Wednesday 16 October, 2019

Sagicor X Fund projects positive gains

Christopher Zacca, President and CEO, Sagicor Group Jamaica (2nd right) in conversation with (from left) Janice Grant Taffe, Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, Sagicor Group Jamaica; Brenda Lee Martin, CEO, Sagicor Real Estate X Fund; and R. Danny Williams, Director emeritus, Sagicor Group Jamaica, at Sagicor Real Estate X Fund’s Annual General Meeting on Wednesday.

Christopher Zacca, President and CEO, Sagicor Group Jamaica (2nd right) in conversation with (from left) Janice Grant Taffe, Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, Sagicor Group Jamaica; Brenda Lee Martin, CEO, Sagicor Real Estate X Fund; and R. Danny Williams, Director emeritus, Sagicor Group Jamaica, at Sagicor Real Estate X Fund’s Annual General Meeting on Wednesday.

Sagicor Real Estate X Fund is reporting a positive outlook for the remainder of the year and into 2020, following a 41 per cent increase in net profit in the first quarter of 2019.

With total revenue of $1.7 billion, net profits came in at $694 million, an increase of $202 million over the previous quarter.

Addressing the company’s Annual General Meeting on Wednesday at the Jewel Grande Hotel in Montego Bay, CEO, Brenda Lee Martin, said the outlook for X Fund is positive and its assets are projected to see strong performances for the rest of the year and into 2020.

Sagicor X Fund CEO, Brenda Lee Martin.

Martin noted that the strong performance in the first quarter reflects the improvement in performances of Playa Hotels and Resorts N.V., Jewel Grande Montego Bay and DoubleTree by Hilton. Playa, the leading owner, operator and developer of all-inclusive resorts across the Caribbean, is expected to complete renovation and rebranding of three properties in Mexico and open two new properties in Dominican Republic by the fourth quarter of 2019.

This, along with Playa’s alliance with Hilton, announced in September 2018, is expected to have significant positive results going into 2020.

Jewel Grande Montego Bay, meanwhile, is projected to see an upward trend, after recording net profits of US$1.1 million as at May this year. All renovation on the property in the second city has been completed, and with a strong focus on efficiency and effective marketing, the five-star resort, managed by Playa, is expected to experience strong performance throughout the year.  X Fund owns 26 per cent of the hotel.

DoubleTree by Hilton in Orlando, Florida, is also expected to continue to see strong yields. In 2018, the hotel, made a net profit of US$3.9 million, an increase of 62.5 per cent over the previous year; with high occupancy levels and improved average daily room rates. This performance is expected to get a boost by the planned expansion of conferencing facilities at the resort to meet high demands for group bookings in the area.

Martin said the X Fund’s leadership is committed to seeking out investment opportunities to ensure that the positive gains recorded so far this year continue for the medium to long term.

“We have come out of a period of reorganization of the company in 2018 and we are now actively focused on seeking new value investments in Jamaica as well as across the wider Caribbean region and North America, as we seek to grow the company and generate strong returns for our shareholders,” she said.

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