Thursday 24 September, 2020

Seprod on a mission to ramp up productivity

Seprod CEO Richard Pandohie

Seprod CEO Richard Pandohie

Seprod Limited is on a mission to ramp up productivity among the more than 1,750 staff employed directly by the group.

In the annual report for 2019 released on Wednesday, CEO Richard Pandohie said the company will also be focusing on “attracting and motivating people with the right attitude, qualification and desire to be a part of a journey that is truly exciting.”

Although admitting the impact of COVID-19 on the economy and the company, Pandohie said in his preface that Seprod was prepared to grow using several strategies including improved productivity.

The CEO commented: “We are fully aware of the critical role that our people play in ensuring our success. Jamaica’s labour productivity has been abysmally poor for many decades and this has been a major deterrent to creating a competitive manufacturing environment.”

He said Seprod will be “attracting and investing in talented people with a can-do attitude.”

For the future, he said, the team at Seprod also intended to “deliver strong revenue and operating profit by strategies including driving distribution synergies to improve efficiencies, distribution footprint and gain more control of the supply chain from factory to retail shelves.”

The company is also aiming to look for acquisition opportunities and partnerships (locally and internationally) that will be value-enhancing, he said.

Loop file photo of the production of Serge Island milk produced by Seprod

The intention is to also expand exports.

"For instance, Seprod is seeking to expand its contract manufacturing opportunities and “invest in charitable activities, through the Seprod Foundation, to bring value to the wider population,” Pandohie outlined.

In 2019, net profit from continuing operations for the company was $1.99 billion, an increase of $510 million or 34 per cent increase over 2018.

Pandohie said in the annual report that Seprod’s performance must be taken in the context of significant one-time costs to close the sugar factory and to execute the consolidation of dairy factories.

He noted: “Both of these projects had a high price tag, but they will result in the elimination of the continuous losses and cash burn of the sugar operation and will create a best in class dairy operation which will enhance our competitiveness and put us on a firm footing to grow our export business.”

Pandohie added: “2019 was the first full year of our expanded distribution footprint through the acquisition of the Facey Consumer Division. It is still early days, but the synergies that will be unlocked in the future will bring tremendous value to the business, our customers and consumers.”

He described Seprod as now having “three firm pillars – Dairy, Distribution, and Ingredients” – stating, “It is our expectation that revenue and profitability will rise steadily, driven by expanded domestic and international growth.”

The CEO noted that the company will be consolidating its warehousing operations.

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