Business

More GK products now available on Amazon

BY KARENA BENNETT
Business reporter
bennettk@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

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Conglomerate GraceKennedy Limited has increased its product offerings on the online retail store Amazon as it seeks to drive up sales in the Canadian market.

The food manufacturer and distributor's latest offering is Grace Coconut Milk Powder in packs of six and 36; along with the 24 pack of 500ml pulp and no pulp Grace Pure Coconut Water, priced between US$14.94 and US$38.49, and US$35.00 and US$54.00 respectively.

Before the addition of GraceKennedy's 500 ml coconut water, US distributor Gezza retailed the company's one-litre coconut water at US$112.42 for a 12 pack.

The new product offerings now bring to 59 the total number of products, including Grace Mackerel, Tropical Rhythms, and Grace Ackees being offered by GraceKennedy and its subsidiary La Fe Foods on Amazon. Still, Grace Coconut Powder and Jerk Seasoning are currently listed as the most popular products for consumers, racking up sales to date of 101 and 362 units respectively.

“Shopping online allows greater access and convenience for existing and new consumers via one of the largest online shopping portals,” GK CEO Don Wehby had said previously.

Since the launch on Amazon in August 2015, Wehby noted that the company's footprint in the US covers 39 states and continues to grow, receiving orders from the US military and as far away as Alaska and Hawaii.

GraceKennedy, which approved the payment of an interim dividend of 45 cents per stock unit, payable on September 26, 2018, reported revenues of J$48.4 billion for the first half of the year, an increase of 4.3 per cent or J$2 billion over the corresponding period of 2017.

Net profit for the period was $2.5 billion, an increase of J$266.1 million or 12.2 per cent compared with 2017, which Wehby attributed to growth in the Group's domestic foods business and insurance segments.

GraceKennedy's international foods business experienced a decline in pre-tax profits compared to the corresponding period of 2017 primarily due to the performance of Grace Foods UK Limited which made significant investments in the Nurishment and Aloe brands.

The investments resulted in increased costs. However, the company noted that it is expected that the increased expenditure will lead to sustained brand value growth and a stronger market share for the products.

Wehby, in a statement to shareholders adjoining the company's six-month financials, said he is pleased with the increase in profits during the six-month period.

“The company has performed well and we will continue to make the necessary changes to position ourselves for continued growth. We are expecting this positive trend to carry through to the end of 2018,” he said.

GraceKennedy has embarked on a multi-year transformational journey aimed at improving performance and shareholder value. Since the beginning of 2018, the group has been reviewing its overall organisational design, cost structure, and business processes at all levels with a goal of reaching $100 billion in revenues by 2020.

According to Wehby, the changes being made are aimed at achieving greater agility, sustainable efficiency, and revenue growth.

“The organisational changes will allow us to leverage the existing strengths within the group as we continuously look at ways of improving the way we do things for the benefit of all stakeholders. We look forward to reaching our 100th anniversary more energised and well on our way to realising our goal of becoming a global consumer group,” he added.

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