FASTER-THAN-PROJECTED sales from manufacturing and retail operations boosted Caribbean Producers Jamaica's (CPJ's) profit by five per cent over year-earlier levels.
The US$3.1 million ($316 million) was actually 14 per cent higher than the year before when expressed in Jamaican dollars, according to graphical indications in CPJ's management discussion published on the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) website.
The company explained that sales in the second-half of its financial year "exceeded expectations" and compensated for weaker first-half sales.
"This was the result of increased production and efficiency of the manufacturing division, the consumer support of CPJ Market Kingston and Cru Bar," said the report accompanying the company's financial statements. "In addition, the hotel sector remained buoyant during the quarter as high occupancies were enjoyed throughout the period notwithstanding the closure of major hotel properties."
The Deli at CPJ Market and the CRU Bar and Kitchen, which opened in late 2012, provides the company with the opportunity to showcase its "rapidly" growing selections of meat and seafood products.
The cost of running the retail market and bar increased selling and administrative expenses for the year by US$1.8 million to US$13.4 million compared to last year, the discussion indicated.
CPJ invested US$5 million to construct its meat-processing plant which integrates with independent pig farmers and a separately owned abattoir in Sweet River, Westmoreland.
"The investment in our meat processing plant will continue to contribute to overall sales by servicing the demand of the hospitality market for key protein products," wrote management. "We began exporting our heritage products to St Maarten and plan to expand further into other Caribbean markets by the end of the second quarter of 2013-2014."
CPJ plans to export its pig and beef products to nine Caribbean territories by 2014.
The company's long-term borrowing doubled to some US$5.3 million, due to its reported private placement announced in May and executed in June.
"Long-term borrowings increased by US$2.7 million relating to the $500 million bond offer placed at the end of June. Management intends to retire higher cost debt in the first quarter," stated management.
Total equity grew by some US$3 million to US$13 million at year end.
In May, CPJ executive chairman Mark Hart told this newspaper that the private placement was aimed at realigning its mainly US dollar loan portfolio to include relatively cheaper Jamaican debt.
"We borrowed in hard currency for several years and we saw where we had an opportunity, because of the narrowing of the spread (of loan rates) between the two currencies, to convert some of our loans into Jamaican dollar debt," Hart said at the time.