for our acquisition of Royal & Sun Alliance, Antilles (RSA). Details will be given in the report for the ensuing quarter.

“The Asset Management business contributed $1 million in operating profits for the quarter, down from the $2 million earned in the same quarter last year. This decline is attributable to lower fair value gains in this quarter due to the weak investment climate persisting across the territories in which we do business.”

Assets & Equity | Guardian has the size and equity base to expand and grow profits. As of March, total assets amounts to $3.6 billion with shareholder’s equity of $500 million.

Stock outlook | Earnings per share last year came in at US22 cents or TT$1.40, which is fetching a stock price of TT$17 on the Trinidad stock market giving it an historical PE ratio of 12. Investor’s Choice projects US30 cents per share for 2013 putting the PE at just 9. Compare that to West Indian Tobacco with a rich PE of 27 or Republic Bank with 15 times. It would appear that dividend yield is a major force for the PE differential. WITCO yields around 3.30 percent while Treasury bill rates are under one percent. Guardian has a yield of 3.7 percent.

A buy | Guardian is a good long term investment for a stock that is clearly undervalued in a market where price earnings ratio tend to be much higher than the level Guardian is priced at.

Stocks to watch: 17th June, 2013

IC Insider will be keeping a close watch on these stocks for movement during the week of 17th to 21st June 2013.

JSE Junior Market

  • Access Financial
  • AMG Packaging
  • Blue Power
  • Consolidated Bakeries
  • General Accident
  • Lasco Financial
  • Paramount Trading

JSE Main Market

  • Desnoes & Geddes
  • Jamaica Broilers
  • Jamaica Money Market Brokers
  • Mayberry
  • National Commercial Bank
  • Sagicor Life
  • Scotia Group


  • Clico Find
  • Grace
  • JMMB
  • Scotia Investments

Blue Powered huge profit increase

A Junior Market stock should hit the roof next week as the company Blue Power not only reported record profits, it blew away last year’s results with a stunning 121 percent increase as revenues rose by just 22 percent for the year ending April.

Profits for the financial year stood at $104 million compared to $47 million in the same period last year, an increase of 121 percent. The Lumber Depot division contributed $61 million to the profit, improving by 111 percent over the previous year while the soap division accounted for $43 million, an improvement of 137 percent over the previous year.

The results translate to return on equity of an attractive 35 percent up from 21 percent in 2012. The net asset value is $6.11 and the stock price of $8.65 is less than 1.5 net book value.

Combined sales for the year ended April, 2013 were $1.045 billion compared to $863 million in 2012, an increase of $182 million or 21 percent. For the year, the Lumber Depot division achieved sales of $742 million versus $620 million the previous year, an improvement of 20 percent while the Blue Power soap division moved to $303 million from $243 million, an increase of 25 percent.

BluePower150x150April quarter | For the fourth quarter sales rose to $339 million compared to $224 million for the same period last year, an increase of $115 million or 51 percent. Comparing the fourth quarter with the same period last year, the increase in sales for the Lumber Depot division was 77 percent, from $156 million to $276 million while sales for the Blue Power soap division actually declined by 6 percent.

Revenues for the 4th quarter was by far the best of any of the quarters with the December quarter coming closet with revenues of $267 million. The percentage revenue increase was also the best with a 13 percent increase in the December quarter coming closest. The latest quarter profit was the highest of any quarter with July and December quarters coming closest at $24.7 million and $23.2 million respectively.

Management’s comments | In commenting on the results, management said “The extraordinary enhancement in both sales and profits in the Lumber Depot division was due to two main factors: the first and most important being the award of a significant supply contract by an international agency and the second being the strategic management of our purchases of materials for resale. The overall increase in sales and profits of the Blue Power soap division was achieved largely as a result of a significant increase in sales of bathing soaps which are slowly but surely gaining acceptance in the market place.

As a result of the substantial improvement in profits, our balance sheet is healthy which will allow us to expand as well as be in a position to make adequate purchases of materials for resale and raw materials for manufacturing at reasonable prices.”

The company’s finances is in a healthy position with virtually no debt. Current assets of $390 million of which cash is $145 million up from $58 million in 2012. Current liabilities is $88.5 million.

Investor’s Choice is forecasting 2014 earnings close to $3 per share.

Update Wednesday 19th June | The Board of Directors of Blue Power Group Limited will meet on Thursday, June 27, 2013 to consider the payment of a dividend.

Digicel joins the rate cut race

Following on the announcement last week by Cable & Wireless to cut all prepaid rates to $2.99 across all networks and to overseas, Digicel Jamaica unveiled a range of new plans that involves the lowest rates per minute. The new plans goes into effect at 12.01am on Friday morning.

Customers are now able to choose from one of six plans that best suit their individual needs a release from the company said.

Digicel’s line up of plans includes the Brawta Plan, the Gimme Five Extra Plan, the Double Bubble Plan and the $2.99 Plan all with per second billing plus the $2.49 Plan and $2.89 Sweet Plan with per minute billing.

Digicel Jamaica CEO, Barry O’Brien commented; “We asked our customers what they wanted and the answers we got were great value, lots of choice and more freeness.”

The details of each plan as provided by Digicel are:

Digicel_logo150x150The Brawta Plan and Gimme Five Extra Plan see customers getting even more freeness than they got with Gimme Five. Customers will now get 55 minutes of free Digicel Talk, 200 free Digicel Texts, 10 MB of free Data with free Nights, 55 free International minutes, monthly free Credit and Cash Back after talking for five minutes, sending five texts or topping up with $200 or more.

The Double Bubble Plan with per second billing sees customers getting double the value of their credit every time they top up with $200 or more. But that’s not all. Double Bubble customers will also get 10 minutes of free Digicel Talk, 10 free Digicel Texts and 25 free International minutes once they have talked on net or internationally for five minutes or sent five texts.

The $2.99 Plan with per second billing means customers get a great low rate on net and to the other mobile network at any time.

The $2.49 Plan with per minute billing is perfect for those customers who make longer calls and want the lowest rate in the market. Both of these new $2.99 and $2.49 Plans come with 25 free International minutes after the first five minutes.

Best suited to customers who like making long calls, the $2.89 Sweet Plan with per minute billing offers 10 minutes of free Digicel Talk, 100 free Digicel Texts, 10 MB of free Data with free Nights, 25 free International minutes, free Credit and Cash Back to customers once they have talked for five minutes, sent five texts or topped up with $200 or more.

Digicel Jamaica CEO, Barry O’Brien, continues; “We know that everybody loves freeness and presently over half our customers talk time is free and over 90% of Digicel texts sent are free.  For example, with the new Gimme Five Extra Plan, with Free after 5, a customer now gets 200 free texts which equates to $600 of free texts when you spend $15.”

To guarantee the customer experience, Digicel invested $7 billion in network improvements and upgrades last year and a further $3 billion investment is planned for this year.


Palace’s $22m 3rd Qtr hit

While many local companies suffered from the negative effects of reduced profit due to costs associated with the write off of unrealised capital gains on government bonds, Palace had a totally different experience. Net results for the March quarter fell sharply to a loss of $22 million from a profit of $2.65 million in 2012. Nevertheless, thanks to a strong first half, the company reported a $8.2 million loss compared to a profit of $5.3 million earned for the nine months of the previous year.

Operating cost fell by $16 million or 10 percent for the quarter while administrative cost was up 11 percent to $34 million but it was the slide in income that was noticeable and probably worrying. Admittedly, the March quarter is usually the worse quarter the company faces. But it is the sharpness of the drop that is surprising. In the 2012 quarter, Palace generated income of $193.5 million, this fell 21 percent or a whopping $41 million to $152.3 million.

Interestingly, the 2013 revenue performance is only 8 percent better than the 2011 quarterly income even as inflation would have affected cost and the price for goods and services sold by Palace would have gone up since 2011. The fall off in 2013 comes against the background of the company introducing a new product, the showing of live operas on screen and an encore season of opera’s best in the summer. Without them, revenues would have been lower. Year to March, the company recorded revenues of $584.7 million that is lower than the $599.5 million generated up to March 2012.

PalaceAmusement3Data on the individual cinemas indicates that the sharp fall in revenues was across all locations except Palace Cineplex. Carib revenues fell $13 million, Cineplex was up $1 million, Palace Multiplex in Montego Bay dropped $13 million and Odeon in Mandeville fell by $4 million. The falloff in the two rural cinemas was far worse than for Carib, in relation to the income for the 2012 March quarter.

The picture up to the December results suggested that 2012/13 would have been by far the company’s best year, but the poor third quarter results have changed the outlook for full year’s profits completely, as it will be nigh impossible to overcome the negative impact of the loss made in the latest quarter.  ICInsider understands that the fall in revenues is due primarily to a shift in a particular brand of film which would normally be shown in the March quarter but will be shown in the June quarter.

In spite of the quarterly loss, Palace had cash funds of $60 million at the end of March, while current assets exceed current liabilities by $36 million. Loans amount to $42 million with equity of $271 million.

Photo via: www.PalaceAmusement.com

New president at Scotia International

Rick Waugh announces his retirement from Scotiabank effective January 31, 2014. Brian Porter, former chairman of Scotiabank Jamaica, to take on role of President and CEO effective November 1, 2013.

(TORONTO) May 31, 2013Scotiabank Chief Executive Officer Rick Waugh today announced his intention to retire as CEO effective November 1, 2013 after 10 years in the role and 43 years with the Bank. He will remain a Director of the Board and assume the role of Deputy Chairman of the Bank until January 31, 2014.

The Board of Directors has appointed Brian Porter to the role of President and Chief Executive Officer effective November 1, 2013. Brian was appointed to the role of President on November 1, 2012, and just prior to that was Group Head, International Banking, overseeing all of the Bank’s personal, small business and commercial banking operations in more than 55 countries outside of Canada. Brian was also Scotiabank’s Group Head of Global Risk Management and Treasury. He joined Scotiabank in 1981, and has held a variety of other management positions, including Deputy Chairman of Global Banking and Markets.

“Rick Waugh has guided Scotiabank through a period of tremendous growth, generating exceptional returns for shareholders and employees during some very turbulent times. His focus on customers, diversification, emerging markets and risk management along with his strong values, has shaped the growth and direction of the Bank over the last ten years,” said John Mayberry, Chairman of the Board.

scotiabanklogo150x150The Board expressed its confidence in Brian Porter appointing him President in November 2012. Mayberry added, “We are pleased to take the next step in succession today by confirming him in the role of President and CEO effective November 1, 2013. Brian has a tremendous range of experience across the Bank, including the critical role of Chief Risk Officer. The Board is confident in Brian’s ability to continue to produce strong results and build on the straightforward and proven business model that has worked so well for customers, shareholders and employees.”

“I want to congratulate Brian Porter on his appointment to President and Chief Executive Officer,” said Rick Waugh, CEO, Scotiabank. “He has had an exceptional career at Scotiabank. Brian and the management team bring the right experience, values and culture to ensure our Bank’s continued success.”

“It is a distinct privilege to have been entrusted with the role of President and Chief Executive Officer, and I would like to thank the Board of Directors and Rick Waugh for their confidence in my ability to continue to deliver superior, consistent and predictable results for all of our stakeholders,” said Brian Porter, President, Scotiabank.

Scotiabank is a leading multinational financial services provider and Canada’s most international bank. With more than 83,000 employees, Scotiabank and its affiliates serve some 19 million customers in more than 55 countries around the world. Scotiabank offers a broad range of products and services including personal, commercial, corporate and investment banking. In December 2012, Scotiabank became the first Canadian bank to be named Global Bank of the Year and Bank of the Year in the Americas by The Banker magazine, a Financial Times publication. With assets of $754 billion (as at April 30, 2013), Scotiabank trades on the Toronto (BNS) and New York Exchanges (BNS). For more information please visit www.scotiabank.com.