Tue | Sep 26, 2017

JPS profit spikes on lower oil bill

Published:Friday | May 27, 2016 | 5:00 AMSteven Jackson

Lower oil prices in the first quarter of 2016 contributed to reducing consumer light bills, which translated to a US$32-million dip in revenues for the monopoly power distributor, Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS).

Despite the fall in revenue, JPS made net profit of US$6.15 million for the March first quarter or 53 per cent higher than a year ago. The reason for the profit rise was due to lower finance costs during the quarter.

Revenues totalled US$148.9 million for the period under review, compared to US$180.9 million in the March 2015, while its operating expenses remained flat. However, its finance costs declined to US$9.7 million for the quarter compared to US$12 million a year ago.

The company's cash flow and cash equivalents improved dramatically to US$15 million from US$1.5 million a year ago, due to a substantial reduction in cash used for financing activities.

The power utility's working capital nearly doubled to US$41 million from $21 million a year earlier, due to a marked reduction in payables and provisions.

The utility is owned by Japan's Marubeni Corporation, 40 per cent; South Korea-based Korea East-West Power, 40 per cent; Government of Jamaica, 19.9 per cent; while 3,000 shareholders own the remaining 0.1 per cent of the shares.

The Government's shares are held through the Accountant General's Department and the Development Bank of Jamaica Limited.

steven.jackson@gleanerjm.com