Profit melts in the third quarter at Kremi

The 2022 fiscal year started with a blast for the first quarter to May with profit at $54 million after tax, doubling the $27 million in 2020, but a lot of that melted away in the third quarter to November at Caribbean Cream, which trades as Kremi, with the company reporting a loss in that quarter of $25 million down from a profit of $11 million in 2020. The loss brought profit for the nine months to $36 million compared to $85 million in the similar 2020 period.

Caribbean Cream closed at 52 weeks’ low of $3.80

Caribbean Cream did not have a good second quarter with sales rising 5.4 percent and profit falling 85 percent from $47 million to just $7 million due to what the company stated was the introduction of no movement days during the quarter that curtailed sales.
Sales revenues rose 14 percent for the third quarter to $500 million from $441 million but climbed 15 percent for the year to date, to $1.54 billion from $1.33 billion in 2020. The poor performance in the third quarter management attributes to “equipment and infrastructure challenges which we have addressed as we begin the final quarter.” In spelling out the issues Management, stated “at the beginning of the quarter the company faced unforeseen challenges in production resulting in the plant’s efficiency and capacity being impacted negatively. Since then, changes have been made in procedures, equipment and personnel to rectify the problem.”
While the company has been making headways with increased revenues, profit performance has not been consistent for some time, with the exception of the years 2014 to 2017 that enjoyed an annual increase in profits. The turbulence in profits since 2017 and the major problems in the 2021 third quarter reveal a major weakness in management that needs addressing. Such inconsistencies destroy investors’ interest in the company as well as the stock price.
Gross profit fell 13 percent in the quarter to $125 million from $143 million but rose 7 percent for the year to date, to $486 million from $453 billion in 2020.
Gross profit margin in the first nine months of the year, declined in the November quarter to 32 percent from 34 percent in the 2020 and for the quarter it dropped sharply to just 24 percent compared to 32 percent for the 2020 and that was a major contributor to the loss in the period.
Administrative expenses rose 15.5 percent to $129 million in the quarter and increased 26 percent in the nine months period to $378 million. Sales and distribution expenses increased by 8 percent in the quarter and the nine months to $16 million from $15 million in 2020 and from $43 million to $47 million, respectively. Depreciation rose from $88 million in 2020 to $95 million and is likely to rise further with the completion of the power generating plant being installed and is expected to make a major impact on the cost of utilities in the new fiscal year. Finance cost more than doubled in the quarter to $8 million from $4 million in 2020 and jumped 52 percent from $13 million to $20 million for the nine months.
Gross cash flow brought in $130 million down from $185 million in 2020. There was a release of $30 million from working capital but additions to fixed assets consumed $263 million funded by net loan inflows of $328 million. Payment of dividends consumed $26 million, more than twice the $11 million in 2020.
At the end of the period, shareholders’ equity stood at $844 million. Long term loans amounted to $654 million and short term at $11 million. Current assets ended the period at $553 million, including trade and other receivables of $82 million, inventories of $244 million and cash and bank balances of $227 million. Current liabilities ended at $140 million and net current assets at $413 million.
Earnings per share for the quarter was negative 7 cents and a profit of 10 cents for the year to date. IC forecasts 27 cents per share for the fiscal year and $1 for 2023.
The stock traded at $5.40 on the Junior Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange with a PE ratio of 20 times 2022 earnings and a PE of 5.4 times fiscal 2023 earnings. Net asset value is $2.33 with the stock selling at 2.4 times book value.