GraceKennedy Foods is reporting that its Foods segment in Jamaica has seen significant growth for the nine months ended September 30, over prior year. Areas specifically highlighted for mention included the company’s manufacturing and retail (Hi-Lo) segments, as well as Grace Foods & Services through its major consumer promotion for 2015.
“We refer to GK Foods – Jamaica, as the fortress of our business. This is where it all began and so we are firmly committed to ensuring that the fortress not only stands strong but continues to grow,” said GraceKennedy Group CEO, Don Wehby. He continued, “It is a fiercely competitive environment, but we have the right people in the right places, who are executing well on our strategy and we are seeing the results.” Mr Wehby added that the focus for 2015 and beyond was to win the hearts and minds of customers, through great people. “Re-engaging our customers is a consistently high priority and we continue to work at this every day, because we know without our valued customers, we have no business,” he said.
GraceKennedy’s recently released third quarter results showed that the Food Trading segment had revenue growth of 17% over the corresponding period last year. The company saw significant positive impact of its “Grace on the Move” promotional campaign in Jamaica.
The Group CEO also spoke to the strength of GK Foods Jamaica’s manufacturing arm, which was boosted by strong demand for products manufactured in Jamaica, efficiency gains, yield improvements and favourable commodity prices. All these factors combined resulted in higher profits when compared to prior year.
Grace Agro Processors (GAP), the company’s processing plant in Hounslow, St Elizabeth has been performing well despite the challenge of severe drought this year. As at the end of September, GAP had exported 38 metric tonnes of pepper mash. According to Mr Wehby, the 2016 outlook for GAP’s export business was expected to grow significantly, which would directly benefit local farmers with whom GAP partners.
“We are also very happy with what we have seen happening in our Hi-Lo stores,” said Mr Wehby. He noted the investment made in the chain through renovations completed in its Barbican and Manor Park Stores to the tune of J$265M. As a result of those investments, says Mr Wehby, Hi-Lo continues to deliver improved results not only in the renovated stores, but across the chain. Customer feedback has been very positive, he noted. The total amount to be invested by GraceKennedy for further Hi-Lo store renovations is J$1B.
“We’re looking forward to the Christmas season, as we know how popular our Grace hams are, and we believe that’s an area we will do really well in. Our aim is to finish the year by sustaining the strong performance and growth we have seen so far,” said Mr Wehby.