Business
JM | Oct 28, 2020

Carib Cement exhibits COVID-19 resilience

/ Our Today

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Company posts solid earnings, profits in latest financials

The Caribbean Cement Company Ltd plant in Kingston. (Photo: Carib Cement)

By Durrant Pate

Caribbean Cement Company Ltd has exhibited its resilience in chalking up modest revenues and earnings in its third quarter in spite of the difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

For the quarter under revenue, the East Kingston-based cement manufacturer, earned revenue of $5.8 billion, representing 32 per cent growth when compared with the corresponding period in 2019. The operating earnings before other income and expenses for the period amounted to $2.3 billion.

Operating earnings after other expenses totalled $2.2 billion, representing an increase of $1.4 billion when compared to the third quarter of the prior year. This solid operating result is attributable to higher volumes sold, prudent cost containment measures and operational efficiencies that have allowed Carib Cement to keep operational costs and expense in check despite the increased rate of production.

The company recorded earnings before taxation of $1.8 billion, representing an improvement over the $0.2 billion achieved in third quarter last year.

US debt repayment policy

The directors report that Carib Cement will continue with its aggressive USD debt repayment policy, which has allowed it to reduce the financial expenses by $36 million and the company’s foreign exchange risk compared with the third quarter of 2019.

The overall consolidated net income of $1.2 billion was higher than that of the third quarter of 2019 by $1.2 billion.

“As a driver of economic development in Jamaica, we are poised to help ‘build back stronger and better’ as we play our part in the national COVID-19 recovery efforts.”

Board of Caribbean Cement Company Ltd.

In relation to cash flow, net cash provided by operating activities was $2.6 billion for the quarter and $5.2 billion for the year. According to the directors, “the cash flow generated during the quarter and the available cash at the beginning of the period have allowed the company to reduce debt by $2.6 billion during the quarter and by $4.7 billion for the year to date.”

The board said it “recognises the challenges faced by our customers, community members and suppliers and are deeply appreciative of their continued partnership and support. As a driver of economic development in Jamaica, we are poised to help ‘build back stronger and better’ as we play our part in the national COVID-19 recovery efforts.”

(Photo: Marlon Reid/Carib Cement)

Carib Cement resilient

The board states that, “the third quarter of 2020 has shown the resilience of our company and how, through the expertise and commitment of our team, we have been able to withstand the unprecedented challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. In response to the threat of COVID-19 in the Caribbean, we mounted a comprehensive response which has included enhanced safety protocols, customer engagement as well as targeted community support”.

All of these were done to ensure the continuity of the business, the health and safety of stakeholders, and the future of the company. The Carib Cement Company board reiterated that “its commitment to safe practices precedes COVID-19 and we are happy to report that we have attained 1,100 days without Lost Time Injuries (LTI) at the plant and 1,924 days at our quarries as of September 30, 2020″.

Within this period, the company also marked the significant improvement in the safety record of contracted workers, having achieved a milestone of 365 days without LTIs on July 22. Following audits completed this quarter, Carib Cement’s ability to meet international standards in Quality Management, Environmental Management, and Occupational Health and Safety has again been affirmed by successful retention of ISO 9001-2015, ISO 14001-2015 and ISO 45001-2018 certifications.

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