RJR Group, Jamaica’s premier media outlet has registered a big jump in its March year-end net profit of $170.66 million coming from versus net profit of $37.56 million booked in 2020.
For the March 31, 2021 quarter, net profit amounted to $43.55 million reversing the net loss of $96.84 million recorded twelve months prior. Operating profit grew by 213 per cent for the period in review, from $90.45 million in 2020 to $283.52 million in 2021.
As for the last quarter, there was an operating profit of $76.73 million in 2021 relative to an operating loss of $125.50 million in the prior corresponding period in 2020. Gross profit for the year end closed at $2.90 billion relative to $3.01 billion for the corresponding period in 2020.
For the March quarter, gross profit totalled $401.45 million, down from the $550.37 million posted in 2020. Total comprehensive income closed the period under review at $231.08 million compared to total comprehensive loss of $7.17 million in the same period last year.
Decline in direct expenses
Direct expenses decreased to $2.29 billion coming from the prior year’s figure of $2.59 billion, indicating a decline of 12 per cent. For the quarter, direct expenses rose by 42 per cent amounting to $996.27 million as compared to the 2020 posting of $701.46 million.
Total expenses fell by 10 per cent for the period under review from $3.01 billion in 2020 to $2.70 billion in 2021. There was a 19 per cent decrease in selling expenses to $688.91 million (2020: $853.08 million).
Administrative expenses closed at $1.40 billion (2020: $1.25 billion). Other operating expenses amounted to $616.14 million versus $915.94 million reported in the previous comparable period.
Other income dropped to a total of $81.12 million compared to the 2020 figure of $98.31 million. While, for the quarter, other income closed at $31.28 million (2020: $14.04 million). Finance costs reported a negligible growth of 0.4 per cent year over year to $51.05 million versus $50.83 million in the prior year.
Share of net loss of associates stood at $779,000 (2020: $148,000), followed by a profit before tax of $231.69 million relative to profit of $39.47 million booked at the end of 2020. Taxation charge was $61.03 million reported in 2021 compared to tax credit of $1.91 million in 2020.
Revenues contracted during review period
RJR reported revenues of $5.19 billion versus $5.59 billion in 2020, contracting by seven per cent year over year. For the March quarter, revenues were slightly up closing the year at $1.40 billion coming from $1.25 billion in 2020.
The management reports that, “over the course of the year, the Print segment experienced a slight rebound on both its advertising and the circulation revenues but did not revert to pre-COVID-19 levels. However, Broadcast services comprising the Audio-visual and Audio segments, over-performed their pre-COVID-19 revenues due to one-off COVID-19 related opportunities that arose during the year.”
RJR, as at March 31, 2021, recorded ‘Total Assets’ of $4.48 billion, a rise of 16 per cent when compared to $3.87 billion for the previous corresponding period. This was mainly attributable to increases in “Cash and Bank Balances”, “Receivables” which closed at $725.31 million (2020: $281.82 million), and $1.21 billion (2020: $1.02 billion), respectively.
These increases were, however, tempered by an eight per cent decrease in ‘Property, plant and equipment” which amounted to $1.34 billion (2020: $1.46 billion). Total Shareholders’ Equity closed at $2.53 billion, up 10 per cent from $2.30 billion last year. This resulted in a book value of $1.04 (2020: $0.95).