Grace Q3 results show some progress

Grace Kennedy Head Office

Grace Kennedy results for the third quarter showed some progress with the net operating profit before other income growing an attractive 26 percent in the September quarter compared to just 4.6 percent year to date.
In the June quarter operating profit before other income declined from $977 million to $956 million and year to date $1.876 billion down from $1.96 billion. Net profit for the quarter to September, rose $568 million or 57 percent to $1.56 billion. Importantly, the result includes one off gains of $419 million, excluding this gain, profit would have been up just 15 percent.
The big question, can these gains be sustained, if not accelerated going into 2018?
An increase of $51 million resulted in net profit of $3.75 billion for the nine months period from revenues of $69.3 billion, up 4 percent or $2.6 billion over the same period in 2016 with $66.65 billion. Revenues for the quarter, ended at $22.93 billion versus $22.53 billion in 2016.
Earnings per share for the quarter came in at $1.43 inclusive of the one off gain and $3.34 for the nine months the same as in 2016 a period that had large one off gains.
The third quarter shows much progress
“We have been steadily executing our strategy and are seeing the results. We are pleased with the performance of the Group and expect to finish 2017 on a strong note. With our customers at the focus of our entire operation, innovation, convenience and new technology are shaping our view of the future and how we deliver our goods and services,” Don Wehby, Group CEO said.

Group Chief Executive Officer, Don Wehby.

“We are quite optimistic about Consumer Brands and its capacity to add value to our shareholders. We have made, at the outset, a non-recurring gain of $418.5 million on the acquisition. We expect the business to continue to do well, given its knowledgeable and competent team and the Proctor and Gamble portfolio of products,” Wehby stated.
“In 2016 a non-recurring gain was attributable to the liquidation of non-operating subsidiaries. In 2017, we recorded $455 million in non-recurring gains due to liquidation of non-operating subsidiaries and an acquisition. Without these gains, net profit would have been higher than the corresponding period of 2016 by 0.7 percent. For Q3 2017, without the one-off gains, net profit for the three months ended September 2017 would have increased by 14.6 percent over prior year,” Frank James, the group’s Finance Director said.
He added that: “Shareholders will receive a dividend of .45 cents per stock unit, bringing dividends year-to-date to $1.13, an 11 percent increase over the corresponding period.”
Management commented on the various regions and divisions within the group. According to them “The Food Trading segment, which includes operations in Jamaica, Canada, the USA, the UK and Ghana continues to perform well. Some highlights include growth in the Florida and Georgia markets for GraceKennedy Foods (USA) and expanded relationships with CostCo Wholesale and other retailers in Western Canada for Grace Foods Canada.

Some of Grace Kennedy’s products.

While Grace Foods (UK) experienced lower sales than projected, a bold campaign featuring Daniel Sturridge as the new brand ambassador for the food drink Nurishment, is expected to have a high impact.”
“Grace Foods Latin America & Caribbean continues to be affected by the slow recovery of corned beef sales following a ban on the sale and distribution of corned beef in several markets in March 2017. Additionally Hurricanes Irma and Maria disrupted operations on the islands of St. Maarten, British Virgin Island and Dominica. Distribution partners in those countries continue to work toward restoring normalcy to their operations.”
First Global Bank (FGB) experienced growth driven mainly by net interest income and higher gains on securities sold when compared to the same period in 2016. Lower provisions against loan losses also contributed to the favourable performance as the bank continues to focus on delinquency management. FGB’s new direction, includes branch expansion through FGB Money Link. Money Link will see 28 new mini branches being established in locations across the island by 2018.”
The Money Services segment through Grace Kennedy Money Services (GKMS) reported growth in both revenue and pre-tax profit over the corresponding period of 2016. This is due to increased transaction volumes in the remittance business most notably in Trinidad and Tobago, Cayman and Guyana.
The Insurance segment declined in both revenue and pre-tax profit when compared to the corresponding period of 2016. This outcome was influenced by reduced investment returns and increased claims activity from Caribbean territories that were affected by hurricanes in September. The potential impact of claims relating to these hurricanes is still being assessed. GK General Insurance continues to maintain a robust reinsurance programme with highly rated international reinsurers which will lessen the impact of these claims.
Grace shares closed trading on the Jamaica Stock Exchange on Friday at $42.70 and is one of the cheaper priced stock on the market with a PE ratio around 10 times 2017 earnings.

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