Fri | Sep 22, 2017

JPS profit falls

Published:Wednesday | February 22, 2017 | 2:00 AM

Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) reported an 18 per cent decline in net profit to US$21.8 million and a fall-off in revenue.

During the year, the power utility collected US$712.8 million from electricity customers, down US$47 million or six per cent, attributable in part to the cooling of oil prices.

The company made four times more profit in the fourth quarter, but that performance was insufficient to cover ground lost in the previous periods. Profit in 2015 amounted to US$26.5 million.

Earlier this month, the Office of Utilities Regulation announced that it would allow JPS to recover US$13.4 million from customer bills, set to begin this summer. The increase will allow the JPS to recover losses resulting from amendments to its licence last year January, which resulted in the shortening of the depreciable life of some of its assets.

The company argued that the shortening of its asset lives would result in increased depreciation costs amounting to US$28.5 million over the period 2016 to 2028.

At December 2016, the utility closed the year with larger cash holdings of US$8.6 million, up from US$5.5 million a year ago, due to reductions in cash used for operating, investing and financing activities, including capital expenditures which were down from US$69 million to US$61 million.

The power utility is owned by Marubeni Corporation of Japan, 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, which holds its shares through the Accountant General's Department and the Development Bank of Jamaica Limited, has announced plans to divest its holding to the public.

steven.jackson@gleanerjm.com