Last update: 09-Dec-2013 1:43 am
Monday, December 09, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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GraceKennedy meets T&T investors
GraceKennedy recently staged an investor briefing with stockbrokers and agents from major entities in T&T. The GraceKennedy contingent comprised GraceKennedy Group CEO, Don Wehby, Frank James, Group chief financial 0fficer and Courtney Campbell, CEO, GraceKennedy Financial Group.
The briefing was held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, and saw 35 financial representatives from some 15 firms in T&T. Presentations were made by Wehby and James on the company’s performance in the last two years against its vision and strategy, as well as the outlook moving forward. Chief among the points made were the positive strides being made by the GraceKennedy Group in achieving its objective of becoming a global consumer group, despite a tough economy.
Among the questions raised by invitees was that of how GraceKennedy intended to continue growing given Jamaica’s challenging economic conditions. Wehby responded: “We measure our performance in US dollars with one of our key objectives being the diversification of our revenues and profits outside of Jamaica. GraceKennedy was able to increase profits from economies outside of Jamaica from 26 per cent to 37 per cent from 2011 to 2012.”
He said that notwithstanding a devaluation of the Jamaican dollar, Group profits increased from US$32m in 2011 to US$39.5m in 2012. “Our goal is to have 50 per cent of our profits outside of Jamaica by 2020 and we continue to make good strides towards achieving that,” he added. Other areas of interest raised by the group were the company’s move into Africa, potential new markets, the challenge in terms of the cost of inputs as well as future mergers and acquisitions.
He added that the feedback from the agents was encouraging, showing that the company enjoys a positive image in Trinidad and Tobago. This, he said, augured well for the future of the brand.
GraceKennedy’s T&T (GKTT) operations started 20 years ago when GraceKennedy Remittance Services (GKRS) began money transfer operations. That aspect of the business has grown significantly since then, through the partnership with Western Union. GKTT now comprises Western Union, FX Trader and Bill Express. The Foods Division has also performed very well over the last few years, growing over 10 per cent per annum.
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