KINGSTON, Jamaica November 17, 2016 — GraceKennedy Limited announced, late last week, strong third quarter results, with revenue reported at $66.7 billion, up by 11.6% over the corresponding period last year, and net profit of $3.7 billion – a 54.6% increase over 2015.
“GraceKennedy remains focused on delivering on our strategy and we are pleased to have seen double digit increases in revenue in every segment,” said Don Wehby, CEO of GraceKennedy Ltd, a publicly listed company on the Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago Stock Exchanges.
The earnings per stock unit from continuing operations as at September 30, 2016 was J$3.34, while shareholders’ equity increased by J$3.9 billion over the nine month period to J$42.0 billion, resulting in a book value per share of J$42.35.
“The company is pleased to announce approval of interim dividends of 42 cents per share, which will be paid on December 9, 2016. This brings dividends paid to $1.02 per stock unit which represents a dividend payout of over J$1 billion, a 23% increase over the same period in 2015,” Wehby revealed.
“The GraceKennedy stock price increased by 57% since the start of the year to September 30, 2016 bringing the market capitalization to over J$42.0 billion,” he added.
Earlier this year, at an extraordinary general meeting held on July 11, stockholders approved a three-for-one stock split effective August 11, 2016.
The company was founded on February 14, 1922, and is the parent company of a group of subsidiaries, operating mainly in the food and financial services industries.
Its food trading segment, which includes five factories based in Jamaica and one in the UK, Hi-Lo Food Stores and several distribution companies, saw growth in revenue.
“The Jamaican manufacturing business did well as we benefited from favourable prices in raw material, continued strong demand for our products as well as continued relatively low and stable energy costs.” CEO Wehby noted.
A large number of popular Grace Foods items are manufactured in Jamaica, including sauces, soups, porridges, drinks, sausages and vegetable products.
The company’s UK operations saw strong increases in the sale of the Grace Aloe and the Nurishment beverages, with Grace Aloe currently positioned among the Top 10 UK drink brands.
“The outlook for GraceKennedy USA is positive as we have seen continued growth in both the Grace Foods and La Fe brands. Gains made in the market have seen our products being even better placed in prime retail outlets, such as Walmart Stores where we were able to acquire increased display space for both the Grace and La Fe brands,” Wehby said.
GraceKennedy’s banking and investments segment showed an improvement in revenue over the corresponding period of 2015, driven primarily by higher interest income from a growing loan portfolio in First Global Bank.
However, profits declined when compared with 2015. Contributing to this were costs associated with the acquisition of new technology and investments in the branch network. A new branch location for First Global Liguanea was opened in September.
The money services and insurance segment showed strong growth in both revenue and profit over the corresponding period.