Revenues up 26% and shareholder profit surges 58%
Jamaican conglomerate Jamaica Producers Group Limited (JPG) is reporting a bumper first quarter of 2022 with revenues climbing by 26 per cent and net profit attributable to shareholders surging by 58 per cent.
At the same time, shareholders’ equity increased by 20 per cent relative to the prior year. JPG earned consolidated net profits of J$811 million from revenues of J$6.9 billion.
The manufacturing led group increased revenues in both of its business segments – Logistics & Infrastructure and Food & Drink.
Net profit attributable to shareholders was J$406 million.
JPG’s Logistics & Infrastructure Division delivered solid Q1 results with profit growth in the marine terminal operations and logistics services at its Kingston Wharves Limited subsidiary, as well as in JP Shipping, which consolidates cargo in the UK for shipment throughout the Caribbean.
During the two-year period of COVID, JPG strengthened its logistics business through acquisitions.
In April of 2021, JPG acquired a 50 per cent interest in Geest Line Limited. Geest has been in business for over 60 years and operates a fleet of ships that move refrigerated cargo as well as industrial and consumer goods and vehicles between the Caribbean, South America, and Europe.
In January 2022, JP acquired Miami Freight & Shipping Company which consolidates cargo in South Florida for shipment to the Caribbean.
Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Hall explains that “JPG’s moves in logistics were impeccably timed. They are driving our earnings growth but are also building a diversified supply chain network that connects the region to the world”.
Over the two-year period since March 2020, JPG also acquired joint venture interests in CoBeverage Lab (a fresh juice business in Spain that allows the Group to expand its Netherlands-based fresh juice business into Southern Europe), and Grupo Alaska (a bottled water and ice business in the Dominican Republic, the largest consumer market in the Caribbean).
According to Hall, “we set out to expand the geographic base of our food and beverage businesses. The goal was to have a pan-European footprint in fresh juice and to have a strong consumer connection in the largest English language and Spanish language markets across the Caribbean. We achieved this goal”.
During the first quarter, JPG also emphasised new product development in its food group with frozen fruit popsicles in The Netherlands, Tortuga Bourbon cake made with Alaska Birch syrup for the United States market and the Johnny Crunchers snack, an interpretation of traditional Johnnie cakes for the Jamaican snack market.
The JPG CEO emphasised that “we resolved as a business to come out of COVID even stronger than we went in. We wanted this for ourselves, and we wanted it for Jamaica. Our goal was to turn setbacks into opportunities, and we did”.
JPG reiterated that its business development strategy would continue to see it identifying other logistics services that support trade with the Caribbean as well as food and drink businesses in markets that present attractive growth opportunities.
Strong balance sheet for growth
The JPG boasted that it has the balance sheet strength to support its strategy.
JPG is a Jamaican-owned multinational business with shareholders’ equity of J$18.3 billion and consolidated net cash and investments in marketable securities of J$11.5 billion.
Its primary businesses in specialty food and drink and logistics and infrastructure and owns and operates Hoogesteger Fresh Specialist B.V., the market leading fresh juice manufacturer supplying markets in Northern Europe, and is the largest shareholder of CoBeverage Lab S.L. and JP Snacks Caribbean, a regional producer of tropical snacks and frozen ready-to-cook products.
This is in addition to JP Farms, Jamaica’s leading commercial banana farm, which is the largest private sector employer in St Mary in Jamaica and other businesses in shipping and logistics.