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Victoria Mutual Investments Limited CEO Rezworth Burchenson

VM Investments increases branch network with more to come

Victoria Mutual Investments Limited CEO Rezworth Burchenson

Despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Jamaica’s economy, Victoria Mutual Investments Limited (VMIL) is expanding its branch network with its newest location launched in Savanna La Mar, Westmoreland, in October, taking the number of locations islandwide to eight.

Two additional locations are being planned, the company’s management stated in a report attached to its nine-month results.

“We will continue to work towards rolling out our two additional locations, Half-Way-Tree and Duke Street, by the end of the fourth quarter in 2020,” the report stated.

Victoria Mutual investment Limited will continue to roll out two additional locations, Half-Way-Tree and Duke Street, by the end of the fourth quarter in 2020. (File photo)

According to VMIL, the expansion of its branch network is a part of a strategy to increase the company’s Asset Management business in the medium term. In particular, the moves aims to increase client reach and improve accessibility and convenience for clients.

Altogether, the number of VM Wealth Management branch locations will be increased from four to ten during 2020. Other branches are at the University of Technology, Jamaica (UTech), Liguanea, Ocho Rios, New Kingston (head office); and branches in Portmore, Mandeville, and Montego Bay.

Consolidated revenue for the nine-month period for VM Wealth was JM$1.33 billion, reflecting a marginal decrease of JM$30.66 million when compared with the corresponding period of 2019.

However, for the quarter ended September 30, 2020, total revenue increased year-on-year from JM$537.27 million to JM$615.32 million.

“It should be noted that our third-quarter revenue showed a strong increase over the JM$268.37 million booked in the first quarter and the JM$449.78 million earned in the second quarter,” the report also outlined.

Consolidated profit after tax for the nine months ended September 30, 2020, was JM$361.83 million, reflecting a decrease of JM$135.56 million over the corresponding period of 2019.

Earnings per share for the same period was JM$0.24 (September 30, 2019: JM$0.33).

Operating expenses for the period under review totalled JM$901.61 million, representing an increase of JM$192.63 million or 27.17 per cent when compared to the same period in the previous year.

Operating expenses for the period under review totalled JM$901.61 million, representing an increase of JM$192.63 million or 27.17 per cent when compared to the same period in the previous year.

Victoria Mutual Building Society’s branch (in photo) in Savanna-La-Mar, Westmoreland added a Victoria Mutual Investments Limited section just last month, bringing to eight the number of VMIL locations across Jamaica. (Photo: Foursquare)

VMIL’s management also reported that the increase in operating costs is primarily attributable to the expansion of the branch network.

The increase in other expenses, the report added, is mainly related to impairment losses on financial assets arising from the pandemic-related downturn in the financial market, asset tax, and support services required to grow our business.

“Notwithstanding our expansion initiatives, cost containment efforts are an ongoing exercise,” the report pointed out further

Total assets increased by JM$2.31 billion to JM$26.70 billion, primarily attributable to the growth in loan portfolio of JM$1.27 billion. There was also a JM$1.01-billion increase in investment securities.

Total liabilities were JM$22.80 billion as at September 30, 2020, an increase of JM$2.82 billion or 14.13 per cent from the same period last year, driven mainly by an increase in repurchase agreements.

“Our capital base continues to be strong with total shareholders’ equity standing at JM$3.90 billion as at September 30, 2020, despite the decrease of JM$515.45 million (or 11.68 per cent) from JM$4.41 billion at the end of September 2019,” the report concluded.