$3.7 Billion in Profits for GraceKennedy

Grace posts profits of $3.7 billion for nine-month period

Friday, November 16, 2018

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JAMAICAN conglomerate GraceKennedy (GK) saw an uptick in both revenues and profits for the nine-month period ending September 30, 2018.

For the period under review, Grace posted revenues of $73.8 billion, an increase of $4.5 billion over the same period last year.

This revenue figure generated a net profit of $3.7 billion which, when adjusted for non-recurring gains last year, spells a $415 million increase over the prior period.

Commenting on the group's performance, GraceKennedy CEO Don Wehby said:”We are satisfied with the results. However, we still have work to do to ensure that we maximise shareholder value.

“The company is investing strategically for future growth and efficiency to achieve this objective. We are seeing a 12.6 per cent increase in profit over prior period with the adjustment and we expect continued growth based on our strategy.”

For the nine-month period ending September 30, shareholders' equity came in at $48.4 billion — an increase of $3.2 billion over the same period last year.

There was some good news for shareholders with Grace announcing that an interim dividend payment will be made next month on December 13. This will be $0.50 cents per stock unit, bringing dividends declared to date to $1.35 per stock unit or over $1.3 billion.

Addressing this dividend payout, Grace's Group Chief Financial Officer Frank James said: “This represents an increase in dividends of 19.5 per cent over the prior period which, when combined with an increase in the GraceKennedy stock price of over 20 per cent year to date, seeks to provide an attractive return to our shareholders.”

Don Wehby has declared that he aims to see Grace hit the $100-billion mark in annual revenues by 2020 and he is nearing that target.

Earlier this year he instituted a number of senior management changes which saw Gail Moss-Solomon now overseeing the corporate communications department as well as serving as group general counsel.

PetaGaye Fairclough has been appointed as chief risk and compliance officer for GK Financial Group, while Deidre Cousins is the new chief information officer for GK Limited.

Wehby has created a leaner executive team as he looks to centralise support services for economies of scale.

Grace is expected to complete construction work on its new $3-billion downtown Kingston headquarters by the end of this year, with staff expected to move into their new home by March 2019.

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