Honey Bun to go buccaneering in Europe, Latin America

Honey Bun to go buccaneering in Europe, Latin America

BY AVIA COLLINDER Business reporter collindera@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

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EYEING new hard currency markets, Honey Bun is seeking to build a beachhead with signature product lines, including its Easter buns and Buccaneer rum cake, in new territory abroad.

Company Marketing Executive Janelle Brown said on Monday that the confectionery and bakery was specifically interested in Latin America and Europe, noting that the company hoped to double total exports in 2016. Honey Bun is also seeking to expand sales in Canada.

The current level of exports was not shared, but the company almost tripled profit in the financial year just ended.

From its recently released financials for the year ending September 30, the bakery grew net profit from $23.3 million in financial year 2014 to $68.15 million in the year ended. Earnings per share were $0.72 compared to $0.25 in the previous year.

In relation to the Canadian market where it already has made inroads, Brown said, "It is hard to say what the full potential is at this point, but based on the response from the JAMPRO mission we can say that mainstream markets are receptive to products in the baked goods category". She was referring to an October trade mission in which the company participated.

"We are currently in the process of solidifying partnerships for wider penetration," Brown stated.

Honey Bun's Buccaneer Rum Cake , she said, "has seen good pick-up in Canada over the holiday season, and we look forward to increased presence of our Spiced Bun and Easter Buns next year. We believe that partnering with JAMPRO has helped us to plug in to a strong network of retailers and distributors."

"As these relationships grow we hope to see greater expansion into mainstream markets over the next two years."

Honey Bun, a 33-year-old company, manufactures and distributes baked products to the local and export markets. The company's shares were listed on the Junior Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange in June 2011.

For the year ending September, company revenues improved from $741.95 million in 2014 to $885.67 million, year over year. Cost of sales, however, were higher for the period under review at $640 million compared to $437.75 million in 2014.

The bakery ended the year with its cash position significantly improved, with holdings skyrocketing from $5.19 million in 2014 to $64 million at year end September 2015.

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