Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 12th 2013 Contents SEPTEMBER 2013 • WEEK TWO www.guardian.co.tt BUSINESS GUARDIAN
STOCKS | BG19
Agostini's Ltd (AGL)
OverviewAgostini s Ltd reported
revenue of $1.015 bil-
lion for the first nine
months of its fiscal
year, which ended in
June 2013. This result
was 2.4 per cent greater than the $991.3
million sold for the same period in 2012.
Meanwhile, operating profit advanced
at a slightly slower rate of 2.3 per cent,
moving to $81.5 million in the current
period from $79.6 million in the prior
Finance costs declined from $8.8 mil-
lion to $7.6 million. This helped improve
the pre-tax profit figure, which
advanced to $73.8 million from last
period s $70.8 million. However, the
tax take was slightly higher at $20.16
million (2012:$19.8 million); this
restrained after-tax profit to $53.66
million from the $50.9 million recorded
for the 2012 period.
After allowing for minority interest,
the profit attributable to shareholders
improved from the 2012 figure of $50.7
million to $53.17 million in the 2013
period. These results translate into an
EPS figure of $0.91 (2012:$0.86).
Changes in financial position
Total assets declined from the Sep-
tember 2012 balance of $839.5 million
to $825.2 million. Increases were noted
in non-current assets, which moved
from $297 million to $305.4 million.
Also, capital and reserves advanced to
$473.5 million from $447 million last
Notably, both current assets and cur-
rent liabilities trended downward. In
the case of the former this figure moved
from $542.5 million to $519.7 million.
In the latter s case, the balances moved
from $278 million to $244.3 million.
Cash and equivalents, which is part
of current assets, declined from last
September s figure of $68.6 million to
$17.2 million as at June 2013. Dividends
to shareholders, amounting to $0.46
per share, and new capital investment
would have accounted for a large part
of this reduction.
This decline in profitability could be
attributed to the lower revenue and
reduced profit recorded for the food,
construction-related and other trading
This division experienced revenue
contraction of $10.7 million, moving
from $390.4 million in the 2012 period
to $379.7 million in the current period.
In addition, operating profit fell to $21.9
million from $24.5 million in the prior
While Rosco Petroavance, which is
part of this grouping, continues to deliv-
er good results, other areas pose con-
tinuing challenges. One example is the
company s focus on building brand
awareness for its house brands, "Moo!"
milk and "Zapp" aerosol insecticide.
Under the pharmaceutical and per-
sonal care distribution segment, Super-
pharm continues to do particularly well.
Increased efficiencies at this subsidiary
were supported by new software, which
was introduced in October 2012. A new
branch was opened in the early part of
This division reported a 5.7 per cent
increase in revenue for the nine-month
period, moving from the 2012 base of
$600.9 million to $635.2 million in the
current period. No doubt, and despite
a challenging economy, some of this
increase would have been attributed to
the opening of the new branch.
Unfortunately, the company does not
disclose same-store sales comparative
figures. If done, this measure would
give readers a better guide as to the
extent of its market penetration and
In an effort to reduce its space rental
cost, Smith Robertson & Company
bought Storageplex Ltd, which was the
owner of the building it previously rent-
ed. Storageplex Ltd was owned by the
parent company, Victor E Mouttet Ltd.
This purchase was executed on August
7, 2013, and cost $34.5 million.
AGL expects that it would begin
to reap the benefits of its huge
investment in new brands in the
2014 fiscal period. In addition,
branch expansion of the Super-
pharm network should also con-
tribute to better results during the
next fiscal cycle.
LJ Williams Ltd
For the fiscal period ended
March 31, 2013, LJ Williams report-
ed sales of $93 million; this figure
was marginally below the $93.24
million reported for the 2012 fiscal
period. Gross profit came in at
$25.35 million, representing a
reduction of $1.65 million from
last year s $27 million.
Resulting from the company s
focus on cost containment, both
administrative expenses and dis-
tribution costs came in at lower
levels. In the case of the former,
the figure of $25 million was $1.1
million lower than the previous
year s $26.2 million. In the latter s
case, the reduction was less dra-
matic, moving from $1.32 million
last year to $1.28 million in the
Other income fell from $6.11
million in 2012 to $1.54 million in
the current period. In the 2012
period there was a one-off item
of $4.9 million that helped boost
this result. Aside from this, most
other line items showed increases
over the 2012 result.
As a consequence, operating
profit for 2013 came in at $562k
compared with the $5.6 million
reported for 2012.
Following the successful debt
re-negotiation exercise, finance
costs contracted from $5 million
last year to $4.1 million in 2013.
Taxation expenses also fell; in this
case, the current year s figure was
only $290k, less than half of the
$700k incurred for 2012.
The loss for the current year
came in at $3.82 million, which
was much higher than the $57k
incurred for 2012. On a per share
basis, the 2013 result represented
a negative EPS of $0.16.
The main contributor to this
adverse result was Movalite Ltd,
which accounted for a $4.1 million
loss. The parent company remains
profitable, while its main retail
outlet, The Home Store Ltd also
turned in a profit. These profits
were lower than the previous year.
Of some note is the fair value
gain of $771k, which forms part of
comprehensive income. This gain
was largely the result of the
increase in the value of the com-
pany s holdings in Pan American
Life Insurance Company (T&T)
Ltd, which was formerly Algico.
The trading division, which
includes The Home Store, regis-
tered higher revenues, which
improved from $72 million in 2012
to $75 million in the 2013 period.
Gross profit also advanced from
$18.8 million in the previous year
to $19.7 million in 2013, or by 4.4
Services, which mostly comprise
shipping services, saw revenues
increase from $3.9 million in 2012
to $4.9 million in 2013. Gross profit
rose less robustly, moving from
$3.11 million in the earlier period
to $3.24 million in the current peri-
od.Manufacturing experienced a
sharp contraction in revenue down
to $13 million from $17.5 million
in the 2012 period. Gross profit
also moved in an adverse direction;
in this case, the current year s gross
profit of $2.4 million was less than
half of the $5 million earned for
First quarter results to
Sales for the first quarter at $22.1
million were almost identical when
compared to the same period in
2012. However, operating profit
improved by a robust 79 per cent
to reach $734k from $410k record-
ed for the earlier period.
Increased traffic, helped to some
extent by the convenient location
of a branch of El Pecos Restaurants,
saw sales at The Home Store
increase by 14 per cent.
In addition, the parent company
improved its profit margins and
reduced its expenses for the quar-
ter. Movalite Ltd continued to pro-
vide challenges to the group.
On a brighter note, Movalite
recently received an order for sub-
stantial work, which is expected
to result in that company making
a positive contribution to the
group s earnings for the current
Both finance costs and taxes
exhibited downward trends. Con-
sequently, the loss for the period
came in at $272k; this was a huge
improvement over the $707k
recorded for the first quarter of
Changes in financial
Though significantly reduced by
current and previous losses, the
company still has $8.8 million in
retained earnings and total equity
of $61.3 million. In addition, its
current assets of $53 million are
more than 20 per cent greater than
its current liabilities of $44 million.
Its debt to equity ratio remains at
a comfortable 43:57.
Both the parent company and
The Home Store are expected to
maintain and improve their prof-
itability. Meanwhile, based on a
recently awarded contract, Movalite
is expected to return to profit.
Though somewhat of a long-
term nature, the company is
expected to receive settlements
arising from its exit from the
Jamaican market in 2008. In addi-
tion, and more recently, it has filed
a claim against N.H. International
(Caribbean) Limited for a total of
$10.4 million. Settlement of these
matters would greatly improve
LJW s cash flow.
With less than 1,000 sharehold-
ers and dominant shareholdings
by Williams Holdings Ltd and
Colonial Life Insurance Company
Ltd, the shares of this company
are not regularly traded.
The voting rights of both the
"A" shares and "B" shares are iden-
tical. Williams Holdings Ltd owns
75.7 per cent (34,932,043 shares)
of the issued "A" shares, which
WHL also owns 888,716 "B"
shares or 4.5 per cent of the total
of 19,742,074. On the other hand,
Clico owns 3,498,956 shares (7.6
per cent) of the "A" shares and
10,190,584 "B" shares, which cor-
responds to 51.6 per cent of the
Because of this latter sharehold-
ing, it is often incorrectly reported
that LJW is a subsidiary of Clico.
This is far from the truth since
both classes of shares have equal
Effective control of the company
continues to reside with the share-
holders of WHL.
Apparently, Clico did not fully
understand the difference between
the two classes of shares and
expended considerable effort and
policyholders money to buy the
wrong class. So much for its finan-
cial and business acumen.
Looking at results for
the trading companies
Links Archive September 11th 2013 September 13th 2013 Navigation Previous Page Next Page