Jamaican Teas Limited is now reaping the benefits of initiatives, which were earlier rolled out by the management, resulting in a better second-quarter performance.
The John Mahfood-led management team is reporting that the second quarter, ended March 31, 2023, had many positives for Jamaican Teas.
“A number of the initiatives put in place from the start of the year are now coming together resulting in better results in this quarter compared with the first quarter. This is reflected in the rising sales and improved manufacturing and retail profits now being reported,” the group contended.
The investment division had a marked improvement over the first quarter, but results were still below the robust second quarter last year. The continuation and maintenance of high interest rates in Jamaica and in the USA negatively affected the investment division.
On a positive note, inflation has been declining and the local economy grew last year. This improvement seems to have carried over into 2023, accompanied by a buoyant tourism sector, rising inflows into the net international reserves and moderation in the exchange rate versus the US dollar.
Regarding Jamaican Teas Limited’s manufacturing division, both local and export sales increased in excess of 14 per cent in the quarter with exports accounting for 64 per cent of total sales. The higher level of sales experienced fed through into higher manufacturing profits during the period.
In the real estate division, there were no real estate sales were booked in the quarter this year or the fiscal year to date as no units were available for sale. Construction work on the new studios at Belvedere Road, Kingston is still underway, as the work was extended to accommodate additional saleable units.
As for the retail division, retail revenues amounted to J$179 million for the March quarter, an increase of 20 per cent. This improved sales performance was offset by higher expenses for security, salaries and wages however and as a result the quarterly divisional profit contribution was little changed.
Investment division hurting
During this quarter, the decline in the prices of stocks on the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) continued from the first quarter and is hurting the investment division. While share prices overseas increased significantly, this improved performance was insufficient to offset the declines in Jamaica.
The John Jackson-chaired company is still expecting this adverse trend to be reversed later in the year, as inflation rates continue to decline and interest rates appear to have peaked and begun a decline downwards.