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What Does Seprod’s Acquisition of Trinidad Based A.S. Bryden Have to Do with CEO Richard Pandohie’s Single Domestic Market Strategy?….Part 1

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Seprod Limited (“Seprod”) recent announcement that it has reached an agreement to acquire A.S. Bryden & Sons Holdings (“A.S. Bryden”), is a combination that will according to Richard Pandohie Chief Executive Officer of Seprod, create the leading integrated manufacturing and distribution group in the Caribbean.

The combination will also position Seprod for regional supremacy.

To get a much clearer insight into:
1. What may have been the strategic driving force behind the acquisition, and
2. Understand what it has to do with Richard Pandohie’s single domestic market strategy
we have to look more closely at what A.S. Bryden & Sons Holdings Limited (“A.S. Bryden”) offers to Seprod that it does not already have.

But first let’s take a brief look at Seprod.

Seprod Limited (“Seprod”) is a preeminent regional food manufacturing, distribution and agribusiness group, founded in 1940 and is a blue-chip company listed on the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE: SEP). Seprod represents leading global and regional principals and also has a significant manufacturing base spanning oils and margarine, wheat and corn milling, integrated dairy and biscuits and snacks.

Importantly Seprod is a member of the powerful Musson Group of Companies (“Musson”). Musson is a diversified holding company that owns controlling stakes in a number of public and private companies in the Caribbean and Central America across distribution, manufacturing, insurance, information technology, logistics and real estate.

Musson’s subsidiaries and joint ventures include Seprod, Productive Business Solutions Limited, General Accident Insurance Company (Jamaica) Limited, T. Geddes Grant Distributors Limited, Interlinc Group Limited, Canopy Insurance Company Jamaica Limited and Felton Limited.

So, What Does A.S. Bryden Offer To Seprod?

A Single Domestic Market

Richard Pandohie Chief Executive Officer of Seprod has always considered that Caricom should operate as a single domestic market, and with this acquisition it will allow A.S. Bryden and Seprod to take a quantum leap in creating a regional company, utilizing the best of their Caribbean people to create value-added synergies.

Provides A Gateway To Guyana And Barbados Markets

It’s important and strategic to note that Seprod’s acquisition of the Trinidad based A.S. Bryden, provides gateways to both the Guyana and Barbados markets. One of the A.S. Bryden subsidiaries, Bryden pi through its wholly-owned subsidiary Genethics, operates in Guyana through its subsidiary BPI Guyana and in Barbados through its joint venture Armstrong Healthcare Inc. Limited.

Deep History And Roots In The Region

A.S. Bryden, which has deep history and roots in the region, having been founded in 1923 and operating in Trinidad for almost a century. is a leading consumer products distributor and is one of the largest privately-owned businesses in Trinidad.

How Does A.S. Bryden Make Money?

A.S. Bryden is a privately held company, so financial information on the company will not be readily available until we can view the financial reports from Seprod following the acquisition. What we do know is that A.S. Bryden distributes food, pharmaceuticals, hardware, houseware and industrial equipment, and operates through three principal operating subsidiaries:
1. A.S. Bryden & Sons (Trinidad) Limited (“ASBT”),
2. Bryden pi Limited (“Bryden pi”) and
3. F.T. Farfan Limited (“FT Farfan”).

ASBT distributes food, hardware and housewares and premium beverages for international brands including Mondelez, Whirlpool, Rubbermaid, Truper, Reynolds, Colcafe, Bon ice cream, Cadbury, Johnnie Walker, Hennessy, Moet Chandon, Red Bull, Black & Decker, LG, KitchenAid, Oster and Speed Queen.

Bryden pi distributes healthcare, personal care and food and grocery products for international brands including Kimberly Clark, Mead Johnson, Baxter, Roche, Glaxo Smith Kline, L’Oreal, Novartis, Sanofi and Sandoz.

Bryden pi also manufactures a line of over the counter products through its wholly-owned subsidiary Genethics and operates in Guyana through its subsidiary BPI Guyana and in Barbados through its joint venture Armstrong Healthcare Inc. Limited.

It’s not yet clear how FT Farfan, which is an industrial supply and service company that serves leading international brands including Stihl, JCB, Castrol, Shell Marine, Cummins and Lincoln Electric, fits into the current Seprod business structure. It’s possible that this company could be sold for its parts. However, with the rapid economic developments taking place in Guyana, driven by large investments taking place in the petroleum sectors FT Farfan, which operates in Trinidad and in Guyana through its subsidiary Ibis Construction Equipment Sales & Rentals Inc. (ICON) Guyana could be a strategic player.

The EVE Brand

Both Seprod and ASBT own the Eve brand and range of products in their respective markets, which positions this brand for a major regional push, and could become the combined entity’s primary Caribbean brand.

EVE, positioned by Seprod as “First Family of Fine Foods”, and one of the most complete food brands worldwide, has become synonymous with fine quality products at economical prices. The EVE brand holds 6 categories: Pasta, Oil, Seasonings, Canned Vegetables, Canned Meats, Canned Juices, Vinegar, Jams/Jellies, Condiments, Sauces, Coconut Oil and Coconut Milk. Eve is arguably the most complete food brand on the Jamaican market and can be found on tables not only in Jamaica but throughout the islands the company notes on its website.

What Does Seprod’s Acquisition of Trinidad Based A.S. Bryden Have to Do with CEO Richard Pandohie’s Single Domestic Market Strategy?….Part 2

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1 year ago

[…] Seprod Group acquired a majority stake in A.S. Bryden & Sons Holdings Limited (the Bryden Group) in June 2022 in a well-documented transaction. The results for the Seprod Group for Q2 and Q2 […]

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Elite Diagnostic Limited: Navigating Challenges and Seeking Growth

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Harvey Levers Chief Executive Officer for Elite Diagnostic Limited has released its unaudited financial statements for the third quarter ended March 31, 2024. The results suggest that while the company has seen some financial improvements, it continues to face challenges in growing and stabilizing its business.

Businessuiteonline.com delves into the company’s recent performance, the hurdles it faces, and the strategic initiatives management is undertaking to attract investors and secure a more stable future.

Financial Performance Overview

For the third quarter of 2024, Elite Diagnostic reported a revenue of $205.1 million, marking a modest 2% increase over the same period last year. This uptick in revenue by $2.9 million signifies a positive trend, albeit small. More notably, the company’s gross profit saw a significant rise of 10.4%, jumping from $135.5 million to $149.6 million. Operating profit experienced an impressive 44% increase, moving from $17.4 million to $24.9 million compared to the same period in the prior year.

One of the key highlights of the financial statement is the substantial improvement in net profit. The net profit for the quarter stood at $12.6 million, which represents a 110% increase from the $6.0 million reported in the comparative quarter of 2023. This boost was achieved despite a 26% increase in administrative expenses amounting to $20.4 million, which was effectively offset by a 53% reduction in depreciation expenses.

Assets and Liabilities

Elite Diagnostic’s total assets amounted to $1,033.0 million, slightly down from $1,053.1 million in the previous year. This decrease is attributed to the reduction in the book value of some fixed assets. On the liabilities front, the company saw a reduction from $577.1 million to $550.1 million, reflecting the ongoing reduction of long-term debt as per the scheduled repayments.

Strategic Initiatives and Challenges

The improved financial performance of Elite Diagnostic can be largely attributed to strategic measures implemented late last year aimed at reducing machine downtime. Machine downtime has been a critical issue for the company, affecting operational efficiency and customer service delivery. By addressing this issue, Elite Diagnostic has not only enhanced its operational performance but also improved its financial results.

However, the company still faces significant challenges. The 26% increase in administrative expenses indicates that operational costs remain a concern. Additionally, despite the reduction in depreciation expenses, managing the costs associated with maintaining and upgrading diagnostic equipment is a continuous challenge.

Elite Diagnostic has also historically struggled with stabilizing its business and achieving consistent growth. Market competition, economic fluctuations, and the high costs associated with advanced diagnostic technology are ongoing hurdles. The reduction in total assets, due to decreased book value of fixed assets, suggests a need for strategic asset management to avoid future devaluations.

Attracting Investors

To make the company more attractive to investors, management is focusing on several key areas:

Operational Efficiency: Continuing efforts to minimize machine downtime and optimize operational processes are critical. By ensuring high machine availability and reducing operational disruptions, Elite Diagnostic aims to enhance service reliability and customer satisfaction.

Cost Management: While administrative expenses have risen, the significant reduction in depreciation expenses shows a promising direction. Management needs to maintain a balance between necessary administrative costs and overall cost-efficiency to ensure sustainable profitability.

Customer Service: Maintaining a high standard of customer service delivery remains a top priority. Superior customer service can differentiate Elite Diagnostic from competitors and foster customer loyalty, which is essential for long-term growth.

Debt Reduction: The ongoing reduction of long-term debt is a positive sign for potential investors, indicating prudent financial management and a focus on strengthening the company’s balance sheet.

Innovation and Technology: Investing in the latest diagnostic technologies and ensuring their optimal functioning can position Elite Diagnostic as a leader in the field. This requires a strategic approach to capital expenditures and continuous innovation.

Conclusion
Elite Diagnostic Limited has shown commendable improvement in its financial performance for the third quarter of 2024. Despite the ongoing challenges, the company’s strategic initiatives to reduce machine downtime and focus on customer service are yielding positive results. By addressing operational inefficiencies and managing costs effectively, Elite Diagnostic is working towards becoming a more attractive proposition for investors. The road ahead may be challenging, but with continued focus on strategic priorities, the company can aim for sustainable growth and stability in the competitive diagnostic industry.

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Jetcon Corporation Shifting Focus Towards Sale Of New Cars With BAIC Brand, In Line With Banks Financing Preference.

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Andrew Jackson Executive Chairman Jetcon Corporation Limited (JETCON) – has released the following Unaudited Financial Statements for First Quarter ended March 31 2024.

Jetcon Corporation ended the first quarter of 2024 cutting net losses almost in half compared to the same period in 2023, at $0.89m compared with $1.76m last year.

Cost of Sales decreased 37 percent, to $112m from $154m last year.

Earnings per share total 0.15 cents, down from 0.30 cents last year.

On the balance sheet Inventories total $400 million, which includes used and new vehicles, and solar products, while receivables total $97 million and includes deposits on purchases of imports.

Banks continue to give more favourable lending rates towards the purchase of new cars than used cars, and this is reflected in the continuing stagnation of used car sales. We are therefore shifting focus towards the sale of new cars with the BAIC brand, and we have received positive feedback thus far with the models. Resources will be increasingly transferred from used sales to new sales as new sales pick up.

Similarly, solar product sales continue to be positive, and combined with new car sales, we expect this will form the bulk of revenue in the next 12 months, with much higher profit margins than that of used car sales.

Our Audited Financials for the year ended 2023 will be posted within the next two weeks, and the Board and management regret their lengthy delay. We would like to thank shareholders, management, staff and customers for their continued support.

For More Information CLICK HERE

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Seprod Group Reporting Reduced Net Profits For Year and Quarter-to-Date Performance

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Richard Pandohie Chief Executive Officer for Seprod Group Limited has released the following summary Interim Report to Stockholders from their 1st Quarter Unaudited Financial Statements

Seprod Group Limited (Q1 2024)
Year and Quarter-to-Date Performance (January-March 2024) Revenues:

• Total Revenue: $28.59 billion, up by $1.53 billion (6%) from Q1 2023.
• Gross Profit: $9.48 billion, up by $1.14 billion (13%) from Q1 2023.
• Net Profit: $1.20 billion, down by $152 million (11%) from Q1 2023.

Comments on Performance:

Revenue Drivers:

• Margarine Production: Normalized post-plant upgrade; aggressive market share recovery underway.
• Juice and Dairy Beverages: Demand exceeds capacity; new production capacity to be added later this year.
• Export Sales: Increased by 27%.
• Bryden Group Premium Beverages: Revenue negatively impacted by a short carnival season in Trinidad and Tobago.

Net Profit Factors:

• Interest Expense: Increased due to higher interest rates.
• Effective Tax Rate: Higher in Bryden Group due to business mix changes and expired benefits.
• Dairy Farm Costs: Increased significantly due to drought in Jamaica.
• Pharmaceutical Business: Supply chain challenges.
• Cost Increases: Insurance, interest rates, security, transportation, etc., have eroded profit margins.

The company continues to focus on creating sustainable shareholder value through regional platform expansion and investment in talented, motivated personnel.

For More Information CLICK HERE

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Mailpac Group Tags MyCart Express Assimilation For Enhanced Revenue And Operational Efficiencies To Turn Things Around

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Khary Robinson Executive Chairman Mailpac Group Limited has released the following Directors’ Report To Shareholders for the quarter ended March 31, 2024.

Introduction

Mailpac Group Limited (“Mailpac” or the “Company”) presents its unaudited financial statements for the quarter ended March 31, 2024.

Throughout the quarter, Mailpac focused on closing on the acquisition of MyCart, a significant step in entrenching the business as the leader in e-commerce fulfillment in Jamaica. Not only will the transaction significantly expand market share and improve service delivery, but the brands in the group are now better positioned to meet the goals and needs of their respective target markets. Additionally, despite increased competition and external factors impacting efficiencies, our financial performance for the reviewed period was commendable.

Financial Performance:

In Q1 2024, Mailpac’s revenue came in at $368.5 million, down by 7.8% from the previous year mainly because of the reduction in Mailpac Local and commissions from the marketplace platform at Aeropost.

Despite the reduction, Gross profit for Q1 was $197.9 million, up by 3.6% compared to the previous year.

Operating expenses in Q1 totaled $130.8 million, a 13.6% increase year-over-year, mainly due to strategic investments in business growth and data protection remediation efforts.

Net profit for Q1 decreased by 16.7% to $50.1 million.

We anticipate profitability improvements in 2024 through customer base expansion and overhead cost reductions due to strategic enhancements and shared key operations between Mailpac and MyCart Express.

Financial Position:

At the end of Q1 2024, Mailpac’s Total Assets were valued at $626.3 million, with a cash position of $156.2 million.

Shareholder’s Equity stood at $537.9 million.

Outlook:

With the completion of the acquisition of MyCart Express at the end of March 2024, we are optimistic about the expected synergistic benefits, enhanced revenue streams, operational efficiencies and increased shareholder value from Q2 onwards.

We are confident that the decision to bring both brands under the same umbrella will position Mailpac for continued growth, industry leadership and success in e-commerce.

For More Information CLICK HERE

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Agostini’s Directors Approve Interim Dividend of 40c per share

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Christian E. Mouttet Chairman For Agostini’s Limited has released the following Unaudited Half-year Summary Consolidated Results for Agostini’s to March 31, 2024

The Agostini’s Group maintained a consistent financial performance during the First Half of the 2024 Financial Year.

Revenue increased 7%, reaching $2.57 billion, and operating profit improved marginally to $269 million.

Profit attributable to shareholders, excluding the one-off, non-cash Net Gain on Acquisition, decreased by 6% from $l30 million to $122 million, largely as a result of some non-recurring gains recorded in the previous year, including the profit from the divestment of the Agostini’s contracting division.

Earnings per Share for the first six months were $1.76 versus $1.88 in the prior year without the net gain ($3.93 inclusive of the gain).

Our Consumer Products and Energy & Industrial segments continued to perform well during the period, however, Pharmaceutical & Health Care lagged in profitability in the Second Quarter. This was partially due to supply chain disruptions as well as softer conditions in some regional markets, both of which we are working to improve in the Second Half.

At the end of April, the Group formed a strategic alliance with Linda’s Bakery acquiring 14 of their retail outlets, through our SuperPharm retail subsidiary. This acquisition facilitates our efforts to expand our Presto brand of freshness and convenience across Trinidad & Tobago.

We are in the process of structuring our Pharmaceutical & Health Care and Consumer Products segments to take advantage of our regional position, which has stemmed from our acquisitions in recent years, and this should be completed by the end of the financial year.

We expect to reap the benefits of this now and in the future and remain confident in our strategy for long-term sustainable growth

Based on our Half-year results, the Directors have approved an interim dividend of 40c per share, similar to the prior year. The dividend will be paid on June 28, 2024, to members on the register on June 3, 2024. Our share register will be closed on June 4 and 5, 2024.

For more information CLICK HERE (more…)

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