FOOD manufacturing and distribution conglomerate, Seprod Limited for its second quarter has reported continued top-line growth even as profits continue to slip, albeit to a lesser extent, due to the prolonged effects brought on by the novel coronavirus pandemic.
For the quarter ended June, revenues for the company went up by eight per cent to total JM$10.2 billion while profits marginally declined by one per cent or JM$7 million to total JM$661 million, when compared to the corresponding period last year. This marks another quarter of profit fallout for the company which also saw its bottom line reduced by approximately 14 per cent, amounting to JM$546 million at the end of its March quarter. Revenues in that period also increased by JM$443 million to total JM$9.5 billion.
The company noted that despite a slight narrowing of its profit deficit following a realignment of cost structures, efforts made to mitigate some of the effects were still not enough as rising shipping costs and the unavailability of raw materials continued to impact the business.
For the consolidated six-month period up to the end of June, group revenues climbed to JM$19.8 billion, seven per cent more than last year even as profits fell by seven per cent to total JM$1.2 billion.
The company’s board also indicated that while they have had to pass on some amount of price increase to customers, this was still not sufficient to absorb corresponding increases in the trade, much of which were considerably driven by global supply chain challenges.
“We will continue to look internally for efficiency improvements and to look for alternative supply sources to reduce shipping costs,” the company however stated in its latest financial report.
Expressing cautious optimism in its outlook, based on the arrival of more vaccines in the country, the company said that it would continue to prudently manage its operations and minimise activity where necessary, especially in light of global threats posed by the new Delta strain.
“We will continue to look internally for efficiency improvements and to look for alternative supply sources to reduce shipping costs”
“While the pandemic has brought many challenges, it has also presented opportunities to improve our export business and to become more innovative in looking how we reshape the business to co-exist with COVID-19,” the company’s report further stated in its outlook.
Seprod’s Chief Executive Officer Richard Pandohie, previously speaking with the Jamaica Observer‘s Business Observer, cited exports — which he said had grown by over 16 per cent at the end of the three-month period — as being one of the main areas targeted to drive growth for the company, accompanied by the roll-out of new products and improved productivity.