Fri | Nov 24, 2017

Kingston Wharves to open two logistics centres

Published:Wednesday | November 15, 2017 | 12:00 AMSteven Jackson
Kingston Wharves chairman, Jeffrey Hall

Kingston Wharves Limited (KWL) will open two logistics centres by December this year as part of its multibillion-dollar transformation.

The company made $443.1 million net profit on revenues of $1.58 billion for the September third-quarter 2017 or a 40 per cent rise in profit year on year. That equated to earning per share of 30.6 cents compared to 21.6 cents a year ago.

"A number of specific initiatives will be launched in the upcoming quarter of 2017, chief of which are the operationalisation of our total logistics facility and the opening of KWL's global automotive logistics centre," stated the financials signed by chairman Jeffrey Hall.

The total logistics facility is a purpose built warehousing centre for handling palletised cargo, while the global automotive logistics centre will handle the warehousing of cars for regional markets, the company explained.

KWL has spent billions of dollars to prepare for increased shipping activity arising from expansion of the Panama Canal. Specifically, KWL spent $1.4 billion over nine-months this year on capital expenditure to build out of the total logistics facility. That expenditure essentially matched investments in the project last year at $1.57 billion.

The ongoing work at the facility bolstered KWL's asset base to $25 billion from $23.5 billion a year ago. Due to increased clients arising in part from the investment the company's outlook remains positive for both its terminal operations division and its logistics and ancillary services division.

"Our investment programme on the terminal and within our specialised logistics centres is designed to directly facilitate users and cuts across cargo types from containerised cargo, automotive cargo, industrial and project cargo, bulk and break bulk cargo," stated Hall, explaining that now KWL has an established track record for working closely with carriers as well as users of the cargo to tailor services to their needs. "This flexible approach and heightened attention to service levels will continue."

Over nine months, net profit attributable to shareholders of $1.18 billion was up 36 per cent year on year, with earnings per stock unit at 82.49 cents compared to 60.51 cents a year ago. KWL indicated that over the nine-month period, its terminal operations division achieved revenues of $3.5 billion, an increase of 18 per cent year on year. Additionally it said that the operating profits for that division increased by 48 per cent from $766 million to $1.1 billion. The growth was due to increased domestic containerised cargo, as well as transshipment moves of other cargo types, including automotive, bulk and break bulk cargo.

Its logistics and ancillary services division revenues amounted to $997 million over the period, with operating profits totalling $310 million over year earlier levels. During the quarter, the division expanded its client base which aided its revenue growth by 13 per cent year on year.

steven.jackson@gleanerjm.com