Despite the challenges posed by high fuel prices and cautious consumer spending in the second quarter, GraceKennedy Limited has reported growth in revenues and profits for the first half of 2008.
In its interim report to stockholders for the quarter ended June 30, 2008 the GraceKennedy Group reported revenues of $27.3 billion. This represents a 19% increase over the corresponding period of 2007 when the company earned $22.9 billion. The Net Profit Attributable to Equity holders of the company was reported at $1.16 billion, an increase of $55 million or 5% over 2007. This represents earnings per stock unit of $3.54, compared with $3.40 in 2007.
The company’s food arm, GK Foods, reported 18% revenue growth, but saw a fall in pre-tax profits over the corresponding period in 2007, due to rapidly escalating fuel and food prices. However GK Foods remained on track with its overseas expansion plans, launching its new range of Grace Tropical Rhythms Refreshers and Grace Snacks in the UK. The new Grace Tropical Rhythms Refresher watermelon and cucumber flavours are made from locally grown fruits.
For the most part, companies in the GK Investments division had a good second quarter, with those in the banking and insurance sectors reporting profits in line with expectations. The Group reported that its Money Services segment, which includes Western Union, performed “above expectations” , due largely to increased inbound remittances. The retail and trading segment was, however, affected by tightened consumer spending and rapidly escalating costs within the last few months.
A major achievement during the period was appointment of GraceKennedy Money Services (UK) Ltd as a master agent for Western Union in the UK. Commenting on that development, Douglas Orane, GraceKennedy’s Chairman & CEO described the appointment as “a major step towards expanding to serve our Diaspora and other immigrants groups outside of the Caribbean.