$648m after tax profit for Ansa McAL

Automotive, trading and distribution were the highest revenue earners for the Ansa McAL Group which recorded an after tax profit of $648 million for the period ended December 2017.

The group’s total assets increased to $14.3 billion from $13.9 billion for the previous year and it achieved $2 billion in cash and cash equivalent compared to $1.7 billion in 2016.

The highest revenue earning sectors reported $2.5 million for the period, while manufacturing, packaging and brewing, the second highest, ended the year at $2.4 million.

At a stockbrokers’ meeting at Kam Wah Conference Room on Maraval Road, Port-of-Spain, where the results were announced, Group Chairman Norman Sabga said there were strong operational results across the region despite sluggish economies in T&T and Barbados.

Among the highlights of the year was acquisition of Berger Paints. Group CEO Andrew Sabga said Ansa’s paint portfolio expanded when it acquired 100 per cent of the issued share capital of Lewis Berger (Overseas) Holdings (LBOH) Limited, a privately-owned UK domiciled company.

He explained: “The LBOH owns the controlling interest in the Caribbean businesses of Berger Paints Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and Barbados. The company announced its intention to issue takeover bids in accordance with the regulations in the respective jurisdictions by August 23, 2017, as a consequence of its ownership of the shares of Berger Paints Trinidad Limited and Berger Paints Jamaica Limited.”

Sabga said the one-off cost involved in the Berger acquisition was about $10 million.

He said the deal was good for the group and following on that success another acquisition is being considered.

Although he did not give details, Sabga told shareholders: “All the acquisitions we are looking at are US-dollar denominated transactions. We are trying to build in areas of expertise . . . US-dollar earnings. It is too early to give you specific details.”

Commenting on problems with the seabridge, he said: “Like everyone else we are having some difficulties with getting goods to Tobago. The big problem with Tobago is that demand has significantly curved in Tobago because people are having difficulty getting to and from Tobago.

“A large portion of the consumption is tourists and non-Tobagonian arrivals, so we are seeiong a drop in demand in Tobago since the problem started.”

Sabga said difficultues in accessing US currency continue and the group is satisfying its creditors by juggling its payments and had not defaulted on any bills.

“If there was an evalution of the dollar all fixed costs would go down against foreign exchange. Our local costs would be cheaper versus local currency,” he said.