Wigton Windfarm blows in 34% increase in net profits for 2020

Wigton Windfarm blows in 34% increase in net profits for 2020

Company to host hybrid 2020 AGM on October 21

BY DURRANT PATE
Observer Business writer

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

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Wigton Windfarm ended its first full year in 2020 as a publicly traded company with a 34 per cent increase in net profit attributable to shareholders.

In its just completed 2020 annual report, net profit for the financial year amounted to $662.75 million, up from the restated amount of $493.59 million earned the previous year. The restatement was necessitated by a correction for deferred tax, which arose from the overstatement of the deferred tax asset in 2018-2019.

Consequently, net profit attributed to shareholders was reduced by $60.74 million from $554.34 million previously reported for 2018-2019. With 11 billion stock units, the net profit attributable to shareholders equates to earnings per share of $0.06, an increase over the $0.04 for 2018-2019.

Wigton closed its 2020 financial year with total assets of $10.59 billion, an increase of 10 per cent when compared to $9.65 billion for the prior year. The average plant availability was approximately 94.6 per cent ahead of the target of 93.9 per cent, which led to total production output of 157 Gigawatt hours.

IMPROVEMENT IN ABILITY RATE

This availability rate was an improvement over the previous year's average, which was 88.7 per cent. The three generating plants earn more than $2.4 billion per annum while annual profits have averaged more than $480 million over the last five years.

The company is 100 per cent Jamaican-owned, which means that all revenue and profits earned stays in the local economy. Revenues and other income for 2020 was $2.64 billion representing, an 11 per cent decrease when compared to the amount generated the previous year, which was $2.95 billion.

The change was largely due to a decline in foreign exchange gains to $34.6 million from $455.7 million in 2018-2019.

While foreign exchange gains declined for the financial year, the overall impact of the refinancing of US dollar denominated loans to Jamaican dollars was positive, as the net foreign exchange gains for the period was $34.6 million.

DIRECTORS' FEEs UP BY 109%; INSURANCE PREMIUM ESCALATES

Directors' fees rose by $2.64 million, or 109 per cent, to $5.06 million up from the $2.43 million paid in 2018-2019. This increase occurred as a result of the company's transition from a public sector entity to a publicly listed corporation.

Subsequent to this, a survey of directors fees was conducted and compensation for board members was adjusted with due consideration of the company's ability to pay. Insurance premium climbed to $91.22 million, an increase of $19.54 million or 27 per cent over the $71.69 million paid the previous year.

This was as a result of an upsurge in insurance premiums for the Caribbean following the active 2017 hurricane season when Hurricane Harvey hit Texas; Irma affected Florida and Maria, which devastated Puerto Rico.

Wigton, which owns the largest wind energy facility in the English-speaking Caribbean which continues to perform at world-class standards, has consistently met or surpassed its business targets, earning an enviable reputation as one of the country's most successful commercial entities. With over 16 years of experience in renewable energy operations, Wigton is recognised as an industry leader across the region.

HYBRID AGM

Wigton has agreed to hold its 2020 AGM in a hybrid format on Wednesday, October 21, 2020, starting at 11:00 am. The AGM will include virtual and in-person participation.

The format is permissible under an order issued by the Supreme Court on June 24, 2020, which allows particular companies to conduct virtual AGMs due to the health and safety protocols, which must be observed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Consequently, Wigton's AGM will involve a limited number of persons at Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston, while the majority of the company's shareholders, who number more than 29,000, will be able to participate via a virtual broadcast platform.


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