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Taking Stock LIVE – Electric Car Sales Company Comes To Jamaica

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On this episode of Taking Stock…Jamaica’s Electric Vehicle market is getting a jolt! Two Jamaican-Canadians are launching Flash Motors to sell electric vehicles, service equipment, and charging networks in Jamaica and across the Caribbean. And Wigton just bought up a 21-percent stake in the company. Talk about a game changer! The Flash team will tell us all about it.

And THE ANALYSTS weigh in on the latest market developments… Now that the entertainment sector is back up, will we see a rise in entertainment stocks such as Main Event and KLE? EduFocal stock jumped 200-percent in its first week on the Jamaica Stock Exchange… why? And Honey Bun is reporting a 31 percent increase in net profit for its first quarter. We’ll discuss.

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Jamaican Gov’t Lowers Duty on Electric Vehicles

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The import duty on electric vehicles has been reduced from 30 per cent to 10 per cent, and purchasers of those vehicles will not have to pay licence fees over the next five years.

The House of Representatives on Tuesday (July 19) approved the Customs Tariff (Revision) (Amendment) (No. 2), Resolution, 2022, and the Road Traffic (Licence Duties) Order, 2022, and

Resolution on Tuesday (July 19) to give effect to the measures. Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke, advised that the lower duty rates and the elimination of the licence fee requirement apply to electric vehicles that are three years old or less at the time of importation.

Government is serious about ensuring a clean energy future.

He said that the measures, which took effect on July 14, are supporting the country’s transition from a high dependence on petroleum for motor vehicles by making it more affordable for Jamaicans to acquire electric vehicles.

He said that that Government is serious about ensuring a clean energy future.

“The electric vehicle technologies are undergoing rapid change, and so the public interest is best served by ensuring that the latest technologies are preferred over older technologies. Having 10-year-old electric vehicles in the country doesn’t help anybody; we need the latest electric vehicles at any point in time,” Dr. Clark contended.

The Minister told the House that the implementation of the measures came out of discussions with the Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and other stakeholders, to see how best to encourage persons to purchase electric vehicles.

He said it was determined that the reduction in duty and removal of licence fees would be the best way to incentivise the transition.

The Finance Minister noted that duties on motor vehicles are a major source of government revenue, with earnings of about $30 billion to $40 billion, and so “the way we treat with the reduction of duties for electric vehicles has to be considered very carefully, because we couldn’t afford to completely cannibalise all of that revenue. However, at the same time, we must make a start in the transition”.

“We recognise that these are not panaceas, but they represent a significant concession to facilitate Jamaicans in the acquisition of battery electric vehicles,” he added.

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Future Energy Source (FESCO) Secures JA$1B Debt Financing By Way Of Five (5)-Year Corporate Bond.

“FESCO represents one of the several initial public offers we would have brought to the market in the last 24 months. Our relationships with our clients are on-going and we continuously work with our clients to develop suitable options to meet their capital needs. The J$1 billion bond is such an example. This underscores our commitment to doing more for our clients and the capital markets at large” stated Nicholas Dawson- Investment Banking Manager of Origination and Structuring at NCBCM.

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The bond is to be listed on the Private Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange, with NCB Capital Markets Limited (NCBCM) acting as Arranger, and JCSD Trustee Services Limited as Trustee. The facility is for an aggregate principal sum of One Billion Jamaican Dollars (J$1,000,000,000.00).

The proceeds will be utilized for general corporate purposes that support FESCO’s growth objectives, including working capital, operating expenses and capital expenditure related to the:

1. Expansion of its dealership network and service station footprint; and

2. Entry into the consumer cooking gas/LPG market, an objective outlined in its Prospectus.

The facility offered by NCBCM is compatible with the business’ growth plans and sustainability strategies.

“FESCO represents one of the several initial public offers we would have brought to the market in the last 24 months. Our relationships with our clients are on-going and we continuously work with our clients to develop suitable options to meet their capital needs. The J$1 billion bond is such an example. This underscores our commitment to doing more for our clients and the capital markets at large” stated Nicholas Dawson- Investment Banking Manager of Origination and Structuring at NCBCM.

Future Energy Source Company Limited is a Jamaican-owned fuel marketing company operating since 2013, licensed to market and distribute petroleum products in Jamaica with a network of sixteen (16) service stations.

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Jetcon Corporation Reporting Recovery In Sales And Profit For Third Quarter & Nine Months To September 2021

The third quarter for 2021 ended with a profit of $5.7 million, compared with a $2 million loss during the same period last year. Revenues for the quarter climbed 28 percent to $196 million, compared with $153 million for the similar period in 2020. Cost of Sales increased 29 percent from $128 million in 2020 to $166 million in 2021, directly in line with the increase in sales.

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Jetcon Corporation Limited is reporting that for the third quarter & nine months to September 2021 there was a recovery in sales and profit. This as the company completed its third quarter with increased sales representing a turnaround from a loss last year.

The third quarter for 2021 ended with a profit of $5.7 million, compared with a $2 million loss during the same period last year. Revenues for the quarter climbed 28 percent to $196 million, compared with $153 million for the similar period in 2020. Cost of Sales increased 29 percent from $128 million in 2020 to $166 million in 2021, directly in line with the increase in sales.

For the nine months to September revenues jumped 30 percent from $467 million in 2020 to $607 million this year and profit of $3 million reported to September 2020 climbed 283 percent to $11.5 million.

On the balance sheet side the company is reporting an uptick in activity with an increase in inventory up 13 percent from the same period in 2020, to $445 million. This includes spares parts and goods in transit. Payables are up from $32 million at the end of September 2020 to $110 million and includes deposit for goods ordered but not yet delivered.

Managing Director Andrew Jackson noted that this was an effort to shore up stock before the effects of the price increases in supply materialized.

In his outlook he reported that Jetcon continues to enjoy a relatively strong financial position. With smart marketing and pricing strategies, and with increasing vaccination rates, and decreasing covid case rates, they hope that restrictions will continue to ease, thus helping to fuel recovery. To date, sales for the fourth quarter are stronger still, with units sold in November at their regular pre-pandemic levels and already exceeding sales for the third quarter. This upward swing continued into December, and with increased bookings to date.

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RedPlate Technologies targets ‘green plate’ vehicles for commercial delivery

“With the RedPlate customer app you can find available commercial vehicles in your area fitting the space, size, costs and location you’re looking for and, importantly, you will have choices — which is very important to the customer.”

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PRESIDENT and CEO of RedPlate Technologies Jamaica Limited, Aldo Antonio is of the view that a vast majority of commercial vehicles with green plates on Jamaica’s roads are losing money because they are either empty or at half capacity.

To this end, he proposes that “these owners and/or drivers, as a RedPlate transporter, can avoid losing money on these empty or half-empty trucks by ensuring they have a subscription to RedPlate auto-reloading requests”. By subscribing to the RedPlate platform, commercial vehicle drivers can be assured of finding deliveries that fit their load and location requirements and so earn money from more than one income stream.

“From my observations and the research we have conducted on this business segment, the vast majority of these vehicles only make money in one direction of travel. This leaves five other opportunities for income on the table,” he reasoned.

Antonio argued further that the need for reliable transportation of goods across the country will continue to grow as the demand for home and business delivery explodes. However, he contends that finding vehicles with underutilised space or capacity, at present, is very difficult.

“Think about it, if you need to move or have something delivered with a commercial vehicle, how do you find one? Unless you already have a number, check the directory or, worse, drive around and see if you can find one, you’re not going to get one. And if you do, it may not be the space size, cost and location you’re looking for,” he stated.

“With the RedPlate customer app you can find available commercial vehicles in your area fitting the space, size, costs and location you’re looking for and, importantly, you will have choices — which is very important to the customer.”

According to Antonio, more than 60 per cent of truck drivers are independent and rely on third-party transportation brokers to connect them with clients. As a result, owners and drivers only earn from one of six income opportunities to make money, recover costs, and make a profit.

This inefficiency, he said, results in underutilisation of trucks, which on average are empty 70 per cent of the time, and makes the cost of delivery higher than it needs to be. Moreover, the lack of pricing transparency, and high rate fluctuations for commercial transportation while eliminating middlemen who share referral fees are also chalenges which exist.

“Also, since drivers aren’t paid unless they are carrying cargo, job security is low and predictably, turnover among drivers are reported to be high in some areas,” Antonio added.

As such, RedPlate is targeting the less-than-truckload segment, a piece of the broader commercial trucking market, so that truckers carry shipments from multiple customers in the same vehicle.

“Trucks that move fully loaded are more efficient and profitable than vehicles running partly empty. So getting truckers to…100 per cent capacity on all legs of their journey allows the shippers to save the most money. It’s also where RedPlate truckers will make the most money and it’s where RedPlate will make the most money. The fact is, everybody benefits from this. It’s a win-win all around,” the RedPlate CEO said.

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Jetcon Corporation Sees Signs of Recovery in August, Company Posts Small Second Quarter Loss, As Revenues Declined by 61%

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Jetcon Corporation Limited, after a challenging 2019 financial year, is reporting that the company started off 2020 with some positive signs that suggested the year would show encouraging improvement on the 2019 out-turn for the first two months of the year.

However, as reported by Managing Director Andrew Jackson, sales dipped sharply in March, with the dislocation caused by shut down of many businesses as well as curfews that were implemented. The measures along with the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a sharp fall in sales in the second quarter.

Management, he noted, took action to curtail cost in the period, the effects of which are reflected in the financial report for the second quarter. The second quarter, during the early peak of the COVID-19 outbreak, was a challenging period for Jetcon, as with most businesses. High levels of uncertainty, societal movement restrictions, and general unease meant that purchasing cars was not high on the list of people’s priorities. As time went on and restrictions began to ease, we have seen sales recover.

Jetcon is however showing signs of recovery, as early August sales are back to roughly 60% of their normal level, with expectations that this trend will continue rising over the next few months towards normality. This has seen a return to work of all staff, having furloughed some at the end of April. They have also enacted new marketing strategies in a bid to increase sales, and those strategies seem to be bearing fruit, he reported.

Jetcon non the less ended the second quarter of 2020 with a small loss, as revenues declined by 61 percent to $86 million, compared with $221 million in the 2019 first quarter and fell to $314 million for the half-year to $467 million.

Profits also fell from $8.7 million in 2019 to a loss of $6.8 million in the quarter, while profit declined to $3.5 million from $24 million for the six months. Importantly, despite the fall in sales, gross margin remained unchanged at 16 percent, and pretax.

On the balance sheet side, he noted that management took the decision to halt purchases of additional inventories in March resulting in amounts tied up in inventory declining compared to the same period in 2019. Inventories fell from $525 million to $456 million ending June 2020. Total receivables amount to $50 million, which is down compared to the amount at the close of December 2019.

Jetcon Corporation Limited closed the period with negative earnings per share of 1.17 cents, versus 1.49 cents in 2019.

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