P B Scott, chairman of IT and printing solutions company Productive Business Solutions Limited (PBS), says the firm will be seeking the necessary approvals to merge its operations with associate company PBS Technology.
PBS’ parent company Musson Group acquired Massy Technologies Ltd (MT) from Massy Group last year.
MT was subsequently renamed PBS Technology.
PBS Technology has operations in Trinidad, described as the largest IT market in the Caribbean, and Guyana, described as the fastest growing economy in the region, and two markets in which PBS did not have a presence.
It also has complementary operations in Jamaica and Barbados.
“It is our hope, subject to the required approvals from stakeholders, we will merge these operations, increasing PBS’ addressable market [and] diversifying PBS’ product mix and expanding the geographical reach,” said Scott in the company’s recently released annual report.
“Such an amalgamation will see synergies in administration costs with implementation of the PBS ERP system and the combination of offices and warehousing in Barbados and Jamaica.”
He noted that over 500 IT professionals have, through PBS Technology, been added to “our family”.
About the planned merger, he said, “We truly believe that in this case the ultimate combination will strengthen both companies’ capabilities and will be a simple case of two plus two equaling six. Our focus will continue to be people and customer lead investing even further to continue the development and growth of our business.”
Scott, in his preamble to the annual report, stated that 2020 was a year in which most of the company’s blue chip customers simply closed their offices, thus eliminating much of the activities such as printing.
“Workflow changed in 2020 with the emergence of virtual meetings and the exponential growth of the digital economy,” he noted,
“We expect PBS sales levels in 2021 …to recover to 2019 levels. This combined with the structural cost benefits achieved in 2019 and 2020 will lead to much improved results”— P B Scott, chairman, Productive Business Solutions and PBS Technology
PBS’ profits after tax declined as print volumes fell. However, structural changes (in addition to cost reduction implemented in 2019) allowed the EBITDA to remain flat, maintaining cash flow in 2020 over 2019.
The chairman noted that the company faced several national lockdowns in several countries, closure of clients’ offices as well as supply chain disruption on a scale not seen before.
However, it also faced new opportunities such as significant demand for IT products for the education channels and for businesses pivoting to work from home, Scott said, adding that many of these opportunities will be executed in 2021.
“We expect PBS sales levels in 2021 (despite at time of writing facing lockdowns in Panama and Barbados in the first quarter) to recover to 2019 levels. This combined with the structural cost benefits achieved in 2019 and 2020 will lead to much improved results,” he stated.
For the year ended December 31, 2020, PBS recorded revenues of US$161.86 million, which reflects a 10.1 per cent decrease compared to the previous fiscal year. Net profit totalled US$120,000 in 2020.
Pedro Paris, CEO of PBS, said the company is working together with XEROX to grow print volumes. The CEO noted that in the company’s 16 markets, government projects made local authorities the most important clients.
These included Tribunal Supremo Electoral from El Salvador, NiDs in Barbados, Banco Popular in Costa Rica, DGI in Nicaragua, Ministry of Education from El Salvador, e-Learning Jamaica, Registro Nacional de las Personas in Guatemala, Elbel Private School in Honduras, New Mont Gold Mine in Suriname, amongst several others.