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The I Love Montego Bay sign sits outside the Sangster International Airport in St James, Jamaica (Photo: Jamaica Stock Exchange)

Express Catering posts biggest quarterly increase on JSE in 2021

The I Love Montego Bay sign sits outside the Sangster International Airport in St James, Jamaica (Photo: Jamaica Stock Exchange)

EXPRESS Catering registered an impressive increase in revenues for its 2022 first quarter which ended on August 31, 2021.

This is the biggest quarterly increase of a listed company since the start of the year. Revenues for the period under review rose by 719 per cent to US$3.64 million, coming from a mere US$444,140 for the comparable period in 2020.

This has placed the Montego Bay-based company, which operates several shops at Sangster International Airport, back into quarterly profitability, after chalking up losses of US$1.73 million for its 2021 financial year, which ended on May 31. Express Catering made a profit of US$1.56 million for 2020. The US$1.73-million loss for its 2021 financial year was due mainly to the downturn in traffic through the airport as a result of COVID-19, the resultant containment measures and the tourism sector’s lockdown.

Nathan’s is one of several shops Express Catering operates at the Sangster International Airport. (Photo: Jamaica Observer)

However, the business is slowly returning to normal as the tourism sector begins to bounce back, with more flights returning to Jamaica and Montego Bay in particular. Express Catering is now back to 25 of the 27 operating locations at the airport following the suspension of all units in March 2020 due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Cost of sales rose by 679 per cent for the first quarter of 2022 to US$1.24 million, coming from US$159,423 in the comparative period of 2020. Gross profit increased year-on-year for the three-month period by 742 per cent to US$2.40 million, up from US$284,717 in 2020. Express Catering highlighted the infrastructural improvements taking place at the post-security food and beverage area at the airport.

According to the company, “Construction work on the revamped post-security food and beverage is projected to commence in September 2021. The first phase will see the relocation of existing brands to designated areas in the new food court. We expect to benefit from this transformation in the winter season commencing December 2021.”

— Durrant Pate