Pan-Jam profit up 47% at half-year
Pan-Jamaican Investment Trust Limited's net profit grew by almost 50 per cent at half-year, reflecting improved property and investment income, and better returns from its investments in associated companies.
The property company made a profit of $1.08 billion in the six-month period ending June, up 47 per cent from $736 in the comparative period in 2013.
For the quarter, earnings grew by 29 per cent to $627 million.
"Our property operations showed resilience in a challenging economy, while all aspects of our investment activities outperformed last year by a healthy margin," according to the directors' report to shareholders.
Investment income also increased substantially, with year to date income totalling $259 million or 79 per cent more than the same period last year.
"Our property segment enjoyed overall occupancy levels exceeding 97 per cent for the second quarter, a slight improvement over last year, while contribution to group operating profit of $195 million for the quarter ($376 million year-to-date) was $39 million ($34 million year-to-date) higher than last year, attributable to improved rental income," the report said.
In its outlook on the periods ahead, Pan-Jam is encouraged by progress under the economic reform programme with the International Monetary Fund, but is also concerned about the slow pace of energy reform.
Jamaica is attempting to shift away from oil in order to bring down the cost of energy to end users, but has failed in several efforts to develop new electricity capacity - the last of which was a deal with Energy World International, which fell apart this year after the company missed the bid payment deadline on its 381 MW LNG project.
"We are concerned with the slow progress of the development of new energy capacity for the country, the successful implementation of which has the potential to have a significant positive effect on the economy," Pan-Jam said.
"We remain very encouraged, however, by the GOJ's progress against the IMF targets and the determination and spirit demonstrated to achieve them."
The recent visit by Christine Lagarde, managing director of the IMF, "would not have occurred without such progress," the company said.