Profit up 19% at Grace for Q1

Group Chief Executive Officer, Don Wehby.

Grace Kennedy recorded a 5.1 percent increase in revenues to $24.9 billion and a 14.9 percent gain in net profit of $1.3 billion, for the first quarter of 2018.
Profit after minority interest, rose by a stronger 18.5 percent to $1.19 billion, resulting in earnings per share of $1.20. While revenues grew just over 5 percent, expenses climbed by a larger 6.2 percent, resulting in a fall in operating profit, to $712 million from $919 million in 2017. An increase of $277 million in other income and a cut in profit tax by $73 million were factors helping to boost the profit for the period.
Segment results show, improved results for food and trading division with operating results of $699 million versus $624 in 2017, gains for banking and Investments while insurance surged from $82 million in 2017 to $205 million in 2018 but Money transfer fell from $747 million to $664 million.
Don Wehby, Group CEO, noted that the company benefitted from performances of key business lines and new acquisitions and the strides being made in both our Foods and Financial Services segments. ”Our newest acquisitions, Consumer Brands and Gray’s Pepper Products, are a very good fit and are integrating well within the Group,” Wehby said.
The Group adopted the new International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) which became effective in January, this year.

Some of Grace Kennedy’s products.

“IFRS 9 addresses the recognition, classification and measurement of financial instruments while IFRS 15 addresses the recognition of revenue from contracts with customers. The effect of adopting these standards is a reduction in shareholders’ equity at the start of the year of J$0.9 billion, however the impact on the results for the first quarter has not been material,” Frank James said.
The Grace Kennedy Financial Group (GKFG) performed creditably with good growth in revenue driven by the Insurance business while both the Insurance and the Banking and Investments segments grew in pre-tax profits. GK Insurance (Eastern Caribbean) continued its expansion into the Caribbean with operations beginning in Antigua and Barbuda in April.

First Global Bank (FGB) reported growth in pre-tax profit mainly driven by lower cost of funds and lower expenses. The Bank is focusing on expansion through satellite locations branded FG MoneyLink. Four FG MoneyLink branches are in operation in four parishes.
“We consider compliance to be a competitive advantage and we have been working closely with our partner Western Union to ensure our network meets the highest internal and regulatory standards. In the medium-term we will see positive results. We also expect additional growth to come from the new channel which allows Jamaicans to send funds to 200 countries. Jamaica was the first country in the Latin America and the Caribbean to have this facility,” Wehby said.
Grace said that the Domestic Foods business as well as that of Canada and the USA showed growth, while the UK business had mixed results with decline in sales in the UK market but strong growth buoyed by deepening market penetration in Germany, Spain, Holland and France. New listings in Publix, Save-A-Lot and Stop & Shop stores in the USA and in Walmart in Canada, have helped boost performance in the Food Trading Segment.

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