KWL buys another stevedore

BY CAMILO THAME Business co-ordinator thamec@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

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KINGSTON Wharves Limited (KWL) bought a second stevedoring operation in less than a year, making it the largest stevedore on the wharf.


It inked deal to acquire Allied Trucking and Maritime Services’s stevedoring business on Port Bustamante for US$2.95 million (J$319 million), subject to certain terms and conditions, on February 14.


The payment will take place over a three-year period, according to a letter from the cargo handler to the Jamaica Stock Exchange.


"The parties are working together to effect the smooth transition of the business from Allied to KWL," wrote company secretary Roger Hinds.


KWL had previously signalled its intent to take over all the stevedoring activities on berths one to nine (where the company operates), but the latest acquisition just makes them the largest operator, according to the company's CEO Grantley Stephenson.


Allied, which was formed just under 10 years ago, has a fleet of 16 tractor heads, a 10-ton forklift, a heavy-duty lowboy and over a hundred container chassis and flatbeds.


Shipping Services (Stevedoring) Limited, which was acquired last April for an undisclosed sum, might have been a smaller stevedoring operation, given that KWL said that it paid less than one per cent of its total asset base, which was $12.2 billion as at December 31, 2012.


In any case, the new stevedoring operations have helped boost income at the company, along with "increased container volumes, depreciation of the Jamaican dollar as well as cost containment measures".


Terminal operations revenue grew from $3.06 billion in 2012 to $3.6 billion for the year ending December 31, 2013, while operating profit rose to $1.36 billion, up from $1.02 billion.


Kingston Wharves' bottom line grew from $525 milinon in 2012 to $818 million.



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