Brewery Shrugs Off Dorian Devastation


Tribune Business Reporter

Commonwealth Brewery is "cautiously optimistic" on the economy's short-term prospects after it rebounded quickly from Dorian's destruction of five retail outlets and a distribution centre.

The BISX-listed Kalik manufacturer, unveiling its results for the 2019 third quarter and first nine months, pointed to the fact it had converted a minor loss in the three months to end-September last year into a $1.685m profit - despite the category five storm - as reasons for its outlook.

Net revenue increased by nearly three percent, or some $773,846, over the 2018 third quarter even though Dorian inflicted significant destruction on the brewery's retail and distribution infrastructure in both Abaco and Grand Bahama.

"The net revenue increase for the third quarter outpaced declines in the first half of the year, and ended slightly behind the comparative period [for the first nine months] in 2018 by 0.5 percent despite operating interruptions due to Hurricane Dorian," Commonwealth Brewery told shareholders. "The third quarter of 2019 yielded a continued positive trend in which net revenue grew 2.9 percent comparatively.

"Hurricane Dorian destroyed one of Commonwealth Brewery's eight retail outlets in Freeport, as well as the company's three retail outlets and the distribution centre in Abaco. By the end of September, however, we had reorganised our route to market and resumed distribution on both islands."

It added: "Net Income for the year to September was $4.982m compared to $5.483m in 2018, reflecting the one-off restructuring costs and stronger revenue performance since the second quarter 2019. Notably, net profit for the three-month period ended September 2019 grew to $1.685m from a loss position for the comparative period of 2018."

Commonwealth Brewery's retained earnings increased by 30 percent year-over-year, while total equity grew by 12 percent. Total third quarter operating expenses decreased by 3.9 percent as compared to last year, dropping from $26.991m to $25.928m - a fall of some $1.063m.

"Operating expenses year-to-date from September to September reduced by 0.9 percent, supported by a continued decline of 3.9 percent during the quarter, principally driven by the cost alignment measures reported on earlier in the year," Commonwealth Brewery said.

"Results this year are continually encouraging and, as stated in the second quarter interim accounts, indicate that our cost realignment, infrastructural and workforce improvements, together with our continued commercial focus, are producing the desired results.

"We are cautiously optimistic on our short-term outlook post-Dorian and will continue to adapt our strategy to enhance value to shareholders."


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