Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 22nd 2014 Contents A17
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Berger Paints Trinidad Ltd turned its first
quarter (Q1) loss last year into a profit this
year, according to the company's unaudited
financial statements released yesterday.
Berger turned a profit of $715,000 for the
three months ended June 30, up from a loss
of $179,000 for the same period in 2013. The
company's financial year ends March 31.
In its audited results for the 12 months
ended March 31, 2014, the company posted a
$2.9 million profit.
Its Q1 revenue was $14.6 million this year,
up from $13.4 million last year. Expenses fell,
but only slightly from $13.52 million in Q1
2013 to $13.47 million in Q1 2014.
Profit before tax was $973,000 in Q1
2014, which is an about turn from the
$179,000 loss before tax in Q1 2013.
"Berger Paints' goals for this year include
continuing focus on customer centricity,
protecting the environment and being
innovative on the market. As our financial
results show these initiatives have enabled
our company to improve year on year. We
are committed to providing our customers
with quality products and servicing," said
Berger chairman John Andrews in his
Berger Paints turns Q1 loss into profit
GraceKennedy, through its whol-
GraceKennedy Foods (USA) LLC,
has entered into an agreement to
purchase the operating assets and
business of La Fe Foods Inc,
including its brand.
"La Fe is the top Hispanic
brand in the frozen food category
in Northeast United States. La Fe
Foods Inc, which was established
in 1968, currently has revenues
of approximately US$80 million
and the business being acquired
will be the platform for the
growth of GraceKennedy s North
American business going for-
ward," GraceKennedy said in a
The acquisition comes at a pur-
chase price of US$26 million.
"This acquisition is a major step
in achieving our vision of being a
Global Consumer Group," said
GraceKennedy Group chief exec-
utive officer Don Wehby in the
statement. "La Fe was attractive
to us for several reasons, including
its distribution channels across the
East Coast USA and its strong rela-
tionships with blue-chip retailers
across the US. The company has
operations in Moonachie, New Jer-
sey; Miami, Florida and Raleigh,
North Carolina, with brand and
distribution presence in the New
York/Tri-state area, Florida, Geor-
gia and the East Coast.
"Our international business
started with the Jamaican diaspora.
We have served them proudly for
a very long time, and we will now
be able to serve them even better,
while catering to a new market for
GraceKennedy as well. We are very
excited about this acquisition,
which we anticipate will be a seri-
ous game changer for our food
distribution network," he said.
The company said this strategic
acquisition gives it the ability to
own its route to market in the US,
and presents an opportunity to
reach out to consumers in the His-
GK Foods chief executive officer
Michael Ranglin said about the
acquisition: "Among the advan-
tages are La Fe s manufacturing
and distribution capability, which
can immediately be leveraged. We
have also long recognised that the
Hispanic food and beverage market
is one of the largest growing seg-
ments in the food market in the
United States. We see this as pro-
viding a significant opportunity
Ranglin will be president and
chief executive officer of the
newly-formed subsidiary, while
Wehby will be chairman of its
The La Fe transaction is the sec-
ond major acquisition for
GraceKennedy outside of Jamaica
for the Foods Division. The first
was the acquisition of WT Foods
(now Grace Foods UK) in the UK
in 2007. Grace Foods UK has
shown improved profits and rev-
enue since the 2007 acquisition,
the statement said.
buys American food
business for US$26m The Tobago House of Assembly
(THA) wants a separate airline to
service the T&T airbridge.
THA Chief Secretary Orville Lon-
don proposed this to Finance Minister
Larry Howai when the two met during
a 2015 budget consultation on July 17.
"I think that one of the issues we
did get traction from the Minister of
Finance was the delinking of the T&T
airbridge from Caribbean Airlines
(CAL). Our position is that we are in
fact in the present system mixing two
types of operations which are incom-
patible," said London in a statement
on the meeting at last Wednesday s
post-Executive Council media brief-
"We are asking Caribbean Airlines
to make a profit but, on the other
hand, we are accepting the fact that
the T&T airbridge has to be sub-
sidised. We are saying that this sit-
uation is untenable, it is unworkable
and it will create problems for the
central government and, of course,
the people of T&T."
"Our strong recommendation is
that we return to a more efficient
arrangement which would entail that
we have a separate airline running the
bridge between T&T where we could
deal with all the nuances, we could
determine what level of subsidy, we
could determine what is the best type
of airplane and we can ensure that it
achieve the objective with respect to
bringing people between the two
islands," he said.
"We are convinced that if we have
an efficient airbridge there will be
tens of millions worth in benefit to
the tourism sector," London said in
London said he was heartened by
the response of the Minister of
Finance as well as by the response
of Transport Minister Stephen Cadiz,
whom he met earlier this month
and was looking forward to a state-
ment on the matter in this year s
THA Chief Secretary
to Finance Minister:
its own airline
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