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GraceKennedy activates digital transformation strategy

As companies engage greater use of technology during the novel coronavirus outbreak, GraceKennedy Group (GKG) has now fully operationalised its digital transformation strategy.

The food and financial services conglomerate, which continues to see record growth across all its businesses, said that as it engages these channels, it will continue to innovate and expand its services across the region. The digital thrust forms part of its 100 years strategy which seeks to redesign structures and processes, allowing for greater efficiency and agility ahead of its 100th year anniversary next year.

In this October 2019 photo, GraceKennedy (GK) Group CEO, Don Wehby (centre) beams with pride after cutting the ribbon to signal the official opening of GraceKennedy USA’s new US$5-million multi-purpose, 125,000-square-foot facility in Woodbridge, New Jersey, USA, alongside GraceKennedy group executives. (Photo: Grace Kennedy Group)

“GK’s digital transformation strategy is now fully operational with the support of our in-house Digital Factory team. I’m excited to announce that we are gearing up to launch two financial service digital products and Hi-Lo’s e-commerce website by the end of the third quarter,” said group CEO Don Wehby.

“GK continues to do everything we can to ensure that we provide our customers with the goods and services they need at the highest standard and in the safest way possible. We also remain committed to supporting those in need during what continues to be an extremely challenging period in our history,” he added.

CEO of GraceKenedy Group Don Wehby (File photo)

GK, in providing update, also announced that it had received the regulatory approval following its recent acquisition of Scotia Insurance Eastern Caribbean Limited. The transaction finalised at the end of July gives the company greater foothold in some seven countries across the Eastern Caribbean.

The 99-year-old company for the six-month period ended June 30 reported revenues of $63.4 billion — $6.8 billion more than it did last year, while profits amounted to almost $4 billion up 30 per cent over the prior year’s period. Profit attributable to shareholders was $3.6 billion.

During the quarter commendable performances came from the food division segment which continued to add significant value to the group’s top line, as a result of growth in core products along with an increase in the demand for Grace products overseas. Positive out-turns were also reported within the financial services, capital management, investments, insurance and money services divisions which performed well throughout the period.

GraceKennedy Remittance Services Guyana office (Photo: Georgetown Chamber of Industry and Commerce)

In light of the favourable results, Group CFO Andrew Messado announced a dividend payout of $476 million which will be payable to shareholders on September 24.

Wehby, in commenting on the half-year results, said that the company’s aim is to continue on a path of positive growth.

“For the remainder of 2021, the team will continue to focus on executing our strategic initiatives and managing our operating expenses, liquidity, and supply chain. Although the COVID-19 pandemic continues to make the outlook for the rest of 2021 uncertain, the accelerated roll-out of vaccination programmes in the markets where we operate is encouraging and we support this drive wholeheartedly,” he stated.