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Knutsford Express hit hard by COVID-19

Revenues down by $202 million for first quarter

BY DURRANT PATE
Observer Business Writer

Friday, October 16, 2020

Transport provider Knutsford Express Services (KEX) took a beating in its first quarter, as revenues were down by $202 million or 62 per cent.

For the quarter ended August 31, the company reported total revenues of $121.78 million compared to the $324.52 million reported for the same period last year. This weak and extremely poor performance comes as no surprise, given that the company was forced to cut the frequency of trips as a result of travel restrictions brought on my COVID-19.

On the positive side, administrative and general expenses shrunk by 45 per cent cent for the quarter to total $148.22 million (2019: $267.14 million). Even with this reprieve on the expense side could not save KEX from posting gross losses of $26.43 million for the quarter compared to the gross profit $57.38 million for the same period a year ago.

Finance costs decreased to $2.96 million for the period from $6.87 million for 2019. In addition, finance income rose from $2.02 million in 2019 to $4.21 million in 2020, representing an increase of 109 per cent.

Loss before taxation for the period amounted to $25.18 million, relative to profit before taxation of $52.53 million reported in 2019. No taxes were incurred this year, as a result of the Junior Market Tax holiday.

Consequently, net loss amounted to $25.18 million relative to net profit after tax last year of $47.78 million. Loss per share (LPS) for the quarter amounted to $0.05 (2019: EPS of $0.10). The twelve-month trailing LPS amounted to $0.08.

KEX reported that, “this quarter was the worst in our history directly resulting from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our swift and decisive response significantly reduced the drain on our cash resources placing us on a path to return to profitability.”

As at August 31, 2020, assets totalled $1.08 billion, $57 million less than the $1.14 billion recorded last year.