The American operations of Jamaican conglomerate Jamaica Broilers Group (JBG) was the most profitable segment in the half-year period ended October 30, 2021.
Losses have been cut in the Haitian segment while the Jamaican operations have seen a decline in profits for the period under review. The American operations reported a segment result of $1.2 billion, which was a 71% increase over the prior year's result of $696 million.
This increase was primarily driven by the increased production and sales in the Best Dressed Chicken line of products. The operations have also seen an increase in the sales of feed and fertile eggs, indicating growth in the US economy.
At the same time, the Jamaica operations reported a segment result of $1.5 billion, which was $236 million or 13% below last year's segment result of $1.8 billion. This decrease was attributed mainly to increased grain prices and international shipping costs, which increased production costs, all of which were not passed on to customers.
Total revenue for the Jamaica operations showed an increase of 31%. However, the Haiti operations experienced a segment loss of $8.6 million, which was much better than the prior year's loss of $38.7 million, representing an improvement of $30.1 million.
Total revenue reduced by 29% as Haiti continues to experience economic and political instability, which continues to impact JBG's operations in that country.
Group revenues for the six months amounted to $35.8 billion, representing a 35% increase above the $26.5 billion achieved in the corresponding six months of 2020. While gross profit for the six months was $7.3 billion, a 14% increase over the previous year, the gross profit as a percentage of sales (gross margin) declined from 24% to 20% when compared with the prior year.
The decline in gross margin is primarily attributable to increased input costs, which was partially mitigated by the significant growth in the US business.
For the six months ended October 30, 2021, net profit for the group was $872 million, a 21% decrease versus the corresponding period in the prior year. The decrease is primarily due to foreign exchange gains of $290 million in the previous year, included in finance costs, compared to foreign exchange losses of $70 million in the current year.
These prior year gains were mainly in the Haiti operations, where the Haitian gourde experienced significant revaluation against the US dollar. Operating profit of $1.7 billion was aligned with the prior year.