Tue | Sep 28, 2021

GK grows quarterly earnings by a third

Published:Sunday | August 1, 2021 | 1:31 AM

Food and financial service conglomerate GraceKennedy Limited increased earnings by a third in the April-June quarter, further demonstrating its capacity to withstand the pandemic.

All its operating segments reported improved results, leading to 33 per cent growth in quarterly profit to $2.1 billion. Revenue rose 15 per cent to $31 billion.

GraceKennedy has remained focussed on growing the business internationally, through acquisitions and product innovations throughout the pandemic, underpinned by a ramped-up digitalisation programme.

“GK’s digital-transformation strategy is now fully operational with the support of our in-house Digital Factory team,” said GK Group CEO Don Wehby in a statement appended to the second-quarter results.

GraceKennedy will be launching two financial-service digital products and Hi-Lo’s e-commerce website, by the end of September. On top of that, Wehby reported that the company recently received regulatory approval for its acquisition of Scotia Insurance Eastern Caribbean Limited.

The launch of the grocery e-commerce platform, which has been in the works since 2017, features a virtual shopping basket to which customers can add or subtract items, and is necessitated by the ongoing social-distancing requirement associated with the coronavirus.

Wehby did not disclose any of the details regarding the two digital financial products, only that they would fall under the operations of GK Money Services.

Like other businesses, GraceKennedy’s outlook on the rest of the year is somewhat uncertain, given the signs that virus infections could surge. Wehby said, however, that the vaccination programmes in the markets where the conglomerate operates are encouraging and are “supported wholeheartedly”.