NCB Q2 profit rises 22% before tax


NCB Head Quarters in Kingston Jamaica.

NCB Financial Group recorded an increase of 17 percent in net profit of $11 billion for the six months ended March 2018 over the prior year, pretax profit for the six months was up just 1 percent.
Profit for the March quarter before taxation, rose a strong 22 percent over the similar quarter in 2017 to $8.26 billion but with taxation more than doubling profit after tax climbed just 9 percent to $6.4 billion.
Net operating income grew 22 percent to $35.3 billion over the prior year and 26 percent for the latest quarter. Improvements in foreign currency and investment activities 109 percent in the quarter to $4 billion and by 97 percent in the six months period to $7.2 billion. Net interest income increasing by $1.3 billion or 9 percent and was driven by the consolidation of Clarien Group (CGL). Net fee and commission income grew by 11 percent or $749 million, mainly as a result of higher transaction volumes for point of sale and e-commerce channels, increased investment banking and pension fee income and the consolidation of CGL. Operating Expenses excluding loan loss provision rose 30 percent to $24.5 billion for the half year and 29 percent to $11.5 billion for the quarter.
The Group’s loans and advances, net of provision for credit losses, increased by $127 billion or 61 percent to $334 billion to March. In addition to the consolidation of CGL, the president Patrick Hylton reported that “there was growth in all business segments’ loan portfolios: retail up 22 percent, corporate up 11 percent and credit card receivables up 25 percent. Nonperforming loans totalled $15 billion up from $5.9 billion at the end of March 2017.” The increase was due to the inclusion of CGL which has a non-performing loan ratio of 9.9 percent.
NCB declared a dividend of 70 cents stock unit. The dividend is payable on May 28, for stockholders on record at May 11. The stock closed at $95 on the Jamaica Stock Exchange before the results were released.

Carib Cement post fall in Q1 profits

Carib Cement reports lower Q1 profit for 2018

Revenues rose 6 percent in the March quarter this year for Caribbean Cement, compared to the first quarter of 2017 to $4.3 billion, but profit before taxation slipped modestly to $510 million from $528 million last year.
Increased taxation, from $67 million to $176 million dragged profit down to $348 million or 39 cents per share versus $460 million in 2017 or 54 cent per share.
“This performance was mainly driven as a result of the scheduled annual maintenance of Kiln 5 and Mill 5, during February and March of 2018,” the directors reported to shareholders and they went on to state that “our investment in maintenance efforts will no doubt increase our operational efficiencies with the goal of driving exports, in due course.”
Operating cost rose over 2017 by 10 percent to $3.7 billion, at a faster pace than revenues but repairs and maintenance jumped 75 percent to $345 million and staffing cost rose 18 percent to $542 million. Cost is set to fall sharply with the buyback of assets that were leased from Trinidad Cement which will reduce the $3 billion per annum charge that was incurred in this area in 2017.
Net cash generated by operating activities for the period of $856 million, but $1.5 billion was expended on capital improvement, including the installation of a new coal mill. According to management, the coal mill project currently in the final stages, and production is expected by the end of the third quarter of this year. This will continue to contribute to the plant’s operational efficiency and also to a reduction in operating costs. Cash on hand at the end of the quarter amounted to just over $1 billion.
The first quarter results left accumulated losses at $2.9 billion with shareholders’ equity at $9.3 billion. The stock closed on the Jamaica Stock Exchange at $38.51.

Cement signs buy back agreement

Caribbean Cement paid $1.3 billion as initial payment on the buy back of kiln.

Caribbean Cement is reporting that they signed an agreement with our parent company Trinidad Cement Limited (TCL), for the acquisition of Kiln 5 and Mill 5 thereby terminating the lease agreement.
The company reported that they made the initial payment of $1.3 billion towards the acquisition representing a significant investment in plant and equipment, improving the company’s asset base.
In March, Caribbean Cement announced that it signed a memorandum of understanding agreeing to the termination of the operating lease and the purchase by CCC of the assets covered under the Lease.
Agreement is for approximately USD$118 million to be paid to TCL and redemption of an aggregate number of 52 million preference shares held by TCL for approximately USD$40.5 million to be paid over a nine-year period, starting in 2018 and sourced from at least one third of CCC’s profits available for distribution from the previous year. CCC will also seek financing to fund the Asset Acquisition and the Redemption.
The agreement flows from concerns of minority shareholders who at the company’s last annual General meeting, at which shareholders were given the commitment by management that the best structure would be identified to acquire ownership of the assets.
The company paid $3.3 billion in 2017 for the lease of the assets that was installed to facilitate expansion of the plant.

100 listings for Jamaica Stocks Exchange

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The Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) with the listing of four preference share issues on the Main Market by JMMB Group on April 19, achieved its hundredth listing of securities on the Exchange.
JMMB Group listed its US dollar Cumulative Redeemable 5.5% and 5.75% Preference shares on the US dollar market while the Jamaican dollar Cumulative Redeemable 7.25% and 7% Variable rate Preference Shares were listed by JMMB on the main market. JMMB raised over $9 billion from the market with these instruments. Since coming to market in 2007, JMMB has raised over $23 billion from the capital markets through its listings of 16 securities over the period. Currently, with 11 securities listed on the markets, JMMB has the record of having the most securities listed by any company.

Kino Williamson (l), Head of Finance, Cable Bahamas Ltd. points to the USD label while Scotia Investment CEO, Lissant Mitchell points to the JMD label. Also sharing the moment (from left) are Marlene Street Forrest, Managing Director Jamaica Stock Exchange, John Gomez, COO Cable Bahamas and Dylan Coke, VP Originations & Capital Markets, Scotia Investments

Speaking at the event, Marlene Street Forrest, Managing Director of the JSE, stated, “JMMB has used the power of the market and their record of accomplishment most effectively. Since inception, they have raised capital via IPO and have listed ordinary shares, restructured their company, made acquisition and have raised capital through issuance of preference shares. JMMB is a testament of what can be achieved by other companies by using the Exchange as a medium for business expansion and wealth creation. We are seeing where investors, companies and our government are beginning to understand the importance of the stock market in creating wealth sector-by-sector, individual-by-individual and company by company. It is non-discriminatory, non-partisan and is fixed in its pursuit, that is, to create wealth for everyone. We facilitate the listing of different products, classes of shares, government or corporate bonds. This is complemented by our Depository and Trustee Services offerings.”

Keith Duncan, Group Chief Executive Officer of JMMB.

Keith Duncan, Group CEO of JMMB Group congratulated the JSE on its 100th listing and told the audience that “JMMB Group could not have achieved the success it has without the Stock Exchange, which provided a great avenue for companies such as ours to access capital for growth and development. I appeal to all companies to look at the Stock Exchange as a medium to raise capital and do business as the economic climate is right for companies to access capital, with a low interest rate regime, debt to GDP reducing and the Government not in the market crowding out the private sector in respect to funding, this is an opportune time for companies to come to market and raise capital and grow their businesses. JMMB has done it successfully and others can do it too.”

FCIB 2nd Caribbean bank to abort US listing


FirstCaribbean aborts IPO for NYSE listing.

Firstcaribbean International Bank (FCI) announced that they have withdrawn their planned initial public offering ahead of its plan to list on the New York Stock Exchange.
The Trinidad and Tobago Stock Exchange advised today, that they received notice from FCI advising of the withdrawal of the US registered public offering and listing of its shares on the NYSE in view of market conditions at this juncture. FCI had filed a registration statement in December 2017 relating to this public offering and proposed listing on the NYSE under the symbol “FCI”.
The company is the second Caribbean based banking group to have moved forward with plans to list on that stock exchange. The first was NCB Group in 2013, incurring a $680 million hit from the costs relating to aborted Initial Public Offering (IPO) in the 2013 fiscal year to September, according to the company’s audited financial statements.
The banking group was attempting to raise fresh capital in the international market, during the turbulent period ahead of the country reaching an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The amount involved was written off against income thus helping to depress profits for the year.

NCB lost $700M in its aborted NYSE IPO plans in 2013.

Since then NCB has gone on to report record profits in 2017 with a 28 percent increase in the first quarter to December last year. At the same time FCIB that struggled for several years as it was battered by Caribbean countries in deep recession only saw a rebound in fortunes in recent years.
In 2013, the FCIB group adjusted profit was just US$35 million rising to $83 million in 2014 and onto $123 million the following year then $143 million in 2016 and $151 million last year, but revenues have just barely grown as loans have stagnated with US$6.36 billion in 2017 from US$6.3 billion in 2013.

Profit up at West Indian Tobacco

Profit before corporate taxes rose 6.8 percent to $105.8 million, for the three months ended March 2018, over the corresponding period in 2017 for Trinidad and Tobago’s West Indian Tobacco company.
Profit for the quarter, after tax ended at $72.5 million, an increase of 7.6 percent over 2017. The improvement flowed from slightly lower cost of sales, amounting to $46.4 million versus $46.5 million in 2017, pushing gross profit to $141.45 million over the $124.65 generated for the similar period in 2017. Distribution costs rose to $6.3 million from $5.14 million while Administrative expenses rose to $15.65 million from $14.9 million in 2017 but other operating expenses rose sharply to $14 million from $5.7 million in 2017.
Cash flow of $144 million was generated and after paying taxes of $42 million, net cash from operating activities amounted to $102 million.
The Board approved the payment of a first interim dividend of 82 cents per share to be paid on 21 May 2018, an increase over 76 cents paid in the similar period in 2017.
At the end of the quarter, Current assets amounted to $426 million and included Cash and cash equivalents of $333 million, while Current liabilities was $117 million and Shareholders’ equity was $450 million. In 2017 the company suffered a sharp fall in revenues and profit resulting from increased taxation and lower revenues. Profit for the year ending December 2017 amounted to $380 million down 26 percent from $515 million as revenues dived from $1.24 billion in 2016 to $1.09 billion in 2017.

The stock closed on the Trinidad & Tobago Stock Exchange at $88.55 on Friday.

Berger’s Managing director bullish on future

Berger Paints fell $2.07 to $17 with the largest block of shares on Tuesday.

Berger Paints just released its 2017 annual report, filled with a series of goodies for shareholders from talk of going after market share and adding new product lines to the addition and upgrading equipment to increase efficiency.
The report also disclosed the company will pay a final dividend of 28.5¢ per share totaling $61 million, equivalent to 35 percent of the profit to December 2017. The payment will to be made on May 28, to shareholders on record at the close of business of May 11, the proposed dividend compares to 50 cents or just over 30 percent of profit to March in 2017.
“For the nine-month period, revenues were $1.91 billion versus $2.36 billion for the 12-months ended March 2017, with a net profit of $174 million versus $316 million for the previous fiscal year. Berger enjoyed steady growth in profits from the 2012 fiscal year when it posted a profit of $33 million and rising in each year. Profit nearly doubled in 2016 to $122 million from $67 million the year before and more than doubled to March 2017.
The biggest contributor to the revenue decline for the December 2017 period “was a deliberate strategy of using aggressive pricing in an extremely competitive environment, to drive volume growth and take market share. This, coupled with increasing market acceptance and demand for our economy line, put downward pressure on margins. There has been an increase in administration expenses, some of which were one-off and related to the acquisition. Apart from these, there were higher costs for legal settlements as well as higher inventory and bad debt provisions, which adversely affected the current period compared to 2016/2017,” Andy Mahadeo, the Managing Director told shareholders in his report to them.

Andy Mahadeo, the Managing Director

“In addition to the one-off expenses identified in the Overview, raw material prices have also increased significantly over 2016. In a very competitive environment, we have made a deliberate decision to grow market share by absorbing the price increases and ensuring our customers get the best possible value for money. While this has resulted in declining Gross Margins in the short term, it positions the brand for growth in the future as our strategies are implemented going forward.”
“The outlook for 2018 and beyond is extremely positive. The Berger brand remains strong and continues to dominate the local market with strong brand equity and a reputation for quality. With GDP projected to grow by at least 1.5 percent in 2018, construction activity and the demand for coatings is expected to remain relatively strong for the next two to three years. Plans are already being implemented to expand the company’s local distribution and product range as well as to improve our level of customer service and responsiveness. In 2018, there will also be greater emphasis on building out exports by targeting new markets in Central America and the Greater CARICOM region,” the Managing Director reported.
Of note are developments in 2017 that are pointed out in the Managing Director’s report, “While the performance is creditable, there has been a decline in revenue and profits when compared to 2016/2017 on a pro-rata basis, with a few one-off extraordinary events that adversely affected the results. The one-week shutdown of operations and sales in order to conduct the verification exercise prior to the transfer of ownership as well as the significant legal and valuation costs incurred in September, will not be repeated going forward.”

Berger Paints is one of IC Insider’s TOP 10 stocks.

We expect to realize the full effect of our coatings synergies across our five operating plants in 2018 as we leverage our regional supply chain to remove cost. Our Strategic Plan over the next three years will see the company investing heavily in plant and equipment. This will enable us to increase production capacity and improve operational efficiencies while maintaining an unwavering focus on creating additional value.
Gross cash flow brought in $267 million, but growth in receivables, inventories, addition to fixed assets offset by increased payables and the paying of $113 million in dividends, left negative cash flow of $156 million. At the end of December, shareholders’ equity stood at $1 billion with no borrowed funds. Net current assets ended the period at $1.3 billion, inclusive of Trade and other receivables of $674 million, cash and bank balances of $232 million. Current liabilities stood at $494 million of which trade payables accounted for $381 million.
The stock traded at $18.20 on the main market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange with a PE ratio of 7 times 2018 projected earnings of $2.60. Net asset value is $4.93 with the stock selling at 3.5 times book value.

SOS writing book manufacturing starts May

Stationary and Office Supplies – Montego Bay offices.

Stationery and Office Supplies (SOS) purchase of equipment used to manufacture various types of writing books as well as the brand name SEEK.
“This purchase will allow SOS to enter the manufacturing industry in Jamaica starting with books and a plan to continue to manufacture other stationery products in the future”, SOS states.
Machinery purchased includes the following: Ruling machines, Guillotines, Gluing Machines, Stapling Machines and Book Presses.
The total value of the purchase is $60 million and is being financed through a bond with Jamaica National amounting to $80 million at an interest rate of 8 percent, and a duration for repayment of 7 years. The company expects that the total investment including machinery, raw materials and renovations will exceed $80 million. The Company said with this expansion, SOS initially be employing an additional 25 persons with production expected to start during the first week of May 2018. Prior to the acquisition a compliment of 40 persons were employed with a mixture of full time and part timers.  Revenues expected in the first twelve months is estimated at $130 million but could rise beyond this, as the business maintains most of the customers for books and SOS leverage their existing customers base and others for  more business. According to Allan McDaniel, Deputy Managing Director & Director of Warehousing and Logistics, the previous owner operated for about six months per year, but SOS will be able to operate full time and at less cost. The operation will be housed in the adjoining building they acquired last year and effectively fills out the space with their expanded inventories occupying about half. Profit margin is attractive and will almost ensure that the company will profit from it, this year, with growth estimated by them to likely be in the 30 percent region coming from both local and export sales. The new operation could deliver around $40 million to profit in 2018 and around $70 million in 2019, IC estimates.  Speaking about SOS operations, McDaniel would only say they are happy with the first quarter, that was helped by an increased inventory, now around $170 million compared to $117 million in March last year, just ahead of the public share offer. McDaniel said that while some of the fellow businesspersons are talking about a weak first quarter, SOS expects to report continued growth.

The company’s stock ended at a record close of $6 on the Junior Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange on Tuesday gaining 200 percent since it was listed in August last year.


TTSE closed with 4 gains 2 losses – Tuesday

Trinidad & Tobago Stock Exchange Head Quarters

In trading on the Trinidad & Tobago Stock Exchange on Tuesday, 16 securities changed hands with 4 advancing, 2 declining, leaving 10  unchanged, compared to 12 trading on Monday.
Trading volume remained low, with 195,484 shares valued at $1,671,458 changing hands, compared to 110,825 shares valued at $2,261,343 on Monday.
At close, the Composite Index lost 1.76 points on Tuesday to 1,257.24, the All T&T Index rose 0.03 points to 1,699.65, while the Cross Listed Index fell 0.49 points to close at 109.88.
IC bid-offer Indicator|At the end of trading, the Investor’s Choice bid-offer indicator reading shows the market continuing to be weak as it closed with only 1 stock ending with the bid higher than the last selling price and 6 with lower offers, an indication of the continuation of a weak market currently.
Gains| First Citizens rose 19 cents and settled at $32.70, after exchanging 4,245 shares, National Flour ended trading gaining 2 cents at $1.70, after 7,420 shares changed hands, Republic Financial Holdings finished 11 cents higher and concluded market activity at $101.69, with 1,025 stock units changing hands and Scotiabank concluded trading with a rise of 1 cent to $62.66, after exchanging 3,291 shares.
Losses| NCB Financial Group shares fell 5 cents and settled at $6.15, after exchanging 50,000 shares and One Caribbean Media closed with a loss of 4 cents at $12.44, with 11,801 stock units changing hands.

Firm Trades|Agostini’s settled at $21.06, after exchanging 180 shares, Clico Investments ended at $20.16, with 9,665 units, JMMB Group concluded trading at $1.86, with 60,900 stock units changing hands, Massy Holdings closed at $47, with 1,211 stock units changing hands, Prestige Holdings completed trading at $10.01, after exchanging 1,000 shares. Sagicor Financial ended at $7.80, with 1,343 units, Trinidad & Tobago NGL settled at $27.50, after exchanging 1,975 shares, Trinidad Cement closed at $2.60, with 38,819 stock units changing hands, Unilever Caribbean ended at $32, with 350 units trading and West Indian Tobacco completed trading at $88.55, after 2,259 shares changed hands.
Prices of securities trading for the day are those at which the last trade took place.

Profit drops a whopping 85% at Unilever

Unilever’s huge drop

The Trinidad based Unilever Caribbean ended 2017 with a profit, but it was not the greatest year for the company. Profit fell 72 percent in the December quarter, to TT$3.5 million from TT$12.4 million in 2016.
For the year to December, profit dropped 85 percent from TT$71.7 million in 2016 to TT$10.7 million.
Sale revenues fell 27.5 percent for the quarter, to TT$113.7 million from TT$157 million and declined 18 percent for the year, to TT$464 million from TT$566 million in 2016. The fall in fortunes resulted from pressures in the home country the results of a continuing recession and shortage of foreign exchange. In the second half of the year, the company faced added pressure from the damaged and dislocation caused by hurricanes that affect several countries in the Eastern Caribbean. Corporate taxation fell 54 percent to TT$8.7 million for the year compared to TT$18.8 million in 2016.
Revenues reached a high of $588 million in 2014, dipped to $549 million in 2015, recovered a bit in 2016 to $566 million before falling sharply in 2017. Profit peaked at $70 million in 2013 dropped sharply in 2014 to just over $47 million in 2015 and $42.5 in 2016
Gross profit margin in the final quarter, declined to 35 percent from 38 percent in the 2016 and 36 percent for both the year, compared to 40 percent for 2016. The effect, gross operating profit declined 33 percent in the quarter to TT$40 million from TT$60 million but fell 27 percent for the year to TT$166 million from TT$228 million in 2016.
Administrative expenses rose 7 percent to TT$7.6 million in the quarter and increased just 1 percent in the year, to TT$29.5 million. Selling and distribution expenses declined by 31 percent to TT$21.7 million in the last quarter and was down 16 percent to $115 million for the year. The company suffered a loss of TT$1.7 million on disposal of fixed assets in the December quarter and TT$1.9 million for the ear.
Gross cash flow brought in TT$30 million but a TT$43 million addition to fixed assets and paying TT$13 million in dividends more than wiped out to inflows reducing the cash funds from TT$57 million to TT$32 million at the end of the year.
At the end of December, shareholders’ equity stood at TT$234 million with no borrowings. Receivables stood at TT$111 million and Payables at TT$86 million.
The capital spend will has boosted plant capacity and improved efficiency and is expected to drive domestic and export sales. The company now earns 45 percent of its revenues from exports. A part of the plan is new detergent formulations that will be offered in 17 markets, in the region, the company stated.
Earnings per share came out at 13 cents for the quarter and 40 cents for the year. The stock traded at TT$32 on the Trinidad & Tobago Stock Exchange with a PE ratio of 80 times 2017 earnings and net asset value is TT$8.92 resulting the price to book value being 3.6 times.