Business

RJR/GLEANER Communications Group records $22 million loss

...but shows improvement over last financial year

BY ABBION ROBINSON
Contributor

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

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Radio Jamaica Limited, the parent company of the RJR/GLEANER Communications Group, on Friday (June 7) reported an after-tax loss of $22 million for the financial year which ended on March 31, 2019. RJR/GLEANER was therefore able to significantly reduce its losses when compared with the financial year 2017/18 when the recorded net loss was $42 million.

This latest information on the group's financial position was posted on the Jamaica Stock Exchange's website.

Company directors on the website posting indicated that the company's performance was influenced by the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).

“That the Group ended in a loss position is attributable to the adjustments related to existing and newly adopted accounting standards, which were outside of the company's control,” stated the directors in the report.

The IFRS provides a common global language for business affairs so that company accounts are understandable and comparable across international boundaries.

“Without these adjustments, the Group's net profit after tax would have been $38 million, which would have been a $72 million turnaround on prior year,” the directors offered in their posting.

The IFRS also affected the administrative expenses of $1.3 billion, an 11 per cent increase when compared to the prior year. Direct expenses rose by $236 million and selling expenses increased by $65 million due to higher agency commissions associated with higher revenues for the year.

“The Group recorded a $437 million or 9% increase in revenues, largely due to the staging of the FIFA World Cup tournament which contributed $233 million,” the company added.

Other broadcasting revenues such as advertising campaigns during the 2018 Christmas season contributed $143 million to the Group's increased revenues.

“Overall, in spite of a slow start to the year coupled with a World Cup campaign which fell short of profit targets, the Group rebounded to close the year with an improved performance as the market rewarded the Group's industry leadership position in terms of audience reach and delivery of the most credible and entertaining content for and from Jamaica,” stated the directors.

The directors added that while the market's response has been positive to the implementation of the digital high- definition (HD) platform, it awaits a policy decision from the Government on the technical standard and business model to be used by the industry.

The Group gave the undertaking that it is going to continue its commitment to nation-building through educational efforts using the vehicles of Television Jamaica's Schools' Challenge Quiz and The Gleaner's Children's Own Spelling Bee competitions, which celebrated 50 and 60-year anniversaries, respectively.

“The outlook for the 2019/20 financial year is for a turnaround and return to profitability to be achieved through even greater operating efficiencies, and a stronger focus on new business initiatives,” the Group said on the website.

The Gleaner Company Limited and the Radio Jamaica Limited merged in 2015 into what is now the RJR/GLEANER Communications Group.


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