Steven Jackson, Business Reporter
Monopoly light distributor Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) has corrected a foreign exchange error in its financials after two attempts.
The error listed a US$14.8 million (J$1.4 b) foreign exchange loss as a gain. It was one of the largest forex losses by the oil-dependent power utility in a decade.
"It was an error in a note and that alone was changed. Yes, it related to FX losses," said Dan Theoc, chief financial officer at JPS.
Wednesday Business reported the error on February 27.
In an effort to fix it, however, JPS made another error. The "updated" financials reposted on the Jamaica Stock Exchange website indicated that they were unaudited yearend results for 2012, but actually repeated the unaudited results for the nine-month period ending September - which Wednesday Business brought to the attention of the company last week.
The first update reflected foreign exchange losses of US$8 million. The correct version now reflects the US$14.8 million forex loss.
Theoc confirmed in a phone conversation on Tuesday that the second update incorrectly switched fourth-quarter results with third-quarter results. It resulted in all of the figures incorrectly reflecting smaller annual results.
Theoc said that no other part of the financials was adjusted in the final update. As such, JPS net profit remains at US$12.7 million (J$1.18b) at yearend December 2012 on sales of US$1.14 billion (J$106b). The power utility is capitalised at US$378.77 million (J$35b) while its net assets amount to US$838.46 million (J$78b).
The JSE appears not to have detected the mix-up, having posted the duplicated results as the yearend version. General Manager Marlene Street Forrest promised a response, which was unavailable up to press time.
JPS forex losses resulted from a 7.3 per cent depreciation of the Jamaica dollar against the USD. The dollar closed the JPS financial year ending December at J$92.98. The forex losses in the calendar year reflect mainly the increase in cost to service JPS's borrowing.
Previous audited financials explained that the power utility incurs foreign currency risk primarily on "purchases and borrowings" that are denominated in a currency other than the United States dollar.
JPS is owned by Japan's Marubeni Corporation, 40 per cent; South-Korea-based Korea East-West Power (EWP), 40 per cent; Government of Jamaica, 19.9 per cent; while 3,000 shareholders hold the remaining 0.1 per cent of the shares.