Jamaican Teas Limited was the small group of one per cent of creditors which did not participate in the National Debt Exchange (NDX).
The one per cent holdouts have held on to — given the J$860b value of the NDX — approximately J$8.6 billion of old Government of Jamaica bonds
At the end of last year, the tea company held J$58.5 million of Government of Jamaica bonds. That's down from J$60 million at the end of September 2012 — the close of the company's financial year — and from J$77 million at September 2011.
"We did not accept the offer to turn in our bonds and so we will not have to do any write-offs," said chief executive officer John Mahfood, responding to query from analyst Sushil Jain at Jamaican Teas' annual general meeting on Thursday.
Jamaica Teas, operating since 1967, is the largest producer of teas in the Caribbean with almost one-half of its products exported to other Caribbean markets and North America.
Teas are also produced on a contract basis for a number of other Caribbean companies. But the company has since diversified into the retail supermarket business as well as real estate development, and is now looking to enter the money-services business.
"For the supermarket in Savanna-la-Mar that we have recently acquired, we have applied for a Western Union licence and the application is now with the Bank of Jamaica. I hope that sometime in the next few months we will get the approval and, if so, it will improve the results of that supermarket," Mahfood said.
The tea company also plans to focus on new product development this year, and will be expanding into the flavoured-water segment.
"Water is something we started a year ago, and we will be adding flavoured water shortly along with a number of other products that we have on the drawing board for next year," Mahfood said.
"We are at an early stage in those products and don't want to reveal them right now," he added.
Jamaica Teas produces a range of Tetley brand teas, as well as its own Caribbean Dreams brand. It also has rights to distribute coffee for a company in the United States to the Caribbean markets which it serves.