Trading rises on JSE USD market

 Trading picked up on the US dollar market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange on Friday, with the market rising after trading 54 percent more shares than on Thursday with a value that was 25 times greater.
Trading ended with six securities changing hands, compared to three on Thursday and ended with the price of one stock rising, three declining and two remaining unchanged.
The JSE USD equity index advanced 0.15 points to 187.55. The average PE Ratio ended at 13.4 based on ICInsider.com’s forecast of 2020-21 earnings.
The market closed with an exchange of 233,569 shares, at a consideration of US$92,790 compared to 151,769 units at a mere US$3,664 on Thursday.
Trading averaged 38,928 units changing hands at US$15,465, in contrast to an average of 50,590 shares at US$1,221 on Thursday. Trading ended with an average of 42,162 units for the month to date at US$6,883 in contrast to 42,733 units at US$5,369 on Thursday. By comparison, November ended with an average of 51,134 units for US$4,516.
Investor’s Choice bid-offer indicator reading for the market shows two stocks ending with bids higher than their last selling prices and one with a lower offer.
At the close of the market, Productive Business Solutions shed 18 cents in ending at 66 US cents, in an exchange of 95,356 shares, Proven Investments dropped 0.01 of a cent in closing at 25.97 US cents after trading 50,809 stock units, Sterling Investments closed at 2.35 US cents, with 21,196 shares changing hands. Sygnus Credit Investments dropped 1.20 cents to settle at 15.80 US cents, trading 58,948 shares and Transjamaican Highway gained 0.14 US cents to close at 0.94 US cents after exchanging 10 units.
In the preference segment, JMMB Group 6% settled at US$1.05, switching ownership of 7,250 stock units.

Prices of securities trading are those for the last transaction of each stock unless otherwise stated.

Q2 profit up at Carreras

Cigarettes are no longer the in-demand and sexy product of former years, nor are stocks of companies involved in the product in strong demand either.
It is against that background that the former highflier and Jamaica Stock Exchange-listed Carreras is to be viewed. But stocks of these companies are sought after by many who see great value in the high dividends paid by them, even if growth in profit is moderate. Years of increased prices on the product, mostly fueled by increased taxation, stymied demand and affected the profitability of the company. For the current year, aftertax profit climbed 11 percent for the September quarter to $911 million from $822 million but dropped 11 percent for the year to date from $1.75 billion to $1.56 billion. Taxation on profits climbed 10 percent in the quarter and the half year to $308 million from $279 million and $531 million from $591 million respectively.
Before tax charges, profit climbed 11 percent for the September quarter to $1.2 billion, up from $1.1 billion in 2019 but dropped 11 percent for the year to date from $2.34 billion to $2.1 billion.
Operating profit climbed by 12 percent for the quarter to $1.2 billion from $1.1 billion but decreased 10 percent for the half year to $2.1 billion from $2.3 billion in the same period in 2019.

Carreras leading brand

Revenue grew 8.5 percent for the quarter to $3.46 billion from $3.2 billion in 2019, with a seven percent drop for the six months to September from $6.64 billion to $6.15 billion. The revenue includes special consumption tax of $2.6 billion, two percent less than the similar period in 2019.
Cost of sales grew nine percent for the quarter from $1.61 billion to $1.76 billion and fell by six percent for the year to date from $3.3 billion to $3.1 billion. Gross profit improved by eight percent for the quarter from $1.58 billion to $1.7 billion but shrunk nine percent for the six month period from $3.3 billion to $3.1 billion. The gross profit margin for the quarter and the six months stood at 49 percent, down a single percentage point from the respective corresponding periods.
Administrative, marketing and distribution expenses fell one percent for the quarter and three percent for the first half of the fiscal year, to $490 million and $999 million, respectively.
The company is in excellent financial health having generated cash inflows from operations of $1.4 billion and after paying $1.6 billion in dividends cash and bank balances stood at $1.8 billion. Current assets ended at $3.53 billion inclusive of accounts receivables of $1.3 billion, with cash funds and inventories making the rest. Current liabilities stood at $2.05 billion. At the end of September, shareholders’ equity stood at $1.8 billion.
Earnings per share came out at 18.76 cents for the quarter and 32.18 cents for the half year. ICInsider.com forecasting 80 cents per share for the fiscal year. The stock last traded at $6.50 on the Main Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange with a PE ratio of 8.3 times 2021 earnings.
A dividend of 17 cents per share will be paid on December 16, bringing the payments in the year to 64 cents, for a yield of 10 percent on the current price.

Berger Paints Q3 profit surges

Profit before taxation soared an outstanding 524 percent for Berger Paints for the third quarter, but that was insufficient to wipe out the losses incurred in the first and second quarters, amounting to $63 million.  

Berger Paints Q3 profit jumps.

For the quarter ended September 2020, the company recorded a profit before tax of $58 million, up from $9 million for the corresponding quarter in 2019.
Taxation climbed 700 percent for the quarter from a loss of $1.8 million to $14.7 million for the quarter but dropped by 162 percent for the year from $10 million to a credit of $6 million. Net profit came in at $43 million for the quarter, a 481 percent jump over the comparative quarter’s figure of $7.4 million.
Profit after tax dropped 151 percent from $40 million to a loss of $20 million for the nine months period after-tax, losing $26 million, for the nine months to September, compared to a profit of $50 billion at the end of September 2019. Heading into the traditional festive season, Berger will be hoping to close out the fiscal year on a high note with a strong increase in the final quarter profit.
Revenue improved by eight percent for the quarter from $534 million to $574 million but fell nine percent from $1.63 billion to $1.49 billion for the nine months to September.
Direct Manufacturing expenses fell by 29.7 percent for both the quarter and the year to date, recorded at $304 million and was down 26 percent to $763 million respectively. Gross profit jumped 103 percent for the quarter from $150 million to $304 million and increased 20 percent for the year to date from $609 million to $732 million, with gross profit margins of 53 percent for the quarter, up from just 28 percent in 2019 and 49 percent for the 2020 nine months, up from 37 percent in 2019. The input in paint production is heavily based on petrochemicals as such a fall in the price of oil on the world market would result in reduced production cost for the company.
Depreciation jumped 78 percent for the quarter to $20 million and a 58 percent increase to $45 million for the year. Other operating expenses declined 8 percent for the quarter from $118 million to $108 million and saw a 25 percent rise for the year from $262 million to $327 million. Other income for the quarter stood at $7.2 million for the quarter up from just $182,000 and at $7.7 million for the year to date from $54,000 in 2019.
The company implemented new information technology last year, which the company claims are working well. “The recently deployed Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system has settled and has been providing Management with key insights to allow for a deeper appreciation of the business drivers and, with that, quicker decision making. Although a relatively new deployment, it is already contributing value to the business,” the Chairman, Adam N. Sabga, remarked in a statement accompanying the quarterly.
Net cash inflows generated cash of $21 million, but a reduction in amounts due to payables and fellow subsidiaries resulted in cash from operating activities was an outflow of $190 million and capital spend and loan payments increased cash outflows to $263 million. Current assets stood at $1.37 million inclusive of Inventories of $509 million, Receivables of $443 million and cash and bank balances of $306 million.  Current liabilities tallied $572 million inclusive of $126 million due to the immediate parent company and $369 million to fellow subsidiaries. At the end of September, shareholder’s equity stood at $1.1 billion.
Earnings per share came in at 20 cents for the quarter and a loss of 10 cents for the nine months to September and ICInsider.com projects full-year earnings of $2.25 per share with a rise to $2.80 in 2021.
The stock is currently trading at $11.85 on the Main Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange with a PE ratio of 5.3 times 2020 earnings.

Good news drive interest in Jamaican Teas

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Shareholders of Jamaican Teas approved a three for one stock split effective November 30 at a meeting held by the Company on Tuesday. The record date for the split is Monday, November 30, but the stocks go ex split on Friday, November 27 and will commence trading at the post-split price on that day.

John Mahfood CEO and Director of Jamaican Teas addressing the EGM.

In an update to shareholders at the meeting on recent developments within the Group and the outturn for the year to September, they were advised of the continued growth the Group experienced since listing in 2010 with equity moving from $392 million to $1.8 billion at the end of September, this year. Management advised that helped by good results for 2020, the Group moved from a billion-dollar entity to a $2 billion one measured by sales that closed the past fiscal year at $2.2 billion.
Management considers one of the highlights of the recently concluded quarter to be the strong 65 percent gain in export sales over the prior year as well as exports accounting for 65 percent of total manufacturing sales in the quarter. The level of exports meets one of the objectives set at the time the Company went public in 2010.
Early indications and feedback from our overseas customers point to a continuation of the positive trend in exports for the 2021 financial year, the meeting was told.
While exports were dominant, domestic sales did relatively well, with local manufacturing sales increasing 17 percent over 2019. Overall, sales climbed 44 percent to $407 million in the fourth quarter, shareholders were informed. The Real estate division contributed $240 million in sales and is set to contribute around $160 million in the December quarter.
The Group had a disappointing year in the investment division, as it incurred a loss with the fall in the value of local investments but saw some improvement in the second half of the fiscal year, with profit in both quarters. Management expressed the view that there should be an improvement in its fortunes in the new year.
Net profit attributable to Jamaican Teas for the quarter was $131 million, a decline of 27 percent from the $180 million profit in the corresponding quarter of the previous year. For the full year, net profit attributable to Jamaican Teas was $210 million, a decline of 47 percent from the $400 million generated in the previous year.
After the year-end, Jamaican Teas had increased sales of 47 percent in October 2020 over 2019, with export up a robust 85 percent and a much less robust 10 percent for domestic sales. Orders in hand for November suggest a continuation of the positive trend seen in October.

Jamaican Teas’ shareholder – Mr. Lanzel Bloomfield addressing the EGM

The Group will be booking more real estate sales in the December quarter. With the above developments, management expects a good first quarter for the financial year ending September 2021. The Group plans to commence a major expansion of the factory to meet the increasing demand for its manufacturing products.
Since the company advised the JSE on September 29 that the board would meet to set a date for the three-for-one stock split, the price rose by 56 percent to $6.70. The stock traded at $4.30 on the day of the announcement. The release was posted after trading closed. The next trading day, the price jumped to $4.83 with 161,040 shares trading. On the first day of October, the price moved to $5.02 with 1,099,894 shares trading. The stock traded at $5.50 on Monday last week. On Tuesday, it traded at $5.99 and moved $6.30 on Wednesday and $6.70 on Thursday and Friday.

Seprod’s sugar closure sweetens profit

Seprod’s costly journey into a new difficult area of sugar manufacturing resulted in billion-dollar losses for the group. That management chooses to take on the worse performing and most difficult sugar operation in Jamaica raises some fundamental questions about corporate decision making, but then sometimes experience teaches wisdom.
After shedding the above loss-making business, profit from continuing operations surged 351 percent to $1.3 billion for the September quarter, up from just $285 million in 2019, but the jump benefited from $780 million, generated from other operating income, with $762 million of it being gains realized on the sale of a property.
Without the additional boost from the property sale, profit from continuing operations would stand at $551 million for the quarter, an increase of 94 percent, and $1.8 billion for the nine months to September, an increase of 52 percent. Earnings per share came out at $1.75 for the quarter and $3.38 for the nine months to September but would stand at 75 cents for the quarter and $2.41 for the year to date when adjusted for the one-off gain.
Revenue saw a sharp increase of 23 percent for the quarter to $10.1 billion from $8.2 billion and more moderate growth of 16 percent for the nine months to September to $28.7 billion from $24.5 billion in 2019.
Direct Expenses grew 12 percent for the quarter from $5.3 billion in 2019 to just under $6 billion in 2019, and 15 percent for the year-to-date from $15.8 billion to $18.1 billion. Gross profit margin increased to 41 percent for the quarter from 35.2 in 2019 and 37 percent for the nine-month period from 36.4 percent. Gross profit (GOP) jumped 42 percent for the September quarter moving from $2.9 billion in 2019 to $4.1 billion in 2020. GOP increased 17 percent to $18 billion from $15.8 billion for the nine months to September in 2019.
The Manufacturing segment generated revenues from third parties of $7.26 billion, up from $6.7 billion in 2019 while, Distribution accounted for revenues of $21.4 billion in 2020 and $18 billion in 2019. Segment results for the Manufacturing amounted to $2.47 billion in 2020 from $2 billion in 2019, while Distribution contributed $1.36 billion from just $684 million in 2019.
Despite a 52 percent increase in administrative and other operating expenses from $2.1 billion to $3.3 billion, profit before finance and other costs grew by 159 percent for the period from $651 million to $1.7 billion.

Some of Seprod”s products.

Loss from discontinued sugar manufacturing operations contributed to a loss of $31 million for the September quarter and $47 million for nine months. Total comprehensive income stood at $1.3 billion for the quarter, up from a loss of $124 million, and $2.6 billion for the nine months to September, up from $470 million in 2019.
Gross cash flow from operating activities stood at $4 billion, and working capital pulled the amount down to $2 billion. Dividend payment of $367 million and acquisition of property net and loan receipts of $1 billion saw net funds for the period increasing $1.6 billion to end at $3 billion. At the end of September, shareholders’ equity stood at $16.5 billion, while $14 billion was due from borrowings. Current assets ended the period at $17 billion including, Inventories of $6 billion, receivables $7 billion and cash and bank balances of $3 billion, while Current Liabilities stood at $9.6 billion with current loan liability amounting to $3.6 billion.
The stock is currently trading at $60.75 on the Main Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange. With the most profitable period being the December quarter, IC Insider.com is forecasting earnings of $4 per share for a PE of 15.2 based on 2020 earnings.
The group is involved in the Manufacturing and Distribution of various household goods for the local and overseas markets, including cereals, flour, milk, cooking oil, margarine, to name a few. the stock has moved up in price since the results, historically, it has delivered some of the best returns for investors in the local market over several years. It’s a good long term investment.

Knutsford Express suffers Q1 loss

Coming off a financial year with an 11 percent decline in revenue and a 78 percent drop in profit for the year, Knutsford Express had the second-worst quarterly performance following the $70 million losses incurred in the April quarter this year, as dislocations caused by the impact of the COVID virus the company’s operations severely.

Knutsford Express

Revenue dropped 62 percent or a huge $203 million from the $325 million recorded in 2019 to just $122 million in the first-quarter ending August 2020. Drastically reduced trips and services due to the restrictions put in place by the government to contain the spread of COVID-19 was a key factor affecting business and the financial results. Knutsford incurred a loss of $26 million for the August 2020 quarter, before finance income and expenses, 146 percent lower than the profit of $57 million earned the 2019 first quarter.
Unfortunately, the company continues the very poor practice of grouping direct operating and administrative costs together, therefore preventing investors from properly assessing the operation and the contribution the operating facility makes to overhead cost. For the quarter, administrative and operating expenses fell at a much slower pace and amounts than the fall in revenues, with expenses dropping 45 percent from $267 million in 2019 August quarter to $148 million in 2020. Depreciation charges accounted for $29 million up from 426 million in 2019.
Finance income in the 2020 quarter pulled in $4 million compared to $2 million collected in 2019, while finance costs declined from $7 million in 2019 to $3 million in 2020.

Knutsford’s New Kingston depot

The US operation generated a mere $638,000 in revenue and contributed $4 million to the loss, but that is down from the prior year with a loss of $9 million from revenues of $7 million.
Cash flows from operating activities brought in $9 million, down from $78 million at the end of August 2019. After spending $35 million on the acquisition of fixed assets and borrowing $15 million, it resulted in an increase in cash of $13 million at the end of the period, pushing funds on hands to $52 million, down from $194 million at the end of 2019. The company also has investments amounting to $97 million. Current assets stood at $194 million at the end of August 2020 down 51 percent from $393 billion in August of the previous year. Current liabilities stood at just $76 million to be more than adequately covered by current assets. At the close of August, shareholders’ equity stood at $744 million down from $827 million at the close of the corresponding period in 2019.
Going forward, as activities pick up locally and visitor arrivals numbers grow, the company stands to benefit from increased patronage and improved profitability. At the same time, the loss incurred in the quarter is lower than the depreciation charge that is positive as it means no drain on cash. The company should recover from the downturn experienced during the year, but it may not be until 2021 that investors will get a truer sense as to the level of rebound in profit as well as the stock price, that may be possible. “We expect an improved performance in the next quarter,” the Directors, stated in their report accompanying the quarterly.
Earnings per share ended with a loss of 5 cents for the quarter. Knutsford Express currently trades on the Junior Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange at $6.55.

IPOs are back the Tropical issue

Just when investors thought COVID 19 had killed off IPOs for this year, suddenly pops up, Tropical Battery‘s long-promised initial public offer. The prospectus for the issue is now available to the public.
The issue for 325 million ordinary shares at $1 each of with up to 187.5 million units reserved for priority applications, opens September 22 and is scheduled for closing on September 30, subject to the right of the Company to close it earlier.
The Company intends to apply for the shares to be listed on the Junior Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange, subject for at least $260 million being raised, by way of this invitation.
The total issued shares following the offer will be 1.3 billion units, with the parent company owning 75 percent. That will allow enough shares to be in the public hands to facilitate adequate liquidity in the stocks for some time.
The Company generated profit before tax of $87 million from revenues of $1.74 billion in 2019, a decent increase of 18.6 percent higher than in 2019 and a pretax profit of $45 million from revenues of $1.47 billion in the prior year, to September or 8.6 percent above the 2018 sales.
Gross operating revenue for the nine months to June this year increased nine percent to $1.36 billion from $1.25 billion in 2019, with profit before taxation falling from $67.6 million to $62 million.
Future growth, the Company says, “will come primarily from the addition of new product lines, i.e., Renewable Energy Batteries, Oils and Lubricants, Tyres, etc., organic growth of existing products, expansion and the renovation of our retail stores.”
The proceeds of IPO will be split equally between the selling shareholder and the Company, resulting in $162.5 million going to each, net of cost.
The Company plans to use the amount collected for expansion and working capital purposes, including but not limited to new product lines, expansion and renovation of retail stores, including an expansion of the parking area at the retail store at Grove Road in St Andrew. Completion of the buildout of and relocating to the new warehouse, head office and retail store at Ferry, Acquiring and install information technology systems for greater efficiency and improve customer experience and expansion of Mobile delivery fleet of vehicles.
Total shareholders’ equity at the end of June stands at $593 million, while our long term liabilities fell by to $315 million with the total interest-bearing debt of $415 million. The Company is owed $190 million by a related party and is interest-free, but payable on demand.
With earnings per share around 7.7 cents, the stock is priced around a PE ratio of 13 times 2020 earnings, leaving little or no room for short term gains.
NCB Capital Markets are the brokers for the offer. Unfortunately, for investors, there are no forecasted earnings included in the prospectus to help to guide them. This practice leaves a lot to be desired and it is fulltime, the authorities step up to the plate and ensure that all prospectuses include forecasted data for a least three years. That is not asking too much in the drive to build a developed capital market.

34% surge in Derrimon Q1 profit

Profit jumped 34 percent at Derrimon Trading in the first quarter of the current financial year, to reach $99 million up from $74 million in 2019, following a 5.5 percent increase in revenue to $3.3 billion from $3.15 billion in the March 2019 quarter.

The significant improvement in the bottom-line compared to the slimmer revenue growth is driven by an increase that was more than twice the growth in revenues in the gross profit margin of 11 percent from 2019, resulting in gross profit rising to $613 million up. Direct expenses rose 4 percent, from $2.6 billion in March 2019 to $2.7 billion in March 2020.
The Group also recorded other income of $22.6 million compared to $5 million in 2019 that helped in driving profit for the quarter. Excluding the increase in other income net profit would have climbed by only 10 percent and much closer to the increase in sales. Other income includes gains from the disposal of plant, property rental and other inflows. Administrative expenses rose a strong 16 percent to $373 million, from $321 million in 2019, while selling and distribution expenses grew by a much more moderate 7 percent to $100 million and resulted in total operating costs of $473 million, a 13 percent increase over March 2019 of $414 million. The group provision for taxation on profit amounts to $7.6 million versus $5.5 million in 2019.

Caribbean Flavours a Derrimon’s subsidiary

The group generated cash inflows from operating activities of $153 million, working capital needs plunged the group into a negative cash position of $208 million. At the same time, loan repayment pushed the cash burn, down to $271 million, leaving cash funds at $239 million, down from $510 million at the end of December 2019. The group, however, has $246 million in investments as well.  Net current assets ended the period at $2.2 billion. Current assets increased sharply by 17 percent from $3.39 billion to $3.9 billion, with inventories rising stunning 70 percent from $1.16 billion at the end of March 2019, but down slightly from the December 2019 position, to end the 2020 first quarter at $2 billion. Receivables were down 15 percent to $1.4 billion compared to March 2019. Current liabilities were down by 20 percent to $1.7 Billion, with Payables the largest component, down 18 percent to $1.1 billion. At the end of March, shareholders’ equity stood at $1.4 billion, an 11 percent increase over March 2019, but the group continues to use a high degree of leveraging in funding its operations. Loans amounted to $2.3 billion at the end of March, with lease financing standing at $1 billion.
Earnings per share came out at 3.4 cents for the quarter and IC Insider.com forecast is for 22 cents per share for PE of 10.2 times 2020 earnings at the closing stock of $2.25 on the Junior Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange.

Carib Cement Q2 profit jumps 41%

Profit at Jamaica’s sole cement producer, Caribbean Cement rose 41 percent in the June quarter, to $521 million from $368 million for the comparable quarter in 2019 and thus reverses the poor first-quarter performance, with results that fell 57 percent.
For the six months to June, profit fell 33 percent from $1.5 billion in 2019 to $1 million for the 2020 half-year. First-quarter profit fell sharply from that in 2019 to just $483 million, with the major repairs and maintenance of the plant carried out in the first quarter compared with the second quarter in 2019. Foreign exchange losses also contributed to the fall in the profit for the March quarter.
Sale revenues rose two percent for the June quarter to $4.78 billion from $4.68 billion and for the year to date, to $9.33 billion, from $9.13 billion in 2019.
Gross profit was flat for the first half of the year at $4.1 billion but grew 13 percent in the June quarter by from $2 billion in 2019, to $2.25 billion.
Administrative and Other expenses rose three percent to $604 million in the quarter and increased nine percent in the six months to $1.25 billion. Finance cost declined 28 percent in the quarter, from $231 million in 2019 to $167 million and dropped by 29 percent from $468 million to $330 million for the six months. The company repaid $231 billion in loans for the year to June, and This will help in reducing interest expenses going forward, including the second half of the current year. Losses incurred primarily on loans denominated in foreign currency resulted in foreign currency losses of $167 million, 18 percent lower than a loss of $231 million for the second quarter of 2019 but increased 69 percent for the year to date, to $658 million from $390 million in 2019.

Caribbean Cement silos

Depreciation charge was flat at $401 million for the June quarter and was slightly down to $765 million for the half-year. Provision for corporate profit taxation, jumped 70 percent in the June quarter to $526 million and is up 34 percent for the half-year to $739 million.
Gross cash flow amounted to $2.7 billion, after repaying loans and spending $342 million on new fixed assets and working capital needs, the company ended the half with $527 in cash funds. At the end of June, current assets stood at $3.2 billion, down from $3.47 billion at the end of 2019 and current liabilities ended the period at $4.75 billion.  At the end of December, shareholders’ equity stood at $9.3 billion and borrowings at $10.35 billion compared to $13.8 billion at the end of June 2019.
Earnings per share came in at 61 cents for the quarter and $1.18 for the half-year, with a net asset value of $11 per share. IC Insider.com is forecasting a profit of $3.50 per share for 2020 and places the value of the stock at a PE of 13 times earnings and four times net asset value, based on the last price of $46 the stock traded on the Jamaica Stock Exchange.

138 Student Living huge gains

Revenue at 138 Student Living, jumped 31 percent for the March quarter, to $289 million from $221 million in 2019. For the six months to March, the revenue jumped 69 percent to $753 million from $445 million in 2019.
138 Student Living boasted an eye-popping turnaround in its profit before interest and taxes of 262 percent for the quarter and 588 percent for the six months to March 2020. The company recorded a profit before tax and finance cost of $137 million for the March quarter and $396 million for the six months. Profit after tax ended at $87 million for the March 2020 quarter versus a loss of $45 million in the prior year’s second quarter, for the half-year, profit after tax climbed to $270 million compared to a loss of $44 million in the 2019 period.
Since reporting profit before tax for the 2017 fiscal year, the current period is the first that the company is reporting profit that suggests a full-year profit. The company noted four consecutive quarters of recording an operating profit, peaking in December 2019. Contributing factors included the decrease in operations costs, particularly utilities, increased occupancies, and variation claims relating to Irvine Hall.
There is much more than meets the eyes of the glowing 2020 performance. “Three main items positively impacted this result: (i) effective management of operating costs (primarily utilities) (ii) increased occupancies for long-term and short-term rentals and (iii) variation claims relating to Irvine Hall. The last item includes a variation claim for the full 2019 year as well as a first and second quarter claim for the year 2020. Adjusting for the variation claims, the group recorded year-to-date profit amounting to $71 million,” Chairman Ian Parsard informed shareholders by way of directors’ report accompanying the quarterly.
138SL is yet another company that fails to provide shareholders with relevant information by bundling direct and administrative expenses into just one line item on the financial report. Administrative costs fell by 17 percent for the quarter and 8 percent for the six months to March, posting figures of $153 million and $358 million, respectively. Finance cost amounted to $67 million for the quarter down slightly from the 2019 period, with $68 million and for the half-year $134 million down from $138 million.
Earnings per share came out at 21 cents for the quarter and 65 cents for the six months and should end the fiscal year higher, but profits from the continuing business will be far less than the half-year numbers indicate.
At the end of the 2020 first quarter, 138SL generated gross cash inflows of $267 million but saw receivables rising by $181 million and had a net repayment of loans amounting to $106 million leaving cash equivalents at $270 million. Current assets stood at $712 million, with receivables of $418 million. Current liabilities were $1.15 billion, including payables of $602 million. Shareholders’ equity stood at $5.8 billion, with borrowings of $4.6 billion.
138SL adjusted its operations as a result of COVID-19, which has resulted in an occupancy reduction of 25 percent in April. The Chairman noted that while they expect to see the continued impact on their revenue, the company has made necessary changes and the Concession Agreement of a 90 percent occupancy guarantee provides a meaningful buffer.
The stock traded at $6.69 on the Main Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange, with a PE ratio of 13.5 times 2020 earnings from ongoing revenues.