Agostini’s Limited yesterday reported first quarter profits attributable to shareholders that declined by 5 per cent to $25.6 million, even as the distribution group of companies warned that the contracting economy was “expected to have a negative impact on consumer spending.”
In reflecting on the outlook for the group, Agostini’s said: “The worsening economic situation in Trinidad and Tobago is expected to have a negative impact on consumer spending, and as such a reduction in sales and profits are anticipated for 2016. However, a positive contribution from Eastern Caribbean business is expected.”
The group reported sales for the quarter ended December 31, 2015 of $698 million, which were 71 per cent than for the comparable period in 2014. Agostini’s said the sharp increase in sales was mainly due to consolidation of the sales of their joint venture, Caribbean Distribution Partners (CDP) companies where they accounted for 50 per cent of the profits. CDP is a 50/50 joint venture between Agostini’s Ltd and Goddard Enterprises Ltd that was established in July 2015.
The company also reported that an arbitrator had ruled in its favour in a matter involving the Housing Development Company. Agostini’s was awarded $13.1 million and recovery of legal fees and interest on the principal amount is currently being negotiated between Agostini’s and the HDC, according to the chairman’s report by Joseph Esau.
In its 2015 annual report, the company stated: “On September 14, 2012, Agostini’s Limited commenced arbitration proceedings against the Trinidad and Tobago Housing Development Corporation (HDC) to recover outstanding sums due inclusive of variation cost amounting to approximately $26.7 million. In response to this action, on August 5, 2014, the HDC issued a counterclaim against Agostini’s Limited. Based on advice received, the Directors are of the view that this counterclaim is without basis, and no provision was made in these financial statements for such counterclaim.”