Written by Megan Defreitas on May 10, 2023

Seprod almost triples Q1 earnings

Continued growth across its business helped to almost triple earnings for manufacturing and distribution giant Seprod Limited, which reported profits of approximately $1.4 billion at the end of its first quarter (Q1) ended March.

According to the company's latest unaudited financial statements, profit out-turns for the three months more than doubled, growing 128 per cent or $761 million above the $595 million it earned in March 2022. This was supported by strong revenues which amounted to $27.1 billion — 129 per cent above the prior year's period.

The company's directors, in an interim report to shareholders, attributed the increases seen to a 25 per cent uptick in exports, the level of organic growth taking place locally in the wake of the pandemic, along with the continued success of the business in growing Caribbean markets such those in as Trinidad and Guyana.

"Trinidad has had strong consumer demand after lifting COVID-19 restrictions on public events, and Guyana's growth trajectory makes it the fastest-growing economy in the world — and this is evident in consumer and business demand," a note signed by Chairman PB Scott and CEO Richard Pandohie stated.

Guyana, which is expected to record the highest growth among Caricom countries this year according to International Monetary Fund (IMF) projections, is to see economic growth of some 37 per cent in 2023, upgraded from a previous 25.2 per cent.

The directors, also crediting the company's current transition to the new 100,000 square foot warehouse and distribution campus at Felix Fox Boulevard along Marcus Garvey Drive in Kingston, said the process so far has helped to cut "over $300 million of extraordinary warehousing and logistics costs" which the company incurred after a 2021 fire that ravaged one of its large warehouses.

A little challenged by an increasing of capacity at its margarine plant, Seprod through its Caribbean Products Limited subsidiary has been actively working to build out the facility as it looks to push a greater supply of its products to the region. "This unfortunately limited the availability of key stock keeping units (SKUs) in Q1 but this challenge will be behind us by the end of June 2023," the directors noted.

At the end of March 2023 shareholders' equity was valued at $33.8 billion as earnings per share moved to $1.34 per share, up from the $0.81 per share recorded in March 2022.

Amid global uncertainties and geopolitical challenges which continue to impact the operating environment the company, at the end of the first three months, said it remains focus on delivering an "outstanding year".

"The group continues to pass on price reductions to retail and business customers as it experiences lower input costs, particularly in its manufacturing facilities," the report stated.

Source: Jamaica Observer

May 9, 2023

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