Revenues down by $202 million with gross losses of $26.43 million
By Durrant Pate
Jamaican Transport service provider, Knutsford Express Services took a hammering in its first quarter, as revenues were down by J$202 million, representing its worst quarter on record.
For the quarter ended August 31, Knutsford Express recorded total revenues of $121.78 million, down by 65 per cent to the $324.52 million reported for the same period last year. In their report to shareholders accompanying the first quarter financial results, Directors Oliver Townsend and Anthony Copeland stated that this weak and extremely poor performance comes as no surprise, since the company was forced to cut the frequency of trips as a result of travel restrictions brought on by COVID-19.
On the positive side, administrative and general expenses shrunk 45 per cent for the quarter to total $148.22 million (2019: $267.14 million). Even this reprieve on the expense side could not save KEX from posting gross losses of $26.43 million for the quarter compared to gross profit of $57.38 million for the same period a year ago.
Finance costs decreased to $2.96 million for the period from $6.87 million for 2019. In addition, finance income rose from $2.02 million in 2019 to $4.21 million in 2020, representing an increase of 109 per cent.
Loss before taxation for the period amounted to $25.18 million, relative to profit before taxation of $52.53 million reported in 2019. No taxes were incurred this year, as a result of the Junior Market Tax holiday.
Consequently, net loss amounted to $25.18 million relative to net profit after tax last year of $47.78 million. Loss per share for the quarter amounted to $0.05 (2019: EPS of $0.10). The 12-month trailing LPS amounted to $0.08.
“This quarter was the worst in our history directly resulting from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our swift and decisive response significantly reduced the drain on our cash resources, placing us on a path to return to profitability.”
KEX reported that, “this quarter was the worst in our history directly resulting from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our swift and decisive response significantly reduced the drain on our cash resources, placing us on a path to return to profitability”.
As at August 31, 2020, assets totaled $1.08 billion, $57 million less than the $1.14 billion recorded last year. Notwithstanding the poor August quarterly results, the directors, anticipate a better second quarter pointing to certain positive developments.
These include the development of commercial spaces, which is progressing satisfactorily, in addition to opening a new terminal in the Drax Hall deposit in St. Ann with the courier operations there to start very soon.