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TransJamaican Highway profit down but traffic recovers amid COVID-19

TransJamaican Highway Limited posted revenue of US$8.5 million for the quarter ended June 30, a 36 per cent reduction compared to US$13.1 million for the same period in 2019.

Profit at TransJamaican Highway saw a 36% reduction for its most recent quarter.

For the six-month period the company had net loss after tax of US$1.1 million, reflecting a decrease of US$2.6 million, compared to net profit after tax of US$1.5 million for the same period in 2019.

Managing Director Thierry Parizot said given the uncertainties hanging over the pace of economic recovery and the measures that could again be taken to stem the health crisis we are experiencing, it is difficult at this time to make a revised forecast for the second half of this year.

The impact of health and safety measures taken to limit the spread of the virus have been weighing on the motorway traffic since mid-March 2020, the company head said.

TransJamaican said traffic on its roadways is recovering as COVID-19 restrictions are eased.

The decrease for the month of March was 19.3 per cent following the closure of schools, all-island curfews and the ‘work from home’ order issued by the Government of Jamaica for non-essential workers.

The month of April 2020 saw a more significant decrease of 52 per cent when compared with April 2019 due to additional restrictions introduced such as the lockdown of the parish of St Catherine, which began April 15.

The end of this confinement on May 1 was immediately followed by an increase in traffic on the motorway, with the decline being 34.2 per cent when compared to May 2019.

The trend observed for the month of June 2020 (a 17.3 per cent decrease when compared to the previous year) confirmed a gradual recovery in traffic and is anticipated to continue in the next weeks, management indicated.

Traffic for June was down 17% compared to the following year.

Revenue for the six-month period ended June 30, 2020 was US$21.4 million, compared to US$25.9 million for the same period in 2019, an overall decline of 17 per cent.

Management said the decrease resulted from the decline in traffic.  For the quarter ended June 30, 2020, the company incurred operating expenses of US$8.6 million, reflecting an increase of US$0.1 million, compared to US$8.5 million for the same period in 2019.

Management said this increase was primarily due to rises in the insurance cost, the operator’s monthly fixed fee and in the amortisation recognised on intangible assets.

This was offset by a decrease in repairs and maintenance cost. For the six-month period ended June 30, 2020, operating expenses were US$17.2 million compared to US$16.9 million for the same period in 2019.

For the quarter ended June 30, 2020, the company incurred administrative expenses of US$0.4 million, reflecting an increase of US$0.1 million, compared to administrative expenses of US$0.3 in 2019.
This 22 per cent increase was primarily due to additional expenses arising from the issuance of the secured notes and the Jamaica Stock Exchange listing.

For the six-month period ended June 30, 2020, administrative expenses were US$0.7 million, reflecting an increase of US$0.1 million, impacted by the same aforementioned factors.

For the quarter ended June 30, 2020, finance costs of US$3.9 million was incurred, reflecting a decrease of US$1.2 million, compared with finance costs of US$5.1 million for the same period in 2019 and resulted from the difference in loan portfolio.

For the six-month period  finance costs of US$9.5 million, reflected an increase of US$0.6 million due the cost incurred in the debt restructuring which saw  existing loans being repaid and the secured notes being issued during the first quarter of this year.

As at June 30, 2020, the company had total assets of US$327.5 million, reflecting an increase of US$35.3 million, compared to total assets of US$292.2 million as at December 31, 2019.

As at June 30, 2020, share capital was US$27 million, reflecting a decrease of US$27 million, compared to share capital of US$54 million as at December 31, 2019.

This was due to the redemption of existing preferred share and the issuing of 2.7 billion 8 per cent cumulative redeemable preference shares.