Seven prison officers, including an assistant superintendent, are all expected to be charged in connection with last Friday’s daring prison break.
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$410m profit for Neal and Massy Group
The Neal and Massy Group’s revenue increased by 10.6 per cent to $5.6 billion in the six month period ended March 31. The group’s latest financial report shows that group profit before tax (PBT) increased by 2.1 per cent to $410 million. and group earnings per share increased by two per cent to $2.73 per share.
In his last report to shareholders, outgoing chairman Arthur Lok Jack said their were strong performances from the group’s energy and industrial gases business unit and the distribution and consumer finance lines of business in the integrated retail business unit, with each producing double-digit PBT growth. He said insurance, logistics and investment properties were the only units for which PBT declined.
“Our Barbados operations continue to be adversely affected by the challenging economic conditions in that country. Revenues from our subsidiaries in Barbados declined by four per cent, while profits from subsidiaries and associate investments declined by 15 per cent,” Lok Jack said.
“Having dispensed with its “Held for Sale” assets (discontinued operations) in 2013, the group is now fully focused on the growth, expansion and strengthening of its operations. Fortified with a strong balance sheet, the group has started making several strategic investments in new industries and territories and in the expansion of existing businesses.
Lok Jack said due to excess liquidity in the local financial markets, the group is restructuring its debt portfolio and is seeking to raise capital to fund its investment opportunities by issuing bonds for $1.2 billion. The bonds will be issued in up to three series, ranging in tenor between 7-15 years. “Approximately $700 million of the proceeds will be used to replace shorter-term debt with the longer-term bonds and $500 million is earmarked for new investments,” he said
He added that the group completed three acquisitions and two divestments for the first half of its financial year. “Shareholders will recall that in December the group acquired the majority interest in Consolidated Foods Limited in St. Lucia and acquired Air Liquide’s stake in IGL to take over 100 per cent ownership of that business.
“The Group acquired a 20 per cent interest in an IT services company headquartered in Costa Rica; and in April the group finally concluded the acquisition of two car dealerships in Colombia. In December the group worked with the Almond Resorts Inc. Board and the Casuarina Beach Club Limited (CBCL) Board to affect the sale of the Almond Beach Village property and CBCL,” Lok Jack said.
The group also launched its first two super combo stores in Barbados and T&T, introducing a new store format to the region with full supermarket and home accessories together under one roof. Lok Jack said in the second half of its financial year, the group will continue to roll out strategic initiatives, including additional acquisitions and introductions of new offers to customers across the region.