Hardware & Lumber back in the black

Published: Wednesday | August 8, 2012 Comments 0
Hardware & Lumber's flagship store on Spanish Town Road, Kingston. -  File
Hardware & Lumber's flagship store on Spanish Town Road, Kingston. - File

The GraceKennedy Group subsidiary Hardware and Lumber (H&L) has continued its turnaround from recent losses, recording net profit of $2.3 million for the six months to the end of June, reflecting a marginal improvement in revenue.

For the same period last year, the company, which trades in hardware, lumber, household items and agricultural products, was showing losses amounting to some $1.4 million.

"Several initiatives have been introduced to improve operational efficiencies and profitability, and these will continue for the rest of the year," said the company's report to shareholders.

According to H&L, continuous efforts have been placed on providing the right products and services to meet sales demand, a strategy it expects to sustain going forward.

In addition, measures to enhance customer experience will continue with the upgrading of its Rapid True Value stores in Mandeville and Portmore, the company said.

GCT impact

H&L said its agricultural division recorded the highest percentage growth in revenue, increasing by 13.3 per cent for the review period but reflecting some slow-down as customers reacted negatively to the new tax measures that resulted in the introduction of general consumption tax (GCT) on previously exempt agricultural products.

Increased revenue was also recorded in the company's retail segment, moving up by 2.9 per cent, while the wholesale segment declined by 10 per cent because of increased market competition and reduced customer demand, said the financial report.

For the reporting period, operating expenses were also up 0.7 per cent to $767 millions compared to the same period last year.

Nonetheless, H&L managed to increase its overall revenue by 3 per cent to $3.1 billion from $3 billion for the corresponding period last year.

For the period under review, H&L said significant effort was invested in collecting trade and other receivables to reduce the outstanding balance to $459 million, representing a 15.7 per cent decrease when compared to last year.

On balance sheet, H&L has assets of $1.68 billion and last traded at $52 on the Jamaica Stock Exchange.

sabrina.gordon@gleanerjm.com

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