Sun | Sep 24, 2017

Blue 'Power-ing' up with junior market

Published:Monday | April 25, 2016 | 4:00 AMDaviot Kelly
Jeffrey Hall
Dr Dhiru Tanna
Catherine Goodall
Kenneth Benjamin
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We continue our series which takes a look at the success stories of small companies listed on the Junior Stock Exchange with Blue Power's story.

Who are the other companies and is this a viable option for the small enterprise sector in Jamaica? Read on and send your feedback to: barbara.ellington@gleanerjm.com.

No self-respecting householder tries to get pearly white clothes without using the popular blue soap.

That is by far the most popular product of the Blue Power Group Limited, manufacturers and sellers of laundry and beauty soaps. But the company also sells lumber, hardware supplies, and related products, including steel and electrical supplies. Blue Power operates through two segments, Blue Power Soap, on Victoria Avenue in downtown Kingston, and Lumber Depot in Gordon Town, Papine.

 

Name change

 

The company was formerly known as Lumber Depot Limited and changed its name to Blue Power Group Limited in April 2010. Blue Power was listed on the junior market in April 2010. Chairman Dr Dhiru Tanna and managing director Major (retired) Noel Dawes spoke with The Gleaner via an email interview.

"The decision was taken to raise capital and allow some of the original partners to exit if they wished to do so," the email said. Listing on the junior market has definitely impacted the books of Blue Power, and in a very good way.

"The company is now debt free," the email added. "It has expanded its soap production with the purchase of new equipment. Some of the original partners have exited and realised decent profits from their investment." The performance on the market has also been very encouraging in the six years since going public.

"The original listing price was $3.79. Its maximum price was $14, although the most recent price per stock unit is $13." In 2015, Blue Power made moves to expand to the United States market through new distributors Iberia Foods. That company's core focus is on Hispanic and Caribbean markets.

In response to queries as to te company's projections with the junior market, Dr Tanna and Major Dawes said, "We are required to continue being listed. We keep looking for opportunities to expand in our particular areas of expertise."

Along with Dr Tanna and Major Dawes, the other directors of the Blue Power board are Lisa Kong, company secretary; Kenneth Benjamin; Peter Millingen; Jeffrey Hall; Felice Campbell; Dr Laura Tanna and Catherine Goodall.