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TransJamaican Highway still wary as revenue slips amid COVID

TransJamaican Highway Limited’s projections for the new financial year are still uncertain, given the persistence of the coronavirus.

In its annual report, management said despite a significant upturn in traffic between July and September, the trend remains highly dependent on any new measures that may be implemented by the Government of Jamaica in the coming months to combat the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

They state, “As a result of this uncertainty and the impact on the economic activity, it has been difficult to establish new forecast for the end of this fiscal year.”

The company’s core business activity is the development, operation and maintenance of a toll road network, Highway 2000 East-West.

The 19-year-old company issued an initial public offer of 80 per cent of shares to the public in March 2020, following the government’s acquisition of all shares last December.

Revenues stood at US$53.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2019.
However, COVID-19 conditions resulted in a 34.5 per cent reduction in the number of transactions compared to the same quarter in the previous year (i.e. a total of -19.6 per cent for the first half of 2020 compared to 2019).
Management indicated the consequences of government measures taken for to prevent the virus spread has created uncertainty.

“During this difficult period, we have been forced to analyse the way we work and commute. We should not however forget the many development opportunities available to TJH on which we intend to execute once this health crisis is over.”

Management concluded the experience acquired by the TJH team “will enable us to position ourselves as a leading player in the realisation of major infrastructure projects, concerned with sustainable development and serving the progress and well-being of the population.

For the quarter ended June 30, the company had revenue of US$8.5 million, reflecting a decrease of US$4.6 million (down 36 per cent), compared to US$13.1 million for the same period in 2019. This decrease resulted from the decline in traffic experienced as a result of the various measures implemented to help combat the spread of virus.

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