JMMB inches closer to Central America entry

JMMB inches closer to Central America entry

BY KELLARAY MILES
Business reporter
milesk@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, October 30, 2020

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In an effort to further strengthen its regional footprint, JMMB Group has indicated that it is now inching closer towards fulfilling a plan to enter the Central American market.

“Right now, we're looking at the Central American region with a focus around building out a presence there. We do have some things in the pipeline right now,” JMMB's Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Keith Duncan shared, while opting not to divulge too much about this long-standing aim of the company.

After several years of disclosing its intention to venture into Central America, the regional group — which currently operates in Jamaica, Trinidad, and the Dominican Republic — is now positioning itself to take advantage of emerging opportunities in that part of the region by shifting key management personnel to countries such as Costa Rica.

“We are looking to see how we can position ourselves as we definitely want to continue in building on our returns on equity for shareholders and we expect that our strategy will continue to see us grow at the group and country levels,” Duncan disclosed at a Mayberry Investors' forum held on Wednesday.

He said the company, which became one of the fastest-growing regional financial outfits based on its focus and agile business model, was further seeking to strengthen its reach, which is a fundamental part of its strategic outlook.

“We have an active pipeline of acquisitions across the region and we continue to work them through our stage gate process,” he explained. “We continue to build out our revenue and risk diversification across the region and growing new business lines in other jurisdictions. We are busy looking at the various opportunities — we have some closer than some, we can't say yet, but we are almost there.”

Duncan also mentioned an upcoming partnership with Supreme Ventures Limited which, he said, would soon be announced.

In its first quarter ended June 30, JMMB Group posted COVID-19-impacted profits of $780 million and revenues of $5 billion. Despite slight declines in these variables, the group expressed optimism for future growth, noting that it had the financial foundation to withstand the new economic realities brought on by the pandemic. It also said that it would remain focused on plans which will see the business continually reassessing and reimagining new opportunities to expand and grow revenues and diversify income streams.

Duncan, in noting the group's digital prospects, said that aspect of the business was a major part of going forward. He said the requisite tools were given to his team to “drive the digitisation of JMMB, not only of products and services but also processes.”

“COVID has given us an opportunity and we are looking now to really leapfrog on the digital side,” he added, noting that a mobile app was also to be rolled out early next year.


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