Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 14th 2014 Contents A23
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BOSTON---A former Massachusetts
Institute of Technology professor and
his son who ran hedge funds have
agreed to plead guilty to securities
fraud charges that federal prosecutors
say cost their investors US$140 million.
Federal prosecutors said 69-year-old
Gabriel Bitran and 36-year-old Marco
Bitran misled their investors, telling
them they had a history of successfully
earning money based on the elder
Authorities say some money was put
into funds connected to Bernard
Madoff. The duo ultimately lost US$140
million of their investors' principal.
Some investors lost as much as 75 per
cent of their principal.
Both agreed to plead guilty to
conspiracy to commit securities fraud,
wire fraud and obstruction of justice.
Gabriel Bitran is a former professor
and associate dean of MIT's Sloan
Ex-MIT professor to plead guilty to securities fraud
ANSA McAL profits grew 25 per cent in
the second quarter (Q2) of 2014 compared
to the same period last year, according to
unaudited results released by the group s
board of directors yesterday at the Tatil
building in Port-of-Spain.
"I am pleased to report Q2 results are sig-
nificantly improved over Q1 2014," group
chairman and CEO A Norman Sabga said in
his statement introducing the results.
The group s Q2 2014 profit before taxation
was $240 million versus Q2 2013 s $191 mil-
"Our half year results showed profit before
taxation of $414M ($405M--2013) up two
per cent over the prior period and earnings
per share (EPS) at $1.59 rose 3 per cent,"
Sabga said. EPS in for the same period in
2013 was $1.55.
"Your group is now ahead of last year and
we are confident of achieving our full year
target. Your directors have approved an inter-
im dividend of $0.30 per share (same as
2013) which will be paid on November 7,
2014," he said. In accordance with section
110 (1) (a) (i) of the Companies Act 1995, the
directors have fixed October 24 as the record
date for payment of this interim dividend.
The register of members will be closed on
October 27 to October 28, 2014, both days
inclusive. The group s total assets also grew
year-on-year (y-o-y), from $11.61 billion as
at June 30, 2013, to $12.24 billion as at June
30, 2014. Revenue grew also but only mar-
ginally from $2.893 billion in for the first
six months of 2013 to $2.898 billion in the
same period this year. Revenue in Q2 2014
inched up from $1.45 billion in Q2 2013 to
The group s operating profit looked better
in a Q2 2014 versus Q2 2013 comparison
than in the half year comparisons for the
period. In Q2 2014, operating profit was
$246 million while Q2 2013 was $199 million.
For the first half of 2014 operating profit
had a $6 million uptick from $418.8 million
from the first half of 2013 to $424.8 million.
Total gross revenue looked better by segment
with all segments growing except "automo-
tive, trading and distribution." Total gross
revenue for manufacturing, packaging and
brewing climbed from $1.08 billion as at
June 30, 2013 to $1.16 billion as at June 30
this year. Automotive, trading and distribu-
tion total gross revenue fell from $1.31 billion
in 2013 to $1.28 billion this year. Total gross
revenue for insurance and financial services
grew from $370 million to $396 million. Total
gross revenue for "media, services and parent
company" grew from $554 million to $597
In his wrap up, Sabga noted that the group
has "strong Q2 profit before taxation (PBT)
performance," and that the T&T economy
is expected to continue to grow. He said
"regional economies (are) still underper-
forming" and mentioned that "financial
services investment portfolios (remain)
volatile." However, he said he was "confident
of delivering our full year targets."
Responding to a question from the floor
about the possibility of ANSA McAL
"rebranding" and placing the name ANSA
before all its companies as Massy has done,
Sabga said: "We ve done what they have
done, so they ve done the right thing. I can
only compliment them."
He said rebranding was done about ten
years ago, adding that "they ve done a good
job at execution" of their re-branding. He
said, however, some companies within the
ANSA McAL Group have names that date
more than 100 years, so there will be no
change to the Guardian, Carib and other
"iconic brands" throughout the Caribbean.
He quoted fellow director Andrew Sabga
who said that in the case of Carib, the brand
value may well exceed the asset value.
ANSA profits grow 25 per cent
ANSA McAL Group chairman and CEO A Norman Sabga, left, compares notes with chief
operating officer Gerry Brooks at yesterday's shareholders meeting at Tatil Building, Port-of-
Spain. PHOTO: SHIRLEY BAHADUR
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