Record profits at Barita

Barita Investments recorded the highest profit in its history, with the group delivering an impressive $2.7 billion profit after tax for the year ended in September. The company was bettering by 59.4 percent, the profit of $1.7 billion, a then-record for 2019 and continuing a stunning transformation of a former sleepy little family dominated company that few investors paid attention to.

Barita public stock offer pulled money away from other JSE stocks.

Those sterile days seem to be behind it as the company posted another quarter of strong results to September, with after tax profit jumping 158 percent to $727 million from $285 million in 2019. Earnings per share for the quarter ended at 88 cents and $3.29 for the year.
For the latest quarter, revenues climbed 17 percent from $1.16 billion to $1.36 billion and rose a solid 29 percent from $3.98 billion to $5.14 billion for the full year. There were major shifts in the lines of income generated during the year. Net Interest income rose a robust 35.5 percent from $650 million to $881 million for the year, while Fees and Commission Income more than doubled to $1.84 billion from $847 million. Foreign exchange trading brought in $978 million versus just $199 million in the prior year. Investment activity suffered from a fall, with $1.36 billion generated in 2020 versus $1.94 billion in 2019. September quarter Investment activity revenues declined even more than for the year with an income of $701 million in 2019 versus just $251 million this year.
While the revenues were growing attractively, expenses grew modestly in the final quarter by two percent, moving from $697 million to $710 million, but climbed a more robust 32 percent for the year from $1.53 billion in 2019 to $2 billion. Tax liability dropped sharply from $742 million in 2019 to $393 million, despite the rise in pretax profit.
The group’s rapid transformation has some investors stunned, wondering if the surge in profit for the past two years is real and lasting. Oblivious of those concerns, local and overseas’ based investors piled into a public issue of shares in September, priced around $50 each and invested $13.5 billion of fresh capital in the company after the issue was heavily oversubscribed. In September 2018,

Shareholders at Barita Investments AGM.

shareholders’ equity was just $3.3 billion that has now jumped to $27.7 billion with the recent capital raised, helping to double the amount shareholders have invested in the company.
There is more growth to come with the new capital placing them in a much stronger financial position. The group has not yet taken full control of the enormous potential for growth from their pool of managed funds. The expanded capital base places them in a good spot to become even more aggressive to undertake business deals or acquire other businesses to merge with existing ones.
The company now has $70.5 billion assets comprising, amongst others assets, Cash funds of $5.7 billion, marketable securities of $8.5 billion, other investments of $48 billion, and loans of $1.7 billion. On the liability side, repurchase agreements amount to $34 billion.
The stock trades on the Jamaica Stock Exchange at $84.50 with a PE of 25.5 based on 2020 earnings, that multiple should fall with the 2021 results that will start being released with the first quarter due late January.

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