Jamaica Producers building capacity for growth

August 23, 2022

Food and logistics conglomerate Jamaica Producers Group has said that despite the myriad macroeconomic challenges in the global environment, it will continue to build up capabilities as it goes after increased growth in the months ahead.

“Our strategy is to build on our core business capabilities in food and drink (F&D) and logistics and infrastructure (L&I) through active engagement and strategic alignment with key customers, efficiency-enhancing capital investment projects, and selective acquisitions,” stated Chairman Charles Johnston in notes accompanying the group’s six-month financials posted on the Jamaica Stock Exchange.

“Core capital investments in our terminal, cranes and warehousing at Kingston Wharves are designed to expand capacity, gain market share, and drive efficiency in our logistics businesses. Investment in food grade packaging lines, information technology systems, efficiency and hygiene, and health and safety are all expected to bolster the F&D division in the months ahead,” he added.

The company organised to generate revenues from a diverse range of business lines across markets in the Caribbean, Northern Europe, and North America consists of its F&D division, spanning a large portfolio of entities engaged in farming, manufacturing, distribution, and retail of a wide range of food and drink. These include JP Farm and snacks and Hoogesteger fresh juices. Its multinational logistics and infrastructure division on the other hand controls interests in port-terminal operations, warehousing, and third-party logistics services operating businesses such as Kingston Wharves, JP Shipping, and Geest Line liner services.

Pushing to deliver increased value for shareholders, the highly diversified business at the end of the six-month or half-year period in June increased revenues to $14.4 billion, 26 per cent above the previous year’s quarter, driving net profits of $1.6 billion. Thirteen weeks or second-quarter out-turns also rose to $7.5 billion in revenues and $779.7 million in profit. Year-to-date net profit attributable to shareholders was $864 million, an increase of 42 per cent over the prior year.

Johnston, in deepening the strategic outlook, said that the group, in keeping with its acquisition strategy, will further continue to identify other logistics services that support trade with the Caribbean, even as it eyes other markets and new growth opportunities for its food & drink businesses.

“With shareholders’ equity of $18.4 billion — an increase of 9 per cent relative to the prior year — and cash and investments of $10.9 billion, we believe that the JP Group has the balance sheet strength to support this strategy,” he stated.

At the end of the 26 weeks reporting period, total assets for the company grew to total almost $40 billion.

Jamaica Observer at https://bit.ly/3d0Doz8