PanJam Investment Limited boasts a long track record of consistent and growing profits based on a diversified portfolio of investments.
Q1 2019 Financial Highlights
Net profit attributable to stockholders of $892 million (2018: $827 million) for the quarter
Return (annualised) on opening equity of 11% (2018: 11%)
Earnings per stock unit of $0.85 (2018: $0.79) for the quarter
Ordinary dividends per stock unit of $0.265 declared (2018: $0.25)
Book value per stock unit of $33.26 at March 31, 2019 (December 31, 2018: $31.94)
Our net profit for the quarter was up 8% compared to last year, with improved investment and property income as well as a stronger share of results of associated companies.
Net profit attributable to owners for the quarter ended March 31, 2019 amounted to $892 million (2018: $827 million). Earnings per stock unit were $0.85 (2018: $0.79).
Performance for the quarter was influenced positively by increases of $51 million and $9 million in investment and property income respectively, and $33 million in our share of results of associated companies, offsetting increases of $29 million and $10 million respectively in operating expenses and finance costs.
Group operating profit for the first quarter increased by $38 million compared to 2018, as the increase in investment and property income more than offset increased operating and finance expenses. Investment income was positively impacted by higher unrealised gains, which outweighed a foreign exchange loss and lower dividends and realised gains. Property income increased due to improved rentals, though net lease income and revaluation gains declined.
Operating expenses increased principally as a result of higher costs for building out rental space, insurance and staff-related items. Finance costs increased 6% to $171 million (2018: $161 million) on higher debt balances.
Pre-tax profit of the property segment improved to $136 million (2018: $122 million) while that of the investment segment improved to $731 million (2018: $675 million).
The results of associated companies consisted principally of our 31.6% investment in Sagicor. We also hold minority positions in New Castle Company Limited (owners of the Walkerswood and Busha Browne 2 lines of sauces and seasonings), Caribe Hospitality of Jamaica Limited (owners of the New Kingston Courtyard Marriott Hotel) and Chukka Caribbean Adventures (“Chukka”).
Our share of results of associated companies for the quarter increased by $33 million to $889 million (2018: $856 million). Our share of earnings from Sagicor increased by $19 million (2%) to $843 million. Sagicor’s first quarter results reflect good new business and portfolio growth, offsetting high death and health claims. Newcastle, Chukka and Caribe performed satisfactorily during the period.
Total assets at March 31, 2019 amounted to $47.2 billion, compared to $45.9 billion at December 31, 2018. Stockholders’ equity of $35.2 billion was up 4% relative to the December 31, 2018 balance of $33.7 billion. This equates to a book value per stock unit of $33.26 (December 31, 2018: $31.94).
We have entered 2019 with a business environment that continues to be facilitative of investment. The benchmark six-month Treasury Bill rate fell from 4.63% to 2.07% during 2018, and was 2.18% in the April 2019 auction. Unemployment fell to 8.0%, an all-time low, as at January 2019, and GDP growth for the October to December 2018 quarter achieved the long-predicted 2% level.
In this context, PanJam has increased its investment in Jamaica and continues to seek additional opportunities. We also maintain our encouragement of additional measures by the government to improve efficiency of the regulatory and approval processes necessary to facilitate growth, as well as actions to reduce the high crime levels which remain a drag on the economy. The recent reductions to transfer tax and stamp duty, will stimulate development and contribute to maintaining or improving economic growth.