Sat | Aug 19, 2017

Kremi invests as sales grow

Published:Friday | May 5, 2017 | 5:00 AM

Cream Limited, which trades as Caribbean Kremi, made $173 million in annual profit, reflecting a five per cent improvement over the previous year as ice cream sales grew.

Kremi's earnings of 46 cents per share, up from 43 cents a year, resulted from $1.2 billion of ice cream sales. The company's turnover rose by seven per cent.

"The company's overall performance continues to maintain growth in spite of unexpected setbacks experienced within the financial year," stated the directors in the preface to the audited financials for year ending February 2017.

The setbacks were not disclosed and Kremi's management was not reached for comment.

However, the company's double-digit revenue growth of previous years has attenuated to single-digit growth, but it managed to keep core expenses largely flat. That resulted in gross profit at $458 million or eight per cent higher year-on-year.

Kremi invested $112 million in work in progress additions during its financial year, more than double its capex of $47 million in the previous year.

In recent quarters, the company announced two projects costing $200 million, which would improve operations and dress up expanded space in its Kingston plant. That investment would include a $170 million upgrade to factory flooring, sanitary wall covering and insulation, while also installing a $30-million wastewater plant. The plant improvement will allow Kremi to lay the groundwork for possible HACCP certification.

Kremi wrapped up its last financial year with assets of $812 million and a capital base, which grew 35 per cent in the year, of $591 million. Additionally, more than $445 million of the total equity comes from accumulated profits.

steven.jackson@gleanerjm.com