Despite the damage inflicted on Caribbean economies by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Massy Group, one of the region’s largest conglomerates managed to grow its after-tax profit by more than 20 per cent last year.
In its recently-released annual report for the year ending September 30, 2020, Robert Bermudez, chairman of the Port-of-Spain-based company, told shareholders the group of companies had shown great resilience during the crisis.
Massy, which has significant interests in Barbados acquired mainly from its takeover of Barbados Shipping & Trading more than ten years ago, earned 29 per cent of its profits from Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean in 2020, 43 per cent from its Trinidad and Tobago operations and 18 per cent from Guyana.
According to Bermudez: “In spite of the uncertainties and interruptions to business operations sustained in 2020, the Massy Group grew its profit after-tax by 21.2 per cent from TT$613 million (BDS$204 million) to TT$743 million (BDS$247 million).
The Massy Group chairman added: “All three of its main portfolios grew in this difficult time, demonstrating the resilience and performance that was released with the governance enhancements and increased autonomy that were given to the companies in 2020.”
He said the sale of the Massy Technologies business was a boost to the group’s bottom line, generating TT$272 million from the divestment.
Despite the group’s improved performance, the Massy chairman expressed concern about the economic outlook for many of the territories in which the company operated.
According to Bermudez: “We expect that the economies of Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados will continue to be challenged due to weak natural gas prices and declining production in Trinidad and declines in tourism and tourism-related businesses in Barbados.
“The Group is, however, well-placed to realise growth from the more buoyant markets in the Caribbean and South America. The transformational economic impact of offshore oil discoveries has begun to materialise in Guyana, with the country exporting its first shipment of crude oil in January 2020. The investor-friendly, pro-growth economic policies of the Colombian government have boosted confidence in the economy.”
Meanwhile, E. Gervase Warner, the conglomerate’s president and chief executive officer echoed concerns about the economic and public health crisis created by the COVID-19 pandemic is so many countries.
“[It has] resulted in an operating environment that can only be described as highly-volatile and uncertain for business,” Warner told shareholders.” (IMC1)