Purity, Miss Birdie exports up by 25% in June quarter

BY KARENA BENNETT Business reporter bennettk@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

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CONSOLIDATED Bakeries' brands of Easter bun helped boost export sales by 25 per cent during the three months to June 30.

The bakery is trying to extend the export of bun beyond Eastertime to all year round.

The maker of Purity baked products has also been seeing success with its Miss Birdie brand of corn, snack and wheat crackers in the overseas market.

"We are also testing the market with the Purity spiced buns and other single unit baked products," Consolidated's business development manger, Victor Salazar, told the Business Observer.

Export revenue accounts for up to 10 per cent of $191 million in sales recorded during the quarter by the company. Overall, revenue for the quarter was 22 per cent higher than year-earlier levels.

The focus markets for exports thus far are Canada, United Kingdom and southern and eastern parts of the United States.

"We expect to make steady and deliberate progress in our export efforts," said the company.

However, increased focus on prices by consumers in a tough domestic economic environment, where the purchasing power of household has been squeezed and purchasing behaviour has changed, forced the company to absorb some of the increase in costs.

"During this period, price increases were low due to market competition and in a response to the difficulty shoppers face because of a constrained household budget," the company said.

As a result, net profit fell by 28 per cent from year-earlier levels to $7.3, million for the three months to June 30.

Operating expenses climbed by 21 per cent to $57 million.

"Increased operating costs occurred in activities that will benefit future quarters such as engineering, branding and reorganisation," the financials stated. "The company will continue to seek ways to reduce cost of operations."




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