Sun | Jan 17, 2021

Honey Bun seek new hires to boost sales

Published:Friday | August 30, 2019 | 12:00 AMKarena Bennett - Staff Reporter
Sliced bun made by Honey Bun.

In its push for a larger share of the pastry market, baking company Honey Bun is seeking to hire at least 10 staff across its administrative, distribution and sales divisions, by end-September.

The new posts include route leaders, drivers and merchandisers for the corporate and rural areas; in addition to a receivables clerk, accounts and inventory clerk, maintenance technician, finance supervisor, sales manager and a production supervisor.

“We are looking to improve our performance through an expansion. Some of the posts are replacements because a few staff members were on contracts,” Honey Bun CEO Michelle Chong told the Financial Gleaner.

Honey Bun appointed a new financial controller, Alex Balogun, less than a month ago.

The new hirings come roughly a year after the baking company opened its new factory on Retirement Crescent in Kingston. The building, valued at $130 million, covers 11,500 square feet of space and is being used as a bread plant and distribution facility. As part of the expansion, Honey Bun added a fourth production line and has since brought to market the Buccaneer Jamaica pocket-size rum cakes and the Shorty burger bun, packaged for the retail market. The company also repackaged some of its primary products to make them more appealing to local and international customers.

This year, Honey Bun is focused on developing products with reduced sugar content and fewer calories per serving, as it moves to double its capacity.

“We are focused on market growth. We have increased our sales and so we need to be able to meet the demands,” Chong said. “We are very optimistic about the future and continue to build on our capacity and business intelligence to meet the opportunities ahead.”

Honey Bun produces cakes, buns, bread, among other pastries, under brand names Goldie, Buccaneer, Island Bites, Honey Bun, Goodie and Shorty.

For the third quarter ending June 2019, Honey Bun reported a stronger performance relative to the same period last year. Revenues of $394.4 million were up 19 per cent over the June quarter of 2018, due to increased capacity from plant and machinery upgrades. The increases in revenue positively impacted the company’s bottom line, which jumped to $16.7 million as against $9.7 million for the comparative quarter of 2018.

Operating expenses were $153.7 million, a 12 per cent increase over the prior year, due mainly to increased sales and marketing spend, as well as staff training and development costs.

Honey Bun also closed the quarter with cash of $147.5 million, up $63.4 million over the prior period, while the company’s book value increased by 22 per cent to $729.7 million.

karena.bennett@gleanerjm.com