Supreme Chemicals eyes stock market listing
From left: Ian Taylor, general manager of Supreme Chemicals, briefs Sydney Thwaites, JMEA vice-president, and Kamesha Blake, JMEA executive director, about products manufactured by its household and chemical line during a tour of the company's factory on November 18, 2022. (Photos: Karl Mclarty)

AFTER 50 years of operations Supreme Chemicals Limited, manufacturers and distributors of the popular Bunny's pharmaceutical products, is looking to further grow it's footprint, eyeing plans to list on the Junior Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) within the next few years.

General manager for Supreme Chemicals Ian Taylor, speaking with the Jamaica Observer following a Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters Association (JMEA)-led tour of the company's factory facility in Kingston last Friday, said that the local stock market was definitely one of the avenues being targeted as it looks to secure capital for future growth.

"We are looking to do this within the next three years," he told the Business Observer while refraining to give details on a specific timeline.

Already clear on its plans for the use of proceeds, Taylor cited the need for additional space and the securing of a larger facility as ranking high on its list of priorities.

"When growth is occurring, one is always looking for additional space whether it be production or storage space for finished goods or raw materials, but there is always a need for space. Also, with technological advancements occurring at a rapid pace, the need for new and improved machinery to make the production process a whole lot easier also becomes a very big investment as well as those surrounding research and development as we ramp up testing and bring more products and new innovations to market," he stated.

"In terms of raising capital, we have many areas of the business under which it can be spent," Taylor added.

The medium-sized company, which now operates across three main divisions, has over the years diversified its operations, moving from what was initially considered a pharmaceutical company carrying products such as rubbing alcohol, olive oil, balms, creams and suppositories trademarked under its Bunny's label, to now offering a wide range of other products across added divisions. Following the acquisition of a food line, the company through its McLAS brand produces a number of food flavourings and colourings including vanilla, rose water and syrups. From a small household division, it also markets chemicals and personal care items including the household name 'Whisper' dish washing liquid and Sanitol all-purpose cleaners.

"Today we have over 180 products, moving from the two we started out with and about 2,000 stock keeping units (SKUs). We also now have a fleet of delivery vehicles going out every day to cover the island," Taylor stated.

Currently delivering sales of over $500 million annually, the company, which predominantly exports to countries such as the United Kingdom, United States and a few others across the Caribbean, mainly The Bahamas and the Cayman Islands, said that it currently earns about 10-12 per cent of its revenues from export. Its vanilla product carried under the McLAS brand accounts for the largest volumes of export for the company.

"There is a push for growth in the export market, both regionally and internationally. Ideally our plan is to increase our exports three-fold over the short term, not just in the markets we already cover but to other countries across the globe. Outside of the US and the UK there are other diasporas, even in the Middle East, which we also want to target.

"Right now we are also seeing more exports to the international markets than those for the Caribbean, so we will be working to correct that," the general manager of the family-owned business started in the early 1970s by his father Barrington Taylor, also said.

At half a century and growing, the younger Taylor, in sharing an outlook, said that his desire was for the company to continue on a positive growth path, providing employment for scores of Jamaicans and delivering world-class products and services to its consumers.

"People know and support our brands and we are forever grateful to our consumers. Over the long term we therefore want to continue in partnering with all our stakeholders as we collaborate to deliver another successful 50 years and to grow the company far beyond the reaches of this shore," he said.

A factory employee operates a filling machinery to bottle cases of the McLas vanilla product manufcatured by Supreme Chemicals Ltd.
Barrington Taylor (left), founder and chairman of Supreme Chemicals Limited shares in a photograph with son and general manager Ian Taylor during a tour of the factory facility located at a Weymouth address in Kingston
Kellaray Miles

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