Knutsford Express ready for growth opportunities
KNUTSFORD Express is positioning itself for greater growth opportunities after the company had what CEO Oliver Townsend termed a “record-breaking” financial performance.
The company reported an almost 48.6 per cent jump in revenue for the year ended May 31, 2023, following on the continued robust recovery in the tourism travel market. This growth in revenue was driven by improvements across all business lines — rental income, courier services and passenger transport — amidst increasing demand.
For the year, the company generated revenue of $1.65 billion, which represents a 48.6 per cent increase over the previous year’s revenue of $1.11 billion.
“COVID ended and Jamaica has been doing disproportionately well in terms of the tourism travel market — even the numbers you get from the airport have been outperforming other areas of the world. And, of course, we being immersed in adding value to travellers going in and out of Jamaica, we would have benefited greatly from that also,” Townsend informed Jamaica Observer.
“What we are finding also is that post-COVID, folks are really going for experiences and so they are travelling, they are moving around, they want to see stuff,” he added.
While Knutsford Express saw its expenses rise — with the most notable changes recorded for salaries, rent, toll and fuel — the company’s operating profit more than doubled from $156.28 million in the last financial year to $395.10 millon.
Total comprehensive income for 2023 was $304.36 compared to $85.31 million a year prior. Earnings per share increased to $0.61, up from $0.16
Shareholders’ equity of $1.01 billion as of May 31, 2023 was a substantial increase from the previous year’s figure of $42.42 million.
“We are positioning ourselves for future growth,” Townsend outlined, “so we are looking at our frequency and our departures. We are looking to upgrade a number of our locations to be able to better serve our customers and passengers. We have some additions to our fleet coming this summer that will bode well in terms of meeting that increased demand.”
Townsend would not be drawn on the specifics of upgrades to locations but did disclose there are sites “where we are going to make it easy, through the use of kiosks, for folks to check in”.
“Where there is opportunity to add other relevant products and services, add value to our customers, we surely intend to do that,” he told Sunday Finance. “We are looking at everything, both from the transportation passenger side and even those entrepreneurs and folks that depend on us in terms of small courier items. We see potential there.
“And of course we have our subsidiary, KE Connect, that basically participated in the tourism industry in the cruise ship side of things [by] moving passengers, and we are looking forward to doing that again this winter,” the CEO added.
He related that Knutsford Express is also working on its efficiency to contain expenses and leverage the additional travel of its customers to the company’s benefit.
Focused on addressing the challenges and opportunities presented by the current surge in travel, Townsend expressed confidence in the ability of the organisation to maintain positive momentum and realise success in the months ahead.
“We are certainly planning to have a very good year and meet the growing demand and increasing expectations of our dear customers,” he said. “We are very thankful to our team who stood through busy times and grateful to [them for] their efforts.”