Kingston Wharves reports after-tax surplus of $1.97 billion in 2018

Observer writer

Sunday, June 23, 2019

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MULTI-purpose port terminal operator, Kingston Wharves Limited (KWL), on Thursday reported an after-tax surplus of $1.97 billion for the year ended December 31, 2018 due to what chief executive officer (CEO), Grantley Stephenson, describes as its “winning strategy”. This represents a 19 per cent increase compared to the corresponding period last year.

“Kingston Wharves has completed another successful year, in what can be considered a remarkable journey,” he said. “KWL's consistent positive financial performance and physical and operational transformation over the decades have consolidated our position as a world-class brand.”

Stephenson was speaking at the company's annual general meeting held at the AC Hotel in Kingston.

The company achieved revenues of $7.25 billion in 2018, an almost 14 per cent increase when compared to the previous year. Net assets were $25 billion and the stock price increased to $77 compared to $32 in 2017.

“These milestones stand in stark contrast to our humble beginnings and are a testament to the vision, perseverance and creativity of our team, in building from the ground up, this formidable primarily Jamaica-owned company,” he said.

The company's report showed KWL's strategic focus as engaging with clients and leadership and team members, executing operational performance within global standards and delivering high growth trajectory and profitability. In an effort to further boost operational efficiency and productivity, KWL facilitated training of team members to sharpen their expertise to service the equipment.

“Our winning strategy has been an unrelenting emphasis and purposeful investment in improving people, product and processes as key elements in attaining global standards, generating revenues and maximising profits,” Stephenson said.

He added that KWL made progress in the goal of establishing a culture of safety throughout the organisation by safety and security training that aimed to sharpen employees' skills and expertise in specialised areas, as well as promoting personal development.

“Undoubtedly, 2018 was a year in which we began to fully reap the fruits from the firm foundation carefully laid over previous decades,” the CEO stated in the report.

“Two crucial initiatives — the Total Logistics Facility and the Global Auto Logistics Centre, which once only existed in blueprints and architectural renderings, are now a reality.”

He informed that both initiatives had met their objectives, enabling the company to capitalise on emerging opportunities in the motor vehicle industry, which was facilitated by the Special Economic Zone status to provide value- added services to major players in the automobile industry.

Special Economic Zone refers to designated geographical areas with special economic regulations that differ from general trade, tax and investment rules.

Additionally, KWL launched its mobile app KW Mobile last year, which offers customers a convenient way to pay their shipping charges without visiting the physical location to settle these fees.

“The future is bright for Kingston Wharves, because our growth is built on the solid foundation of global standards, driven by an indomitable spirit, proven industry experience and expertise, an expansive vision and audacious strides in charting the unbeaten path,” Stephenson concluded in his report.

“In 2019, we will stay the course of prudent financial management and bold strategies that have propelled us to success, while proactively envisioning new and innovative measures to anticipate and meet the demands of the local and global economy,” Stephenson concluded.

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