Economists are questioning just how this country is going to repay its multi-billion dollar debt in light of falling earnings of revenue and the debt to GDP which now stands at 62 per cent.
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Neal & Massy makes $213m 1st-quarter profit
Neal and Massy Holdings Ltd’s group revenue has increased by 7.4 per cent to $2.8 billion for the first quarter of the financial year (FY) 2014. The conglomerate’s condensed financial statements for the first quarter ended December 31, 2013, also show that group profit before tax (PBT) increased by 3.3 per cent to $213 million and group earnings per share increased by 2.2 per cent to $1.39 per share. A report from the group stated: “The Energy and Industrial Gases Business Unit and the Distribution and the Consumer Finance Lines of Business in the Integrated Retail Business Unit rebounded well from a disappointing performance in the first quarter of financial year 2013. Many other subsidiaries also provided double-digit growth contributions towards first-quarter PBT.
“However PBT declines from some subsidiaries slowed PBT growth to 3.3 per cent. Most of the declines are recoverable in the remaining quarters of the financial year. The Group notes the cautious behaviours being adopted by consumers in Barbados in the wake of the austerity measures announced by the Government and is adjusting its strategies.” Chairman Arthur Lok Jack said the group’s strategic initiatives were beginning to show results. “At the end of December 2013, the group completed two strategic acquisitions, which increased the group’s interest to 100 per cent ownership of Industrial Gases Ltd (IGL) in Trinidad and to 60 per cent ownership of Consolidated Foods Ltd (the leading chain supermarkets in St Lucia).
“The group’s joint venture with Mitsubishi to build a Methanol and DME facility in La Brea is proceeding towards financial investment decision in 2014. Expansion into Latin America continues to look encouraging; and some transactions should conclude in the second quarter of this financial year.” Lok Jack added: “While many of the economies in the Caribbean continue to struggle, the group maintains a strategy to grow through strong governance and financial management and creative strategies to win market share and expand into related businesses in select geographies.”