Sat | Nov 25, 2017

CAC 2000 plots new offices, new markets

Published:Sunday | March 12, 2017 | 12:00 AMTameka Gordon
Steven Marston, chairman & CEO of CAC 2000 Limited, at the company's annual general meeting held at Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston on Thursday, March 9, 2017.
Directors of CAC 2000 Limited Gia Abraham (left) and Andrew Cocking, engage in casual conversation at the company's annual general meeting held at Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston on Thursday, March 9, 2017.
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Air-conditioning company CAC 2000 Limited will be rolling out new initiatives to boost its performance and drive revenue growth for its next financial year and beyond, including a plan for expanded operating space and tapping regional markets for more business.

Chairman and CEO Steven Marston told shareholders at their annual meeting that CAC would be developing a new location on lands the company is looking to acquire.

"We have outgrown where we are," Marston said. We don't have enough space to park; we don't have enough space for equipment. We are basically bursting at the seams," he told Gleaner Business following the company's first general meeting since listing on the stock exchange last year January.

He, however, declined to say where the company will site its new office, the timeline for developing the space, and the amount of capital to be invested in the project.

"Between the office and the computer systems that will allow us to focus on new areas of business," he said.

The company's audited accounts indicate that in 2016 CAC invested nearly $36 million in its operations, almost half of which was spent on vehicles. Another $7 million procured computer equipment and more than $10 million was invested in its leasehold property.

 

REGIONAL OUTLOOK

 

While it lays the groundwork for new office space, CAC is also seeking to grow by tapping opportunities in the eastern Caribbean and other regional markets.

"We are quite technically adept. A lot of the smaller islands are not, but we just can't expand (because) we are limited by what we have," he said.

The company, with roots going as far back as 1929, specialises in air conditioning and energy solutions.

In its home market, it aims to drive sales in sectors such as tourism and business process outsourcing or BPO.

"There are some commercial buildings going up too. That's primarily where I'm looking," Marston said.

For right now, the company is "working assiduously on executing our next large hotel" contract, and while he said CAC would be also be focusing on "more than the traditional air conditioning", but would not say precisely what that meant.

Still, he noted that the roll out of new commercial energy projects and products were part of the plan.

"We have some things coming out that you will see at the next AGM," Marston told shareholders at the meeting held Thursday evening.

Meantime, having recently come out on the losing end of a lawsuit by client X-Ray & Diagnostic Ultrasound Consultants, Marston said CAC will also be beefing up its risk assessment.

"Based on the experience from what happened with the lawsuit, we took some advice from the board member s and we have PricewaterhouseCoopers right now doing a risk assessment exercise to determine where our critical areas of risk are that need to be addressed," he told the meeting

After 13 years of battling the lawsuit, last October CAC was ordered to pay US$372,100 and $568,186.64 - equating to around $56 million - plus interest to the medical services company, as well as loss of profit amounting to more than $7 million.

Interest was computed at commercial rates of 9.25 per cent on the US dollar portion of the award and 14.13 per cent on the JMD portion, CAC previously disclosed when it released its results for year ending October 2016.

CAC is now challenging the formula used by the Supreme Court to compute the interest payments.

Succession planning for the post of CEO and key managers will also be a major focus, with Marston saying he wants "nurture young talent to take over the helm of the company."

In February, CAC copped two gold medals at the Stevie Awards for Sales and Customer Service following its nomination in four categories.

Last year, CAC sales topped $1 billion, but was off by around $60 million relative to 2015. Net profit fell from $64 million to $10 million. Without the court award, profit would have doubled.

tameka.gordon@gleanerjm.com