Fontana breaks $5-b revenue mark in pandemicWednesday, September 15, 2021
BY DAVID ROSE
Even with the pandemic limiting retail sales and commercial activity in the country, Fontana Limited was able to grow its sales by 14 per cent to $5.15 billion for its 2021 financial year ending June 30, 2021.
The company, which has six locations islandwide, provides a combination of pharmaceuticals and regular retail items at its sizeable stores. As a business which depends on retail traffic, Fontana was impacted by the changing curfew hours which limited its operational hours during the year. However, its digital presence and brand loyalty served it well as it grew associated sales throughout the year.
“In 2020 our world changed dramatically, coming under siege from a pandemic that seemed to come out of nowhere, COVID-19. A year later we are still under siege and people are now wondering if things will ever get back to normal, and are not quite clear what that “normal” will actually look like. The impact of the worst global pandemic in over a century has deepened, especially in countries like Jamaica that are dependent on tourism and its related industries. Against this backdrop, a stronger Fontana has emerged, having weathered one of its most challenging periods,” stated the company's report signed by Chairman Kevin O'Brien Chang and CEO Anne Chang.
Due to administrative and selling expenses remaining flat at $1.3 billion, Fontana's operating profit climbed by 63 per cent to $648.43 million. With higher other income and reduced finance costs, the company's profit before taxation rose by 105 per cent to $541.38 million. As a result of a deferred taxation charge compared tax credit, Fontana's net profit grew by 85 per cent to $512.33 million. Earnings per share was $0.41 compared to $0.22 in the prior period.
Total assets improved by 10 per cent to $3.47 billion with the company's inventory and cash growing to $835.76 million and $859.23 million, respectively. Because of the supply chain disruptions associated with the novel coronavirus pandemic, Fontana spent an extra $185 million on its inventory base to put it in a more favourable position in the coming year. Total liabilities marginally rose to $1.67 billion, with shareholders equity topping $1.81 billion. Fontana paid out a record $199.9 million in dividends to shareholders, compared to $49.97 million in the prior year.
Fontana is currently looking to execute an upgrade of its point of sale and accounting systems once the situation improves with respect to COVID-19 measures on the travel industry. The company is also looking to open its seventh branch in Portmore in 2023, which will allow it to capture more clients in that geographical area.
“We want to thank our dedicated team, who went above and beyond to ensure that our customers were happy and, of course, wish to extend our gratitude to our loyal customers. We are confident that as a resilient country, Jamaica will weather the COVID crisis, and when the nation returns in due time to 'business as normal', Fontana will be well positioned to flourish along with it,” the report said.
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