Radio Jamaica looks promising

Radio Jamaica generated revenues of $1.2 billion in the March 2017 quarter, $156 million less than the December quarter but had $49 million more in direct expenses in the March quarter when it was expected that direct expenses would have fallen in keeping with the reduced income.
The group also reported lower profits in the March quarter compared with the December quarter and suffered a loss before taxation of $30 million and $65 million after an increased taxation charge of $35 million, bringing the full year taxation provision to $75 million. RJR ended the fiscal year with profit after tax of $145 million or just 6 cents per share. Results for 2018 should be much better as staff cost will fall with reduction in staffing while some one off cost that affected profit, should not recur.
In the March quarter, general expenses fell by $110 million from the December quarter to reach $562 million. The sharp change could result from reclassification of some expenses to direct cost, resulting in the jump in this area in the last quarter of the fiscal year. In the December quarterly report, the company stated that “increased cost of $64 million was incurred largely from further operational investments and one- off costs”. The areas that incurred the cost are continued rollout of 1 Spot Media, legal expenses incurred in protecting copy rights and defending legal action and repairs to broadcast transmitters. This was reconfirmed by Managing Director, Gary Allen in response to questions posed by IC as the reason why profit in the Television segment had fallen even as revenues rose.
“The figures have seven months of the old structure. Only five months of HR synergies were realised in the financial year under review, as redundancies took place in September/November” Gary Allen, Managing Director advised IC, in response to our question of how much staff cost is in the 2107 figures for person who were made redundant?
Prior to the merger investors were advised of major cost reduction and improved revenues that will flow from the merged entity. Allen stated ‘they have started with the HR synergies. Others are being realised as we integrate systems in the operations. Most elements will be implemented by the end of 2018/2019.”
Cash flow from operating activities was $363 million but $248 million was spent on acquiring fixed assets with the group ending with cash and equivalent of $291 million at the end of the year. RJR also has investments in bonds and Government of Jamaica securities amounting to $487 million.

Gleaner & RJR execs signing merger agreement in 2015

The RJR Group underwent major changes with the acquisition of the Gleaner media business. Comparing the 2017 fiscal year’s results with that of 2016 makes little sense with the latter having very little financial data of the acquired business.
Data contained in the segment results, provide some indication as to the performance of various parts of the group. The performance of the segments in 2017 over 2016 show, Audio Visual generating just $65 million more in revenues in 2017 to end with $1.868 billion and contributed $72 million to profits compared to $157 million in 2016, Audio comprising radio operations had revenues of $711 million compared to $567 million and contributed profit of $238 million versus $112 million, Independent Radio coming on stream and growth in Outside Broadcasts contributed to the increase. The print division showed revenues of only $78 million in 2016 and a loss of $190 million saw a major about turn, with revenues of $2.8 billion and profit of $173 million for 2017.

Allen went on to state that “the market will remain competitive and the economic conditions of Jamaica will continue to impact media spend. Improvements will come from those able to leverage market leadership positions, product diversification, overseas earnings and new marketing strategies. RJR has all the necessary ingredients to meet these challenges and the opportunities on the horizon.”
The stock traded at $1.60 on the Jamaica Stock Exchange on Friday and with IC projecting earnings of 25 cents per share for 2018 fiscal year ending in March, the stock seems attractive coming against a back ground of continued growth in the Jamaican economy.

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