Increases in sales in Jamaica and Barbados created a solid foundation for Trinidad Cement Limited (TCL) to produce a strong performance in its third quarter for 2020.
The company highlighted in a statement attached to its interim financial report for the period ended September 30, 2020, that sales volumes in Jamaica increased by 30 per cent and in Barbados by 20 per cent.
As a result, both countries contributed to an overall increase of 17 per cent when compared to the same period in 2019, as Trinidad itself only managed to increase turnover by three per cent.
For the nine-month period, revenue of TT$1.26 billion was just two per cent shy of what the company recorded in the same time span in 2019.
“The TCL Group’s adjusted EBITDA of [TT]$135 million in Q3 2020 reflected an increase of 66 per cent compared with Q3 2019,” the company outlined.
“This growth reflects the contribution of the new higher margin business segments in Trinidad and the positive impact of cost-reduction strategies executed to stabilise our business in this period of uncertainty due to COVID-19,” it added.
Due to the company’s cost-reduction activities, for the three months ended September 30, it realised significant reductions across all expense line items.
“In Q3 2020, financial expenses of $31 million reflected an 18 per cent decrease compared with Q3 2019, primarily due to the reduction in debt, the exchange rate movement of the Jamaican Dollar and lower USD-denominated debt,” the company pointed out.
Furthermore, TCL said that for the last three years it has made progress in limiting its exposure to foreign exchange risks, give the volatility of the Jamaican currency.
In terms of balance sheet activities, TCL’s total assets declined marginally as it restricted capital expenditure to “essential maintenance and projects”.
Cash and cash equivalents increased to TT$91.1 million or by 13 per cent over the same period last year. For the three months the cement maker generated TT$168 million but paid out TT$150 million to reduce its debts.