Adverse weather will not affect company — Jamaica Producers

Business reporter

Friday, May 19, 2017

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Jeffrey Hall, Chairman of Jamaica Producers Group Ltd, said on Wednesday that JP Farms did not suffer major long-term damage as a result of massive flood rains this week.Jamaica experienced several days of torrential rain which resulted in flooding in many parts of the island. It is projected that agricultural output might be adversely affected overall.

JP Farms, the company responsible for one third of the island's banana output, is also increasing market share in pineapples, but Hall said that recent infrastructure upgrades have limited the impact of the deluge.

“The recent investment in drainage systems in both the banana farms and pineapple fields paid off,” Hall told the Jamaica Observer. “The crop damage was therefore limited. There was no major damage to plant and equipment or buildings.”

The company head noted, “The flood comes during a peak production season for pineapples in Jamaica, and therefore [without] strong drainage systems, a flood at this time can have significant economic impact on the sector and the communities in which the crop is cultivated.”

He admitted that JP Farms will face some adverse impact due to missed harvesting and selling days, particularly in the pineapple operation.

However, he noted, “JP Farms can report that all farm operations have now resumed, and a full harvesting programme for JP Farms' pineapple and banana crops will take place for the remainder of the week, and supply conditions in the retail trade will be adequate by this weekend.

“The impact of the flood will not be material to the financial results of the JP Group,” Hall concluded.

The recent financial results of the group — a conglomerate including foods, logistics and infrastructure — indicate that the company earned $3.4 billion in revenues and $93 million of net profit attributable to shareholders during its first quarter ended April 1, 2017.

Revenues for the comparable 13-week period in 2016 were $2.1 billion, and net profit attributable to shareholders was $150 million.

JP Food & Drink earned first-quarter revenues of $1.8 billion, compared to revenues of $1.9 billion in the prior year. The division earned profits before finance cost and taxation of $12 million, compared to earnings of $39 million in the prior year.

For the Logistics & Infrastructure Division, including businesses engaged in terminal operations, logistics and freight forwarding located in the Caribbean and in Europe profit before finance cost and taxation was $458 million, up 154 per cent relative to the comparable period last year.

Revenues increased from $243 million in 2016 to $1.6 billion in the first quarter of 2017.




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