SOS hits billion-dollar mark

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

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Stationery and Office Supplies Limited (SOS), hit the billion-dollar mark in annual revenues for the year ended 2018.

Sales at the company for the year ended December 2018 climbed 17 per cent to reach $1.064 billion, compared to the previous year at $90.65 million. Net profit at the end of the year stood at $91.6 million.

“At the beginning of 2018 the management of SOS set some very ambitious goals and expectations for where we wanted the company to be by the end of the year, and we are proud to say that most of these goals were accomplished,” SOS Deputy Managing Director Allan McDaniel said.

Aside from improving bottom line, part of SOS's goals included the company's entry into the manufacturing sector through acquisition of the SEEK brand of notebooks from local manufacturer Book Empire in April.

The company noted that with its entry into the manufacturing sector, there were some one-off expenses that increased operational costs for the company, but reasoned that the future for the SEEK product line looks promising.

Despite hitting the billion-dollar mark at the end of the financial year, SOS' fourth quarter was the weakest the company experienced during 2018. While revenue improved, higher expenses resulted in the company posting a loss in the fourth quarter for the first time in years, according to a statement published on the Jamaica Stock Exchange.

Aside from these one-off expenses to enter the manufacturing industry, sales of the recently acquired SEEK flatlined, following upward trends in sales during the third quarter led by the back-to-school rush.

“The lack of sales for SEEK put a dent in the final pre-tax figures and accounted for some of the losses incurred during the quarter,” McDaniel said.

At the end of the year, SOS increased total assets by 25 per cent, moving from $554 million to $697 million at the end of 2018. The growth was reflected in all areas, with the highest increases being in inventories — which rose by 19 per cent, and cash and cash equivalents which climbed to $48.5 million from $8 million a year earlier.

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