Douglas Orane, CEO of GraceKennedy Limited. The conglomerate paid out $375 million in dividends last year. - File
Conglomerate GraceKennedy Limited has ended the financial year with strong results, with net profit of $3.4 billion, or $10.55 per share, an increase of 86 per cent at December 31, 2007.
"Overall, the year was a good one with both revenues and profits far exceeding the prior year," reported Douglas Orane, company chairman and chief executive officer.
Group revenue climbed to a new record of $48.75 billion - more than $13 billion of which was made in the fourth quarter - with the food-trading division accounting for more than 50 per cent of operations to contribute $28.17 billion in earnings.
Total revenues, which were 35 per cent better than the previous year, cemented GraceKennedy as one of the richest stock market companies when measured by revenues.
The conglomerate's retail/trading and investment segments also remained on a growth track coming out of the third quarter, contributing $7.7 billion and $5.5 billion respectively to the company's overall revenue for the year.
During the fourth quarter, which returned earnings per share of $5.41, GraceKennedy also completed the sale of 25 per cent ownership in GK Money Services Caribbean to MT Caribbean Holdings, an affiliate of Western Union - a US$29 million deal.
"This investment solidifies the relationship between Western Union and GraceKennedy and provides the platform for further long-term growth in the money services." said Orane.
The group, whose stock traded up more than five dollars Friday at $90.50, said it paid dividend in December of $228 million to its shareholders.
For the year, the company paid total dividend of $375 million, a 10 per cent increase compared to 2006.