Knutsford doubles profit

  Knutsford Express more than doubled its profit for the first quarter to August, with a jump of 109 percent to $35.7 million, from $17 million in 2014 and revenues that climbed 38.5 percent to $143 million. The increased revenue “was due to growth in passenger travel” the company stated in its report to shareholders.
Administrative and general operating expenses grew by a much slower 23 percent to $104 million than revenue. Depreciation climbed from $5.4 million to $7.55 million and finance amounts to $3.9 million and is up from $2.3 million in 2014.
Unfortunately the company has not provided information on the composition of administrative and general operating expenses. Based on the last audited financials, the largest cost items are fuel, accounting for around 19 percent of cost, labour for 34 percent and repairs around 10 percent for a total of 43 percent or thereabout.
Earnings per share is 36 cents for the 2015 quarter, putting full year earnings in the $1.60 region.
The company provides a popular coach bus service that plies between Kingston and the North and South coasts of Jamaica. Service was extended to Port Antonio from Ocho Rios earlier in 2015 but will take time to build as more persons become familiar with it. Going forward it is unsure what the opening of the highway to Ocho Rios from Kingston will mean for growth. What is sure it will take less time to cover the route with less operating cost per trip and will allow them to better compete with air travel as the time factor to and from Montego Bay and Kingston will be reduced.
The stock is listed on the junior market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange and has been trading around $6.10, for some time. These results should give the price a lift as the value is very low compared to others on the market, but management needs to improve on the inadequate manner of reporting the results, if not investors will be skeptical about the financial performance and shy away from the stock.
At the end of the quarter, shareholders equity stands at $250 million and liabilities of just $91 million and current assets of $157 million which includes cash and investments of $79 million and other assets of $61 million that rose from $21 million in May this year.
The company paid a dividend of 15 cents per share on September 15.

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