Salada Foods achieved one billion dollars in sales for the third consecutive year, a mark it reached despite several challenges, management said.
Chairman Patrick Williams, in the company’s new annual report, said while the year underperformed the previous period, “We are heartened that we were able to keep members of the team employed as the factory operated at full capacity.”
The company posted after-tax profit of $110.49 million, a 22 per cent decline when compared to the $141.37 million in the prior year, at the end of its financial year on September 30, 2020.
Williams pointed to the decision of the Jamaica Agricultural Commodities Regulatory Authority (JACRA) “to delay and deny raw material import permit requests” as the reason the company was forced to use higher priced green coffee beans in the manufacture of flagship products.
The chairman stated, “When tallied, permit delays and the impact of the pandemic on domestic sales, operating profit declined $43 million to $126.69 million from $169.98 million last year , a 25 per cent reduction.”
He sadded, “The decline in domestic demand notwithstanding, this was the third year in a row and in our history that we surpassed one billion in sales.”
The company ended the year with revenues of $1.067 billion, four per cent below the $1.113 billion prior year.
Export sales generated $200 million, a 26 per cent improvement on $161 million in fiscal 2019.
Williams said this helped to counterbalance the 10.5 per cent decline in domestic sales.
He outlined that several strategic and tactical initiatives were introduced to sustain domestic sales as economic activity slowed because of the Government’s containment measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
He also pointed out that Salada continues to maintain a very strong and healthy balance sheet. The company has no debt.
Dividends distributed for the year 2019-2020 were $124.66 million, equivalent to $1.20 per share in comparison to $103.88 million or $1.00 per share paid in 2018-2019.
In light of the successful bid by JACRA to change product formulation, Williams said, “We have been proactive and in keeping with our strategic plan of diversification, are well on our way and will introduce several new products in the new fiscal year.”
In October 2020, the company introduced a ginger turmeric beverage in keeping with these diversification efforts. The company’s ginger line is increasingly popular in export markets.