Consolidated Financial Overview 2014/2015
The Board of Directors of Goddard Enterprises Limited (“GEL”) is pleased to present the Group‘s Consolidated Financial Review for the year ended 30 September 2015.
In October 2014, the International Monetary Fund (“IMF”) cut its global growth forecast and began its semi-annual report on the economic outlook with a simple lament: “a return to robust and synchronized global expansion remains elusive.” The IMF projects global growth for 2015 at 3.1%, 0.3% lower than in 2014. That is the worst performance since the Great Recession in 2009, and the trend is continuing.
In the past few years, the global economy has lacked a positive dynamic, exemplified by the uneasy combination of signifi- cant decline in growth in emerging markets, slow investment growth globally (which is exacerbated by lacklustre business and consumer confidence), weak productivity and high political instability. This will place the global economy in a holding pattern in which positive and negative forces offset each other, at least for the immediate future. This characterization of the global economy is unlikely to change in the next twelve to twenty-four months. After adjusting for China’s overstated official growth rate, there is a very modest projected improvement in the growth rate for the global economy.
Looking within the Caribbean, the performance of the region in 2015 has not changed significantly from the previous year. “High debt burden”, “high fiscal deficit” and “high unemployment” are the clichés that are typically used to describe the Caribbean economies and unfortunately these challenges continue to plague the region, with 2015 being no different. Both Grenada and Jamaica are showing improvements given the assistance of the IMF in their territories, while Barbados has imple- mented its own home grown programme which will seek to generate $200 million in revenue to ease the pressure on the fiscal deficit. The good news is that tourism-based economies are seeing improvements and data suggests that international tourism rose by 4% for the first half of 2015.
The Board is pleased to report a record-breaking performance for the Group this year. Group revenue and net income for the year ended 30 September 2015 amounted to $924.5 million and $61.9 million, compared with $954.1 million and $48.9 million in the previous year. The Group achieved the highest earnings per share (“EPS”) ever of 83 cents which exceeded prior year’s EPS of 62.1 cents by 33.7% and also surpassed the previous highest amount of 73.7 cents which was earned in 2008.
This tremendous result is attributable mainly to the one-off non-operational gain of $20.8 million. Effective 1 July 2015, we formed a new 50:50 joint venture company, Caribbean Distribution Partners Limited (“CDP”), in our Food and Consumer Goods Distribution sector with our partner, Agostini’s Limited (“Agostini’s”). The Group companies which we transferred into CDP were Hanschell Inniss Limited in Barbados, Coreas Distribution Limited in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Peter & Company Limited in Saint Lucia and our share of Independence Agencies Limited in Grenada. Added from Agostini’s were Facey Trading Limited in Barbados, Hand Arnold Trinidad Limited in Trinidad and Tobago and its 40% stake in Desinco Limited in Guyana. We have fully consolidated our companies which were transferred to CDP with our Group results up to 30 June 2015. Thereafter, our share (50%) of CDP has been included in the results of the Group in the line item: “Share of Income of Associated Companies”.
For the financial year ended 30 September 2015, revenue stood at $924.5 million, a decline of 3.1% below prior year. This reduction was due to the fact that the companies transferred to CDP were not consolidated with our results for the last quarter of the financial year. If the results of those companies had been consolidated, the Group revenue would have increased by 4.6% over the prior year.
Gross profit expressed as a percentage of revenue was 37.8%, slightly above the percentage achieved in 2014 of 37.3%. Selling, marketing and administrative expenses were $297.8 million, or 32.2% of revenue, representing a decrease by $12.2 million or 3.9% below prior year’s $310.0 million or 32.5% of revenue. Both the gross profit and selling, marketing and administrative expenses ratios were impacted by the exclusion of the CDP companies from the consolidated numbers as alluded to earlier.
We are extremely pleased to highlight the improvement in operational profit for the review year. Profit from operations before other gains/(losses)-net increased by $5.2 million or 10.3% over prior year as a result of the reduction in the selling, marketing and administrative expenses. Other gains/(losses)-net increased by $12.2 million or 83.6% over the prior year, which was attributable to the gain on disposal of our four subsidiaries to CDP. As a result, profit from operations increased by 26.8% or $17.4 million, reaching $82.1 million.
Our share of income of associated companies fell by $3.3 million or 49.9% below prior year mainly as a result of a decrease in profit from our insurance associate, Sagicor General Insurance Inc. In addition, a loss of $0.2 million is also incorporated in our share of income of associated companies being our share of the loss from CDP for the last quarter of the 2015 financial year.
Overall net income for the year ended 30 September 2015 was $61.9 million, up 26.5% over the prior year amount of $48.9 million. Net income attributable to equity holders increased by 33.1% to $48.4 million which translated to the high EPS of 83 cents mentioned earlier.
With regard to the Group consolidated statement of financial position, our working capital ratio of 1.64 is above the prior year ratio of 1.59 reflecting adequate management of inventories and trade receivables. Total assets of the Group are being financed by 35% debt, which is well within conservative financial guidelines and is consistent with prior years’ experience. Our net asset value per share is $8.35 compared to $7.92 per share in 2014 representing an increase of 43 cents per share. Our share price closed at $6.58 on the Barbados Stock Exchange at 30 September 2015.
Message from the Managing Director
2015 was a transformational year for the Group. We acquired the remaining 33% ownership of Bryden & Partners Limited in Saint Lucia. We entered into the new joint venture, CDP, mentioned before. We restructured the Import Distribution and Marketing Division which, at 1 October 2015, has been renamed the Automotive, Building Supplies and Services Division. This name change accurately represents the businesses that are now within the Division. We realigned all of our businesses in that Division into Industry channels such that all of the Automotive and Building Supplies business units, as examples, report to one Senior Manager who is responsible for these particular businesses across the entire region. This allows us to leverage synergies across like businesses, as opposed to having them managed individually in each country. We also signed an extension of the joint venture agreement with our partner LSG Sky Chefs Inc. (“LSG”) for an additional twenty years. This was an important achievement for the Group for the year as GEL treasures its relationship with LSG and sees this extension as an opportunity to continue to expand its Catering services in the wider region.
On the Organizational Development side, we conducted 360 degree Leadership Behavioural Analyses of all General Managers across the entire Group. We also conducted a Group-wide Employee Engagement survey to better ascertain the current Group culture. Each individual business unit has developed plans to correct key weaknesses identified during the survey.
Indeed, 2015 can best be characterized as a year of rebuilding and positioning ourselves for future growth, streamlining the business portfolio and continuing to evaluate those businesses that are not giving us the type of return we expect, or do not allow us to focus on a regional strategy.
We have embarked on a programme of Energy Management by investment in alternative energy systems across the Group, with several installations of photovoltaic (“PV”) systems already completed in subsidiaries across the region. This programme will be of critical importance as we seek more innovative ways to continue to reduce costs and to be more environmentally conscious.
Our challenge for 2016 will be to drive a culture of acting with a sense of URGENCY, striving for EXCELLENCE and developing a PASSION for Customer Service to further enhance shareholder value.
The Board has declared a dividend of twenty cents per share on the issued and outstanding common shares of the Company for the year ended 30 September 2015 which is the same level of dividend paid to shareholders for the year ended 30 September 2014. An interim dividend of six cents having been paid on 31 August 2015, the Board declared a final dividend of fourteen cents per share on the issued and outstanding common shares of the Company at its meeting held on1 December 2015. The final dividend will be paid on 29 February 2016.
In closing, we wish to acknowledge the continued support and confidence of our shareholders, the patronage of our valued customers as well as the loyalty of our suppliers over the year just gone.
We thank our management and staff for their dedicated service to the Group during the year.