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LASCO Distributors Taps Portfolio Innovation As Central To Company’s Profitable Growth Strategy

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John De Silva, Managing Director at LASCO Distributors Limited, has released the following report to the shareholders for the year ended 31st March, 2022

LASCO Distributors Limited delivered another year of profitable growth. The solid performance was the result of disciplined execution of the Company’s strategic framework while adapting the organizational structure to be more competitive and increasing investment in our brands.

  • The Company grew Net Profit by 11.8%, despite being subject to the full corporation tax rate for the entire financial year.
  • Earnings per share (Basic) increased by 11.8% to $0.29.
  • Revenue increased by 15.0% to $23.34B, an increase of $3.05B over the previous year.

This was the result of sustained broad-based growth in all key categories and brands, driven by increased marketing investment and expanded distribution. This is pure organic growth, without any mergers or acquisitions, driven mostly by the domestic business.

The Nutrition, Food and Beverage Categories, continued to deliver solid growth, led by its core brands and a recovery in the Beverages category as out-of-home channels reopened and on-the-go consumption increased.

Our strategic distribution arrangement with Salada Foods Jamaica Ltd continues to yield solid results in the coffee category, with the portfolio’s leading brands delivering growth across all key channels.

The Hygiene portfolio’s innovation agenda accelerated as the company rolled out a multibrand, multi-channel Home Care strategy, supported by increased marketing investment.

The Personal Care business was impacted by Supply Chain constraints but there was some recovery in product availability in the final quarter of the year.

The Healthcare category, managed via the Pharmaceutical Division delivered very strong growth in line with the company’s diversification strategy. Strengthening relationships with our global pharmaceutical partners which include AstraZeneca, Bayer, Roche and MSN among others, are a focus area for the company and this has contributed significantly to the Division’s performance.

Exports delivered marginal growth as key export markets gradually re-opened their economies. Market diversification through International Expansion is a clear priority for the company and a new strategic direction has been established to enable brand and business development in the international markets.

Portfolio Innovation is central to the company’s profitable growth strategy as it expands its presence in existing categories and enter new ones. This strategy has been systematically implemented and in the past year more than 25% of the company’s revenue was achieved with partner brands.

Gross Profit increased by 6.3% or $230M, to $3.88B, however margins decreased from 18.0% to 16.6%. Product and freight costs increases were incurred throughout the year and were partially offset by measured price increases and changes to the product and channel mix.

Operating Expenses were $2.86B, an increase of 6.8%, driven mainly by an increase in Marketing investment. The Operating Expense ratio was 12.2% of Revenue, a decrease from 13.2% the year before.

Profit Before Tax was $1.27B, an increase of 13.6%, or $151M. Despite an increase in Taxation, as the company is now subject to the full Income Tax Rate, Net Profit was $1.02B, an increase of 11.8% over the prior year.

Balance Sheet

  • Total Assets at 31st March, 2022 stood at $12.33B, an increase of 14.1% compared to the same period last year.
  • Inventories increased by $874M or 30% to close at $3.79B as a result of increased safety stock levels to compensate for supply chain disruptions.
  • Receivables increased to $3.83B, an increase of 18.6% over the previous year.
  • Cash and Short-term investments taken together closed at $2.35B compared to $2.27B for the same period last year, an increase of 3.6%.
  • Payables increased to $4.81B, an increase of 17.1% over last year.
  • Shareholders’ Equity closed at $7.29B, which was $816M or 12.6% above the previous year.
  • The company continues to be debt-free and delivered a Return on Equity of 14.8%.

Corporate Social Responsibility

LASCO Distributors Limited and its affiliates continue to support national and social development through its recognition of the tremendous public service performed in several critical sectors.

Outlook

The Company is operating in the new normal, maintaining the necessary health and safety protocols to protect employees while remaining focused on achieving its strategic objective.

Recent geopolitical developments have accelerated the need for the company to re-examine its sourcing strategy and establish new and contingency supply partners, leading to new opportunities for further portfolio development.

The company’s ability to quickly leverage its strengths to capitalise on new opportunities is being enhanced through organizational redesign, addition of experience and talent in key positions and investment in training and technology.

Simultaneously, a comprehensive assessment of the risks the company faces is being conducted to ensure that the organization is fit to compete and win in the new environment.

John De Silva, Managing Director at LASCO Distributors Limited

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Caribbean Cream Reporting A 12% Increase In YOY Revenues As Social Media Visibility And On The Ground Promotions Led To Increased Demand.

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Christopher Clarke Chairman Of Caribbean Cream Ltd. Has released the following Audited Financial Results For Year Ended February 28, 2022

The year under review was a particularly challenging one for the company. We continue to operate in a global pandemic-affected environment of supply chain uncertainties, rapidly increasing international commodity prices and high inflation resulting in volatile local price movements.

Nevertheless, the company’s revenue for the year was $2,085 million, an increase of 12% or $215 million over the same period last year as visibility on social media and on the ground promotions led to increased demand.

Cost of operating revenue for the year was $1,492 million, an increase over last year of 20% or $247 million. Gross profit realized was $592 million, a reduction of 5% or $32 million over last year.

We suffered a net loss before tax for the year of ($13.7) million because of this fall in efficiency, output challenge and rapidly increasing prices.

We experienced unforeseen challenges which resulted in the plant efficiency and output being negatively impacted. In addition, we faced a number of delays in packaging supplies and in technical assistance needed to address the lengthy breakdown of two key pieces of equipment.

We suffered a net loss before tax for the year of ($13.7) million because of this fall in efficiency, output challenge and rapidly increasing prices. Net loss after tax for the year was ($9.I) million when we account for $4.5 million in taxation comprised of Income Tax expense of $0.8 million and a deferred tax credit of $5.3 million.

While we weathered challenging times, we also made improvements to step up our quality monitoring and reporting, as well as our sanitation processes.

We are quickly moving to further bolster our maintenance and processing infrastructure, so as to improve our resilience in times of increasingly diversified demand.

Christopher Clarke Chairman Of Caribbean Cream Ltd.

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Access Financial Services Continues To Show Good Operating Leverage Recording Consolidated Net Profit After Tax Of $438 Million For The Year Ended March 31, 2022.

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Marcus James Executive Chairman of Access Financial Services Limited has released the following Consolidated Audited Financial Statements of the Group for the year ended March 31, 2022.

Access Financial Services Limited (AFS) recorded Consolidated Net Profit after Tax of $438 million for the year ended March 31, 2022, compared to $266 million for the prior year. This performance reflects an improvement in the size and quality of the loan portfolio, resulting in higher interest income and lower credit losses as the economy recovers from the impact of COVID-19.

The Group continues to show good operating leverage as Consolidated Net Operating Income has increased by $159 million or 9% year over year, while Operating Expenses declined by $72 million or 5% year over year.

As at March 31, 2022, the Group’s asset base stood at $5.68 billion; an increase of $188 million or 3% in comparison to the prior year. Loans and Advances now stands at $4.51 billion; an increase of 10% year over year. This is primarily due to increased disbursements as the operating environment returns to normalcy and the economy continues to recover from the impact of COVID-19.

Net Operating Income for the year ended March 31, 2022, increased by $159 million to $1.98 billion; a 9% increase year over year. The growth in operating income is attributable to growth in net interest margins and improved recoveries on bad debts.

Operating Expenses for the year declined by $72 million or 5% to $1.48 billion. Allowance for credit losses declined by $150 million or 51% year over year due to improved delinquency management.

Net Profit after Tax for the year was $438 million, representing an improvement of 65% when compared to $266 million for the prior year. This resulted in Earnings per Share for the year increasing to $1.60 compared to $0.97 for the prior year.

Total Assets as at March 31, 2022 was $5.68 billion, compared to the prior year amount of $5.49 billion as at March 31, 2021. Loans and advances for the Group as at the period end was $4.51 billion. This reflects an improvement of 10% year over year due to the higher levels of disbursements year over year.

Total liabilities declined by $158 million or 5% year over year to $2.88 billion as at March 31, 2022, mainly due to a reduction in Loans payable as at the period end.

Marcus James Executive Chairman of Access Financial Services Limited

Access Financial Services Limited (the Company) is incorporated and domiciled in Jamaica and its registered office is situated at 41B Half-Way Tree Road, Kingston 5, Jamaica W.I. The Company is listed on the Junior Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange.

The Company acquired a 100% shareholding in its subsidiary, Embassy Loans Inc., on December 15, 2018.

The Company and its subsidiary are collectively referred to as “the Group” in these financial statements.

The principal activity of the Group is retail lending to the micro enterprise sector for personal and business purposes. Funding is provided by financial institutions, government entities and non-governmental organizations. The Company also operates a money services division and offers bill payment services.

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Limners and Bards Reporting A 26.3% Increase In YOY Revenues, Driven By Core Business Media Placement And Advertising Agency.

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Kimala Bennett Chief Executive Officer of the Limners and Bards Limited has released the following unaudited financial statements for the six months ended April 30, 2022.

Revenue for the six-months was $781.7 million, up 26.3% compared to $619.0 million for the corresponding period last year. The revenue growth is attributable to increases in the company’s core business, media placement (up $149.6 million or 53.4%) and advertising agency (up $16.1 million or 71.3%). Production was down $9.5 million or 6.0%.

Gross profit increased by $72.3 million or 35.7% over the corresponding six – month period in the prior year. Gross profit margin was at 35.2% compared to the 32.7% in the prior period.

Net profit increased by $9.5 million or 8.5% to $123.1 million for the six months compared to $113.5 million in the corresponding period in the prior year. The increase in net profit is attributable to increased revenue and gross profit. This result is impacted by the $1.9 million loss recorded by Scope over this period. While Scope recorded a loss for the six months, we expect a profitable return at the end of the year.

We continue to execute on our strategy for growth and profitability while anticipating the needs of our clients given the shift in digital marketing trends.

The net profit includes Finance income of $0.4 million compared to $15.0 million recorded in the corresponding period of the previous year.

Administration expenses have increased by $46.8 million, or 46.6% in comparison to the previous six– months period. These increases are primarily attributable to staff costs (due to increase work volume), repairs and maintenance of production equipment and depreciation and amortization costs.

The Consolidated balance sheet shows total assets increasing by $266.9 million or 37.3% to $981.7million compared to $714.8 million in the corresponding period last year.

Current assets increased by $222.3 million primarily because of increases in receivables ($158.8 million). Cash and cash equivalent also increased by $76.6 million reflecting a high liquidity position. The increase in receivables is mainly due to increase in revenue.

We continue to have tight monitoring and controls over the receivables.
We are pleased with the Company’s performance for this six-month period and expect continued growth for 2022.

Kimala Bennett Chief Executive Officer of the Limners and Bards Limited

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Scotia Group Reports Strong Financial Results With Net Income Of JA$4.4 Billion For The Six Months Ended April 30, 2022……Audrey Tugwell Henry

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Net income for the quarter reflected an increase of $800 million or 45% over the previous quarter driven by solid performance across our core business lines and strong volume growth.

In keeping with our consistent dividend policy, the Board of Directors approved a dividend of 35 cents per stock unit in respect of the second quarter, which is payable on July 20, 2022 to stockholders on record as at June 28, 2022.

Adding context to the Group’s results, President and CEO, Audrey Tugwell Henry commented “Scotia Group delivered strong results for another quarter.

We continue to advance our Customer First strategy and support the recovery process as the economy normalizes. Performance improved across our business lines as we continue to deliver relevant, value-added solutions to assist our customers to meet their financial objectives.

Deposits increased by 11% versus last year underscoring strong customer
confidence in the Group. We also saw growth in retail loans with our flagship Scotia Plan Loan increasing by 9% year over year signalling a positive trajectory for the remainder of the fiscal.

We registered another quarter of robust growth in our mortgage book with a 22% increase over prior year. We have maintained very attractive mortgage rates to enable more of our customers to purchase and achieve their goal of home ownership.

“Performance improved across our business lines as we continue to deliver relevant, value-added solutions to assist our customers to meet their financial objectives,”  SGJ President and CEO Audrey Tugwell Henry

Assets Under Management at Scotia Investments Jamaica Limited (SIJL) increased from $187 billion to $191 billion year over year. In March, SIJL also lowered the minimum opening balance requirement for mutual funds and unit trusts to $250,000. This move will allow more of our customers to add investment products to their overall financial portfolio.

Scotia Insurance continues to make valuable contributions to the Group’s performance with Gross Premium revenue growing by 7% year over year, led by Creditor Premium Income which increased by 21% year over year. In May we launched Scotia Elevate, a new Universal Life product, which requires no medical underwriting and boasts the highest coverage in the market.

As one of the top financial advisors to the Jamaican market with over 132 years of experience, we are committed to helping our customers and the broader economy to rebound from the pandemic even stronger as the effects of this crisis recede. We initiated a series of customer-focused initiatives during the quarter, including our Scotiabank Vision Achiever SME programme which offers free business coaching to business owners.

March was dubbed SME Digital Month and a series of free online workshops were held to help empower small and medium sized business owners to capitalize on the efficiencies and opportunities that our digital technology can offer. Improving our customer experience remains a key area of focus for the business. We further expanded our Customer Experience Unit and streamlined our escalation processes for complex matters. This has resulted in improved resolution and response times as well as increased capacity for branch staff to serve our customers who visit our locations.

In February, the Group onboarded our first ever brand ambassador, gold medal Olympic Champion, Shericka Jackson. Shericka is a great asset to our team and will feature prominently in more of our public education initiatives and advertising campaigns throughout the year.

As part of our Winning Teams strategy, in March we implemented enhanced parental leave polices for all staff across the Group. Paid maternity leave was extended to 14 weeks and fathers and adoptive parents will now receive four fully paid weeks of parental leave. This is an important move as we continue to strengthen our position to be an Employer of choice in the market.

As we look toward the second half of the financial year, we are very optimistic about the positive trends in the market and in our business as we leverage our strengths and expertise to deliver relevant financial solutions for our customers.

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JFP Limited Banking On Expected Growth In Several Industries To Positively Impact Company’s Future Performance, As It Reports Good Q1 Results.

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Metry Seaga Chief Executive Officer JFP Limited (formerly Jamaica Fibreglass Products Limited) has released the following report to the shareholders for the three (3) months ended March 31, 2022

Overview

The directors wish to thank our valued shareholders who showed confidence in the Company and purchased shares in our Initial Public Offering (IPO). As you are aware, the Company was listed on March 14, 2022 on the Junior Market platform of The Jamaican Stock Exchange, thereby changing the status of the Company to a public entity. We endeavour to ensure that your confidence is rewarded by maximising your investment, both by regular dividend payments and an overall increase in value as we continue to improve operations.

As the country is showing positive signs of rebounding to a position of stability, we take pleasure in presenting the unaudited financial statements of JFP (the Company) for the 1st quarter financial statements for the period 1 January – 31 March 2022, in regard to the financial year ending 31 December 2022.

JFP opened its Initial Public Offering (IPO) on February 21, 2022 and it was successfully closed on February 28, 2022, with the public taking up their full assignment of shares. In fact, the subscription was oversubscribed with participants receiving only 22% of their requested amount.

The Company increased its share capital by 140,000,000 after the initial offer of 280,000,000 shares was taken up by the directors, employees, corporate entities and the general public. The costs associated with the IPO such as brokerage, legal and accounting, advertising and other transaction fees were netted off against the IPO proceeds.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the construction industry has remained resilient. This is demonstrated in the projections provided by the PIOJ that the quarters in 2022 are expected to perform better than corresponding quarters in 2021. Consequently, the PIOJ’s projection for growth in output is within the range of 6.0%–10.0% based on the simultaneous/ongoing build-out of capacity which is currently being undertaken in some industries as indicated by the performance of the construction industry.

This expected growth in several industries to include manufacturing coupled with continued strategic leadership, product diversification among other areas should positively impact the Company’s future performance.

Profit and Loss

The board of directors is pleased to present the unaudited results of JFP Limited for the first three months ended March 31,2022.

JFP saw its revenue increase significantly from $64.7M to $110.2M or by 70% relative to the same period of 2021. The sound and agile revenue growth strategies employed by the Company enabled it to build its resilience against the changing circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of our customers were also getting back on stream to start or continue with their capital projects.

The increased efficiency of our operations also resulted in a reduction in cost of sales. Cost of sales decreased from $35.9M to $33M or by 8% over the corresponding period in the prior year.

The improved efficiency of our operations also translated into an improvement in the Gross Profit which increased by 168% from $28.9M to 77.3M. The gross profit margin also increased from 45% to 70% relative to the prior period in 2021.

Administrative expenses increased from $28M to $41M or 46%. This was mainly due to related transaction costs involved in enabling the company to go public along with the fees associated with the change of name to JFP Limited.

Selling and distribution expenses also increased by 189% from $1.2M to $3.6M due mostly to increases in commission and advertising expenses. The increase in advertising expenses was mainly linked to building public awareness of the Company becoming a public entity.

Despite a significant increase in our administrative and selling expenses, the company managed to show significant improvement to its operating profit which increased by 237%. The finance costs declined due to the repayment of long terms loan from the proceeds of the IPO, thereby eliminating the finance cost associated with these loans.

As a consequence of the improved operating result, our operating profit before tax increased significantly moving from $8.7M to $34.9M; this was an increase of 302%.

Balance Sheet

The property, plant and equipment increased by 46% moving from $134.3M to $196.6M. This was due to the Company entering into a lease arrangement regarding the factory building, thereby recording a “right of use asset” on the balance sheet.

During the period the investment account with GK Capital Management was closed and the funds, along with that of the IPO were used in restructuring the company.

The inventory increased by 15% moving from $46.7M to $53.9M. This was largely due to increase in the number of jobs that are currently in production up to the end of the quarter, 31 March 2022.

Receivables increased significantly. This was due to the success of the company in finalizing the ROK hotel project, being undertaken on the Kingston Waterfront, which was completed at the end of March 2022.

Cash and cash equivalents also increased significantly due to the funds received from the IPO along with a material deposit that was received from MBJ Jamaica Limited which is currently one of the company’s major projects in progress as at 31 March 2022. This MBJ projected is related to the significant work being undertaken at the Sangster’s Airport in Montego Bay.

Our total current liabilities increased by 33%. This was due significantly to the current portion of the new lease liability for the factory coupled with increased payables related to imported supplies of raw materials to complete the increased number of jobs in progress as at 31 March 2022.

The retained earnings decreased from 211M to 89 M or 57.9% due to dividends being declared at the end of December 2021.

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