Profit jumps at CPJ but watch 2023

Two Fridays ago, investors snapped up 1,258,697 shares, 12 times the average Caribbean Producers shares traded since mid-September, but the price pulled back to $12.50 at the close of the first Friday’s trading in response to the company reporting record earnings of US$7.5 million after corporation tax of $1.744 million in delivering J$1.05 per share for the year to June, more than 50 percent over the US$5.24 million made in 2018, with no tax then payable, the previous best year.

Caribbean Producers traded 52 weeks’ high during the week following a near US$2 quarterly profit.

The company reported a loss of US$2.3 million in 2021, resulting in lower revenues as the hotel sector they sell to primarily operated at low levels after closure in 2020 due to Covid-19.
Sale revenues climbed 209 percent for the year, to $120 million from just $57 billion in 2021. The 2022 final quarter produced revenues that were 58 percent higher than in 2021, coming out at US$33.5 million and delivering a pretax profit of US$1.5 million, with the gross margin down to just 22 percent in the quarter. Inventory written down accounted for US$1.1 million in the June quarter, down from US$1.37 million in 2021, with the company posting revenues of US$21 million and profit of US$1.3 million.
The 2022 results were delivered, with tourism traffic at just 78 percent of 2019 for the 12 months to June this year, with the final quarter benefiting from tourist traffic just 3 percent less than in 2019.
Profit margins increased from a low of 24 percent in 2019 to 30 percent in 2022 and are up from 25 percent in 2021 and 27 percent in 2020, leading to gross profit rising to $34.8 million in 2022 from $14.74 million in 2021 and $20.7 in 2020.
Segment results show the Jamaican operation enjoying a 96 percent increase in revenues to third parties of $97.5 million, up from $46.9 million in 2021 and contributed segment results of $7.4 million, up from a loss of $2 million in the previous year, while profit for the St Lucian operations increased to $436,000 million from a loss of $522,000 in 2021, with revenues rising 103 percent to $23.45 million, from $11.56 million in the prior year.
Selling and administrative expenses rose 50 percent to $18.2 million for the year from $12.1 million in 2021, but depreciation remained nearly flat at $4.2 million from $4.19 million in 2021. Finance cost jumped 34 percent to $2.95 million from $2.2 million in 2021.
Gross cash flow brought in $13.5 million, but growth in receivables, inventories and addition to fixed assets offset by increased payables more than wiped out the inflows leaving a deficit of $3 million that was funded by net borrowings of $3.5 million.
At the end of June, shareholders’ equity stood at $23 million, Long term borrowings ended at $15.7 million and short term at $26.7 million. Current assets accounted for $62.6 million, including trade and other receivables of $8.4 million, inventories at $40 million, almost twice the level in 2021 and cash and bank balances of $4 million. Current liabilities amounted to $46.8 million. Net current assets ended the period at $16 million.
At the end of July this year, the company issued $13 million of Unsecured Fixed Rate US$ notes, with a tenor of five (5) years and during the continuance of an Event of Default bear interest at 10% per annum and at all other times 7% per annum. The monies received were used to repay existing related party loans at varying interest rates. forecasts J$2.75 per share for the fiscal year ending June 2023, with a PE of 5 times the current year’s earnings based on the price of $13.93 the stock traded at on the Jamaica Stock Exchange Main Market, with a price target of more than $40 in 2023.

Not mentioned in comments from the company is the outcome of discussions they were to have regarding an acquisition in the Easter Caribbean and the raising of fresh equity capital to help fund the acquisition and reduce the heavy debt load.

Improved tourist arrivals boost CPJ earnings

Caribbean Producers transformed itself following the pressures posed by the closure of the hotel sector it primarily serves in 2020 and the relatively prolonged period taken to get back to normal levels.

Caribbean Producers

Notably, revenues are rising again and delivering record profits even for a period when tourism numbers were 28 percent down for the March 2022 quarter from 2019. The June quarter could see 30 percent higher arrivals than the March quarter resulting in more revenues for the June quarter compared with that for the March quarter.
The above data portends more positive revenue growth for the coming fiscal year that starts in July. There will be a significant revenue hike in the first three quarters of the 2023 fiscal year, compared to the current fiscal year, with the tourism sector back to normal as indicated by preliminary June quarter arrivals. There should also be improved performance in the June quarter of 2023 compared to 2022, which enjoyed much recovery but was still not at full capacity.
According to Mark Hart and Tom Tyler, directors of the company, “the group remains optimistic for the fourth quarter of the financial year due to strong hotel bookings reported by our customers.”
The group is diversifying their revenue stream, making more investments in stores and adding new product lines for local consumption.
Revenues for the March quarter surged 123 percent to US$28.36 million over 2021 with just $12.7 million with the nine months to March delivering revenues of $86.44 million, up 133 percent above the $37.11 million generated in 2021. Interest and other income generated $89,700 for the quarter, down from $182,000 in 2021 and $652,000 for the nine months to date, up 93 percent over 339,000 in 2021. Profit margin slipped to 31 percent in the quarter but rose to 32 percent for the year to date, with gross profit of $8.9 million from $3.5 million in 2021 and $27.6 million for the nine months to March versus $9.9 million in 2021.
Depreciation cost was steady at just over 1 million for the quarter in both years and $3.2 million for the year to date but Administrative and selling expenses jumped 63 percent in the quarter to $5.2 million from $3.19 million in 2021 and rose 57 percent to $14.7 million for the nine months from $9.4 million in 2021. Finance cost rose 80 percent to $794,810 from $441,626 for the quarter and 71 percent to $2,290,676 from $1,336,016 for the nine months.
Gross cash flow brought in $10.2 million, but growth in receivables, inventories and addition to fixed assets resulted in outflows of $2.4 million, but net loan inflows amounting to $2.4 million resulted in a slight dip in cash funds on hand at the end of the quarter. At the end of March, Current assets amounted to $53.5 million, including Inventories of $30 million, receivables of $19.3 million and cash and bank balances of $4.2million. Current liabilities ended at $25.3 million, resulting in net current assets of $28.2 million. Heavy debt is a major concern at US$43 million in borrowings with equity of just $22 million.
Earnings per share came out at 0.14 of one US cent for the quarter and 0.62 of a US cent for the nine months. IC forecasts J$1.65 per share for the fiscal year ending June 2022, with a PE of 8.55 times the current year’s earnings based on the price of $14.11, the stock traded on the Jamaica Stock Exchange Main Market and EPS of $2.60 for 2023 with a PE of a mere 5.4 and putting the stock price in the $50 range by 2023. Net asset value is $3.14, with the stock selling at 3.5 times book value.
All currency is the US dollar unless otherwise stated.