AS the building and real estate industry continues to balloon and Government rolls out new infrastructure developments, the JMMB Group said it is positioning to capitalise on growth opportunities in the area, targeting projects in the commercial, warehousing, and business process outsourcing (BPO) sectors.
Speaking at the company's ninth annual general meeting held on Thursday, group CEO Keith Duncan said that substantial funds under the growing portfolio were already earmarked for upcoming real estate projects.
"We have three projects in the pipeline right now and a total developmental budget of $5 billion, and these projects will yield 100,000 square feet of commercial office space and 30,000 square feet of BPO space. Included in this is also the development of our flagship Liguanea branch, where we will house our JMMB Bank corporate office and a branch," he stated.
The projects are timed for completion within the next two to three years, even as the group hunts more projects under its latest portfolio.
Duncan also shared plans for projects in the downtown Kingston area, where a wave of redevelopment activities have been ongoing as the issue of urban renewal takes precedence. "We acquired land downtown and we are now looking to build out 33,000 square feet of space in that area. This is another revenue stream and further diversification [comprising] real estate and private equity."
Tracey-Ann Creary, corporate development manager with portfolio responsibility for the management of JMMB Group's land and property holdings and the execution of its real estate development projects, further said that the move, which forms part of the company's strategic direction, comes as a response to market demands and trends.
"With the Jamaican Government and private stakeholders undertaking key infrastructural projects, such as the Southern Coastal Highway Improvement, and the development of town centres in Morant Bay and other rural towns, we believe that this signals clear opportunities to undertake real estate projects that will create significant value that are broadly aligned with national development and Jamaica's Vision 2030 plans," Creary said in a recent company release.
As a newer player in the real estate market, Creary said the group is looking to plan, design, develop, and construct properties and later bring them to market for sale, lease, or sale-leaseback.
"Real estate is not static and as an innovator in the field we are open to lucrative opportunities that are in keeping with our portfolio focus. The group will, therefore, explore joint ventures and other partnerships that will allow it to deepen and expand its reach in the real estate market, meet the investment and strategic performance criteria, and also fulfil our business objectives," Creary said.
The regional conglomerate, which has also been busy pushing its smart growth strategy led by greater digital experiences, revenue diversification, new products, and enhanced income streams, said that as it continues to drive shareholder value and further grow its operations, the outlook is to up earnings in the next few years.
At the end of its last financial year ended March, the group achieved record earnings of $12 billion in net profit — 56 per cent above the prior year and 208 per cent more than that earned 10 years ago, when it delivered $3.9 billion.
"Our average growth rate, in terms of profitability, has been at 15 per cent for the last 10 years. In projecting forward, based on annual performance over the last five years, we are looking to be at $17.8 billion [in net profit] by 2026/27," Duncan said.