GK making history in a pandemic yearSunday, February 28, 2021
If GraceKennedy (GK) appears to be bragging in its weekend press statement, it's because the company has all right to, having recorded its best financial performance ever, with 2020 revenues up $12.3 billion, or 12 per cent, and profit before tax up 58 per cent.
When Group CEO Don Wehby hosts the planned investors briefing virtually to discuss the group's last year results on March 8, 2021, International Women's Day, he is bound to face a happy bunch of stockholders.
Dividends totalling $1.58 billion or $1.60 per share were paid out to GK's shareholders in 2020 — the highest amount paid out in the company's 99-year history.
Achieving record-breaking results is just astounding in a year which, come to think of it, should really be cancelled for the devastation it visited upon the world through the novel coronavirus pandemic that impacted nearly every company on the globe.
Group revenues last year jumped to a whopping $115.4 billion, from an increase of $12.3 billion over 2019. A break out of the other figures is worth doing in this hallowed space:
· Profit before other income increased by 82 per cent over prior year, from $3.7 billion to $6.8 billion.
· There was a notable increase of 58.5 per cent in profit before tax for 2020, totalling $9.7 billion.
· Profit after tax totalled $6.9 billion compared to $5.1 billion in 2019, an increase of $1.8 billion or 34.5 per cent.
· Net profit attributable to the shareholders of the company was $6.2 billion, a $1.7 billion increase over 2019.
· Earnings per share increased by 38.9 per cent, to $6.28 in 2020.
Mr Wehby tells us that GK's 2020 financial results do not reflect any one-off gains, and he attributed this remarkable performance to the company's “improved agility and the successful execution of its strategic initiatives”, despite the challenges presented by the pandemic.
“At the centre of GK's strategy in 2020 was securing a reliable global supply chain, improving efficiency to better manage costs, as well as providing new delivery channels and innovative solutions for its customers,” he explained.
Here is a further break out that tells this wonderful story:
· All business segments within the group recorded increased revenue for 2020 compared to 2019.
· GK's Food Trading segment saw improved revenue and profitability primarily due to the outstanding performance of its international food businesses.
· GraceKennedy Foods (USA) LLC showed a triple-digit increase in gross profit and marked growth in revenue, with the Grace and La Fe brands recording growth and improved margins.
· GK's Jamaican food distribution business recorded strong growth in both revenue and pre-tax profit, coupled with improved operating margins.
· The GraceKennedy Financial Group reported substantial growth in revenues and pre-tax profit in 2020.
· GraceKennedy Money Services increased its Western Union digital transactions by over 400 per cent.
The company is to be commended for continuing to offer a charitable hand to communities it serves here and abroad, in the midst of the difficulties.
And we wish them well as they contemplate the launch of GK's first Digital Factory and accelerate the planned mergers and acquisitions strategy in 2021, as they build towards GK's 100th anniversary in 2022.
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