Gwest loses its CEO amid financial haemorrhaging

BY DURRANT PATE
Observer business writer

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

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Gwest Corporation's financial hemorrhaging has cost its first victim, as chief executive officer Marce Hayles has been separated from the Montego Bay-based company.

Hayles resigned from her position effective July 5, just six months into the job.

Gwest reports that her departure is in keeping with a staff rationalisation strategy being undertaken by the company, which went public in 2017, presenting a picture to investors of a prosperous future but within less than two years of listing on the Junior Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange, that future looks bleak.

There has been no report of a successor as yet. Hayles was appointed CEO, effective January 7, 2019. She has extensive experience in both the health care and financial services industries.

Hayles is also a clinician, who has held positions in various healthcare settings in Jamaica and the USA, and in the past has been responsible for leading teams of more than 100 employees.

Gwest, which is involved in the development of commercial properties and the provision of healthcare services, recorded a net loss of $135.87 million for its financial year ended March 2019 and a net loss of $88.10 million in 2017/2018, the first year as a publicly-traded company.

Commenting about Gwest financial situation, financial analyst John Jackson reported, “the writing was on the wall for this stock from the start, it had no track record in the business, it hoped to make most of its profit based on projections that had no credible foundation and management exposed their weakness…”

Gwest's auditors issued a qualified report casting doubts on the ability of the company to continue in business as a going concern.

According to the company's auditors, Calvert Gordon and Associates, “the company recorded a net loss of $135.876 million during the year ended March 2019 and a net loss of $88.109 million in the previous year.”

Gwest presented a rosy forecast at the time of the IPO, to suggest a highly profitable future with revenues from medical services rising sharply in the 2018 fiscal year.

The results to March that year, last year showed revenues well below forecast of $86 million from the new operations with only $17.4 million generated.


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