Jamaica Producers revenues climb to $19.6 billion
JP Group CEO Jeffrey Hall.
Jamaica Producers (JP) Group saw its revenues climb to $19.6 billion for the year ending December 31, 2018, a 21 per cent increase over $16.2 billion in the prior year.
Net profit attributable to shareholders during the year also increased by 23 per cent to $816 million. As at the end of the reporting period, the group had shareholders’ equity of $12.1 billion.
In line with the strong performance of Kingston Wharves, the major share of the group’s profit during the period was earned in the Logistics and Infrastructure Division.
The Logistics and Infrastructure Division, which also includes UK-based JP Shipping Services, generated profit before finance cost and taxation of $2.7 billion in 2018 on revenues of $8.3 billion, an increase in earnings of 26 per cent on the prior year.
“The earnings of JP were buoyed by increased economic activity and trade flows in Jamaica and across the Caribbean for the range of cargo types served by our Logistics and Infrastructure Division,” commented JP Group CEO Jeffrey Hall.
Meanwhile, JP’s Food and Drink Division - the largest contributor to the revenues of the group, generated revenues of $11.3 billion, an increase of 29 per cent over the 2017 result. In 2018 the Division earned profits before finance costs and taxation of $378 million, compared to the prior year result of $278 million – an increase of 36 per cent.
As part of its Food and Drink portfolio JP’s Caribbean food business, comprising JP Tropical Foods and Tortuga, also experienced improved overall results.
According to David Martin, Group Managing Director of the JP Tropical Group segment, “Among the achievements of 2018 was the expansion of production on JP Farms, which generated sales growth of over 40 per cent during 2018 demonstrating strong customer acceptance of our product.”
“I am proud that JP bananas are 100 per cent locally grown and ripened under conditions that meet the world standard for safe natural food and strong environmental practices,” he said.
In December last year, JP Group joined efforts to foster nutrition and healthy eating habits among schoolchildren under the JP St Mary’s Heritage Project. The project provides green bananas under concessionary terms to all Jamaican public schools.
“With the launch of the JP St. Mary's Heritage Project, there have been deliberate efforts by our commercial teams to have green bananas implemented on the menus of all breakfast and lunch programmes in schools islandwide,” Hall said of the program’s progress.
Hall revealed that plans are underway to enter the baked goods category of snacks with the launch of a banana bread made with JP ripe bananas later this year.
“The JP Group remains committed to making significant investments in ensuring our children make the purposeful shift towards making healthier choices,” he said.
As for JP’s business outside the region, the company saw a strong performance of its European juice business – the largest business in the Food and Drink Division. The fresh juice business entered new markets with new products and customers, achieving record sales.
The food and drink division comprises a vertically integrated portfolio of subsidiaries that are engaged in farming, food processing, distribution and retail of food and drink. It has production facilities in Europe and the Caribbean and operates a distribution centre in the United States.
JP now has a book of business supplying premium juices to the leading retailers in Holland, Belgium, Germany, Scandinavia, the UK and the Czech Republic. During the year the company installed new fresh juice extraction lines and acquired real estate to support ongoing business expansion.