Sunday 29 November, 2020

Everything Fresh touts 'remarkable growth' in Bahamas

Photo taken from the Everything Fresh Facebook page, shows workers packing a truck for delivery.

Photo taken from the Everything Fresh Facebook page, shows workers packing a truck for delivery.

Everything Fresh Jamaica Limited, which initiated operations in the Bahamas in 2019, says it has "realized remarkable growth" in its business in that northern Caribbean country.

In a letter to shareholders on October 27, 2020, company directors also noted that the transfer of 60 per cent of Everything Fresh Bahamas to listed company Everything Fresh Jamaica Limited is complete. The Bahamas venture was pursued as a measure to diversify the business.

The Bahamas is a hard currency territory with the US dollar of equal value with the Bahamian dollar.  By comparison, in Jamaica, the Jamaican dollar is currently valued at J$146 to one US dollar and continues to fluctuate in value.

Managing Director Courtney Pullen noted in the company's June report that sales to supermarkets and retail in Jamaica were trending up, compared to 2019. The company has expressed its intention to diversity into this new space, as opposed to a previous concentration on the hotel sector.

“Consistent with our vision when Everything fresh completed its IPO, the company has sought to replicate its operations and its success in other islands of the Caribbean. In early 2019, with the approval of the Board, the company began to explore a transaction that could  satisfy this critical diversification role.

“Now with the completion of the transfer of a sixty per cent stake of Everything Fresh Bahamas Limited to the parent  company Everything Fresh Jamaica Limited, the listed company takes this opportunity to update all shareholdersm," the letter stated, adding that Everything Fresh Bahamas Limited is focused on supplying food products to supermarkets and the retail trade in the Bahamas.

The letter said that the new company “has realized remarkable growth from a standing start, propelled by a knowledgeable and logistics savvy Jamaican and Bahamian staff.”

The USDA Foreign Agricultural Service, which researches trade, indicates that the Bahamas is the second largest market for US consumer-oriented products in the Caribbean.

Total imports of consumer-oriented products amounted to US$310 million in 2018, with the United States capturing about 76 percent, or US$237 million of this market segment. By today’s exchange rate, the market in the Bahamas is valued at J$45.26 billion.

In the letter to shareholders, the Everything Fresh directors also noted that “Despite the challenges of the COVID epidemic, we expect to see it (Everything Fresh Bahamas) continue to deliver value to the market  and grow further in the near term."

Sales for the Jamaican company for the second quarter ended June 30, 2020 were $83.9 million, down from $520.5 million at June 2019. This was due, directors said, to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the company’s decision to discontinue special pork cuts.

The company's net losses for the June 2020 quarter were $56.3 million compared to losses of $28.8 million at June 2019.

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