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Montego Bay Ice gets dividend from subsidiary after 20 years — Hart

Published:Wednesday | March 2, 2016 | 3:00 AMSteven Jackson
Mark Hart, chairman of Montego Bay Ice Company.

MoBay Ice gets dividend from subsidiary after

20 years - Hart

A $20-million dividend payment disclosed by Montego Bay Ice Company Limited (MBICE) in its fourth-quarter earnings report was not a distribution to shareholders of the one-time icemaker.

Instead, it reflects a distribution to partner Port Authority of Jamaica in a company called Montego Cold Storage Limited, says Chairman Mark Hart, who is also the top shareholder of MBICE with a 78 per cent stake held largely through a company called AMD Limited.

MBICE owns two-thirds of the cold-storage company, while Port Authority owns one-third.

"It's the first dividend in 20 years from Cold Storage," said Hart.

The company paid a dividend of $40 million, which was reflected in MBICE's accounts as the primary contributor to overall income of $43.45 million, all of which was non-core revenue. The company ceased its core activity of making ice in 2012.

The $20 million which was captured on the icemaker's cash flow and 'changes in equity' statements as 'dividend paid' was the Port Authority's share of profit from Montego Cold Storage, Hart told Wednesday Business.

MBICE also reported a $600 payment of dividend in 2014 and a similar payment in 2013.

For the year ending December 2015, the company reported unaudited profit of $38.9 million, compared to a loss of more than $626,000 in 2014; while the group made $13 million of net profit off revenues of $22.2 million, compared to profit of $9.6 million and revenue of $21.2 million in 2014.

The financials show that the $40 million in dividend income falls only under the company and not the group operation.

MBICE, which has more than 6.16 million share units listed on the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE), last paid a dividend to its own shareholders in 2005 at 20 cents per share, according to JSE data. That distribution would have amounted to $1.23 million.

The largest shareholders in MBICE are: AMD Limited, 3.056 million shares; Mark Hart, 1.778 million; R. Anthony and Daphne Jones, 100,000; Peter Hart, 97,100; MVL Stock Brokers, 91,644; Creative Kitchens, 61,818; Melita Aarons, 54,970; the estate of James A. Chin, 54,580; Dr Herbert Eldemire, 51,510; and Desmond and Lucinda Whittingham, 49,727 shares.

On July and November 2012, the company discontinued the sale of ice and bottled spring water, according to the group financials. MBICE now describes the principal activities of the company and its subsidiaries as rental of properties and cold-storage facilities.

business@gleanerjm.com