Business

Stanley Motta waiting on Special Economic Zone status to expand

Records $2 billion profit for financial year 2018

BY ABBION ROBINSON
Observer Business Writer

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

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Stanley Motta Limited (SML), creator of 58 HWT (Half-Way-Tree Road) — home to one of the largest business process outsourcing (BPO) facility in the English-speaking Caribbean — says it expects its Special Economic Zone (SEZ) submission to be approved by December.

Chairman of SML Melanie Subratie told The Business Observer that despite having a few procedures to complete, “everything is on schedule”.

“We sent in the application, we have got an initial approval [for] the SEZ; there are a few set of procedural things that we have to tick off, but we are looking at hitting the deadline, to convert to SEZ [status] at the end of the year,” she said.

Special Economic Zone refers to designated geographical areas with special economic regulations that differ from general trade, tax and investment rules.

Subratie added that SML is also considering expanding its operations.

“At the moment we have 100 per cent occupancy and we earn money in US dollars, which in this climate is really important; we are seeing success of Stanley Motta,” she told The Business Observer.

“We are actively looking at opportunities to expand our square footage here at [58 HWT]; [while] we haven't seen an opportunity for outside as yet, but we are still looking”.

SML was listed on the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) in July 2018 with an all-female board, that according to Subratie, influences SML's financial performance.

“It's the sharpest board that I possibly sit on; it has got people who [embody] fine corporate governance, accuracy, and holding management to account, very important principles and I think because of that we're looking forward to the growth of Stanley Motta in the future,” Subratie declared.

The board is led by Subratie and includes six other professionals with experience in fields including law, banking and finance, and business.

STANLEY MOTTA PROFIT UP $2 BILLION IN 2018

In compliance with JSE regulations, SML held its inaugural general meeting at 58 Half-Way-Tree Road on Tuesday (September 10), where it reported an after-tax profit of $2 billion for the financial year which ended on December 31, 2018, due to the $1.9 billion revaluation gain on the property.

For the period under review, SML recorded revenues of $269 million, due to income from Unit 4 on the property, which was completed in 2018, and the acquisition of Unity Capital, which owns what is now called Unit 5.

“Administrative expenses for the year were $113 million, as compared to $56m for 2017; this was due mainly to a one-off $24 million in commission payments regarding the lease for Unit 4 and legal expenses, advertising and consulting expenses which, will not be necessary going forward,” the report stated.

“Finance costs increased over prior year as the entire [Development Bank of Jamaica] loan was subject to payment, whereas a moratorium on interest and principal payments existed in 2017; additionally, the figures include the finance cost for the mortgage on Unit 5, the Unity Capital building”.

SML's total assets have also doubled in value from the $2.4 billion recorded in 2017, to $4.8 billion achieved for the period under review.

Earnings per share ended at $2.72, an increase when compared to the $1.99 recorded in the prior corresponding period.

SML's 58 HWT complex is Jamaica's first integrated 'Tech Park'. The company's investment in the premises has exceeded US$30 million, and is expected to provide jobs for more than 5,000 Jamaicans in the BPO industry, currently one of Jamaica's fastest-growing sectors.

The facility at 58 Half-Way-Tree Road consists of 230,000 square feet of office space rented predominantly to BPO firm Alorica and includes a range of other service provider tenants, including a child care facility, automated teller machines and financial services, health care, and a range of food and beverage options.


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