PBS CEO bullish on post-acquisition growth
Productive Business Solutions is experiencing growth in Guyana, the fastest-growing economy in the region.

CEO of Productive Business Solutions (PBS) Limited Pedro Paris is confident that the technology group will continue seeing organic growth in the coming years as the company deepens its footprint in the Latin American and the Caribbean region through acquisitions.

The company's most recent acquisition, Infotrans, in February this year expanded the PBS footprint to 21 countries and territories across the region, but more importantly, gave it a foothold in Dutch-speaking Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Suriname, and St Maarten. The purchase also allowed PBS to increase its presence in Guyana and Colombia.

PBS also anticipates that the Infotrans deal will add US$30 million to its revenues, increasing the annual consolidated revenue to US$330 million.

However, during the company's second quarter, which runs from April to June, its revenues dipped by 20 per cent, down from US$91.23 million booked a year earlier. According to Paris and Chairman Paul B Scott, the fall-off was due mainly to "a shift towards higher margin sales in 2023".

PARIS...we already did the integration process and now we're looking for synergies.

Notwithstanding, a 30 per cent drop in direct expenses saw PBS booking gross profit of $25.74 million or 13 per cent more than it did in the comparable second quarter of 2022.

For the nine months, revenues grew a 2 per cent to US$160.75 million. But while direct costs increased by 11 per cent, PBS recorded a 4.3 per cent increase in gross profit to US$48.93 million.

Still, Paris expressed optimism that PBS will continue to grow, especially since it has completed the integration of Infotrans into the group.

"We already did the integration process and now we're looking for synergies," the CEO informed Jamaica Observer in an interview.

"Their domain is now ours. They have moved to our properties in Curacao, Aruba and Colombia," he continued.

Paris is banking on the technical and sales expertise resident in Infotrans to be the main driver of revenue as "we see a lot of cross-fertilisation that can do us well".

While noting that the acquisition is strategic, he, however, noted that the transaction comes with some complication as the wider PBS Group will have to bear the costs associated with restructuring, most significant of all were professional fees due to project management expenses.

As the company continues its evolution, Paris projects "incremental growth of US$20 million" in revenue annually and between US$2 million and US$3 million in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA).

For the second quarter, PBS generated EBITDA of US$11.6 million versus US$11.8 million when compared to the same period last year. However, net profit attributable to shareholders jumped 56 per cent, from US$1.68 million to US$2.61 million at the end of June.

In the interim report to shareholders, Scott and Paris noted, "The company is making significant progress in Guyana, one of the fastest-growing economies in the world."

Additionally, it continues to strengthen its Advanced Solutions Division with the signing of a multi-year contract with a Central American telecoms company for the use of Oracle Human Capital Management and Payroll System.

In Costa Rica, PBS won an international tender from the World Bank to implement Customs Core System at that country's ports.

PBS has six major revenue streams: imaging and printing, information technology, networking and cybersecurity, professional services, physical security, and advanced services.

Year to date, non-current assets have increased by 8.5 per cent.

BY JOSIMAR SCOTT Senior reporter josimars@jamaicaobserver.com

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