Grace performance slips in Q2

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Grace Kennedy reported revenues of $48.4 billion, an increase of 4.3 percent or $2 billion over the corresponding period of 2017 for the half year to June, “driven largely by growth in its Food Trading and Insurance segments.” Don Wehby stated in a release following the release of the interim results.
Net profit for the period was $2.5 billion, an increase of $266 million or 12.2 percent compared with 2017. After minority interest net profit rose by 14 percent to $2.15 billion but by just 9 percent in the second quarter to $959 million from $881 million in 2017.
Second quarter sales revenue grew just 3.85 percent to $22.44 billion, a slower pace than the first quarter’s 6 percent. Other income rose a strong 60 percent to $718 million in the quarter over the prior year, and 61 percent for the half year, to $1.45 billion. Interest income was slightly down to $1.13 billion and $2.25 billion in the quarter and half year period respectively, over the similar periods in 2017.
Total comprehensive income a better measure of managements stewardship, more than doubled in the second quarter to $1.338 billion from $625 million in 2017 but slipped slightly to $2.39 billion for the half year.
The Group reported that its Food Trading segment experienced growth in revenue and pre-tax profits over the corresponding period of 2017. This was due to improved performance in the domestic foods business as the local economy picks up and now showing stronger growth. While showing an increase in revenue over prior year, the Company’s international foods business experienced a decline in pre-tax profits compared to the corresponding period of 2017, primarily due to the performance of Grace Foods UK.

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Financial Group experienced mixed fortunes during the period, as the Money Services and Banking and Investments segments both experienced decline in revenue and pre-tax profits, while the Insurance segment grew revenue and pre-tax profits over the corresponding period of 2017. The performance of the Money Services segment was due to a reduction in transaction volumes in the remittance business in Jamaica stemming from the implementation of enhanced compliance measures.
Grace’s financial position remains strong with Shareholders equities of $46.35 billion and the company’s stock traded at $58.50 on Friday with a PE of 11 based on IC’s earnings estimate for 2018 of $5.40. The PE is lower than the market’s average of 13.5 and with IC forecasting average PE to reach 17 by late this year or early next year, the stock has room for growth.
Grace approved the payment of an interim dividend of 45 cents per stock unit, payable on September 26, an increase of 18 percent from the 38 cents per stock unit paid to stockholders in September last year. Group CFO Frank James said, “This brings the dividends declared to date to approximately $844 million, an increase of 25 percent or $169 million over the corresponding period in 2017.”

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