First Rock takes slight hit in Costa Rica but remains profitable for Q2

First Rock takes slight hit in Costa Rica but remains profitable for Q2

Shareholders' equity increased by 100%

BY DURRANT PATE
Observer business writer

Friday, August 07, 2020

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Real estate and private equity firm First Rock Capital is admitting that it took a slight hit in Costa Rica because of COVID-19 but was able to maintain its profitability for the second quarter of 2020.

In an exclusive interview with the Caribbean Business Report, First Rock President Ryan Reid pointed out the investment company, incorporated in St Lucia, was able to withstand the COVID-19 challenges in all jurisdictions it has operations except Costa Rica, where it took a slight hit.

First Rock Capital has operations in Jamaica, where some 60 per centof its funds are invested with another 30 per cent invested in the wider Caribbean including Costa Rica and Cayman Islands and less than 10 per cent in the United States.

Reid was quick to point out that the COVID-19 impact in Costa Rica is mostly on the country's economy and not the company.

“We have had some impact in Costa Rica, not material at all. What has happened is that in roughly two of our properties we have had to offer some reprieve on rent, so there has been some rental impact there,” the First Rock president explained.

Reid told the Caribbean Business Report that the company has put in place a number of mitigating strategies to offset the impact that has taken place. The general downturn in the Costa Rican economy necessitated such a reprieve.

FIRST ROCK PROFITABILITY

Based on the unaudited results for the six-month period ended June 2020, net profit attributable to ordinary shareholders was up US$1.25 million compared to US$9,350 for the same period in 2019.

For the last quarter, net profit totalled US$452,700, up from the US$9,350 recorded for the quarter under review.

The six-month result yielded earnings per share of US$0.0016. Shareholders' equity increased by 100 per cent over prior year to US$28,927,542. Commenting on the positive second quarter results, Reid expounded, “As you can appreciate, we have been very clinical in how we approach the build out of our balance sheet, that is the acquisition of assets, and so we were very focused last year on attainting or acquiring high-valued assets at good prices.”

He said that strategy last year continued through to this year and as such First Rock was able to build out its capital base, “which allowed us that dry powder to effectively deploy into high-valued assets. In closing, Reid emphasised that First Rock has been “aggressively but prudently building a solid business”.

For his part, First Rock Chairman Norman Reid noted that “the economic downturn in the various jurisdictions in which we have a presence is obviously concerning. However, with absolute, concerted efforts we remain optimistic that these jurisdictions will return to growth levels in the short to medium term.”

He added that during the second quarter it observed the expansive impact of the coronavirus on various countries, businesses and, most importantly, people. In concluding, Reid asserted, “The First Rock Capital team continues to conduct impact assessments on the company and its subsidiaries to ensure that the appropriate risk mitigation strategies are being employed.”


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