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TCL suffers $49m operating loss

Published: 
Monday, May 28, 2018
TCL Chairman Wilfred Espinet, second from right, addresses shareholders during the company’s annual general meeting at Hilton Trinidad in Port-of-Spain on Friday. Also in photo, from left, are TCL’s Managing Director Jose Luis Seijo Gonzalez, Moya Group finance manager Luis Gilberto Ali and company secretary Kathryna Baptiste-Assee. PICTURE ANISTO ALVES

Subdued economic activity was responsible for the decline in group earnings suffered by Trinidad Cement Limited (TCL) in 2017.

The company recorded group earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and loss on disposal of property, plant and equipment and restructuring costs of $313 compared to $464 million in 2016.

Chairman Wilfred Espinet told shareholders at TCL’s Annual General Meeting on Friday that the group incurred significant costs from manpower, stockholding and inventory restructuring and impairment of assets in Barbados.

Collectively the impact of these expenses was a reduction in net income by $234 million, resulting in an operating loss of $49 million versus an operating profit of $224 million in 2016.

Espinet said the increase in ownership by Mexican cement giant Cemex in January 2017, was the most significant development in TCL’s recent history, placing the Caribbean’s sole cement manufacturer on a stronger, more sustainable trajectory for growth and competitiveness.

A dividend of $0.02 per share was paid for the year ending December 31, 2016.

Managing Director Jose Luis Seijo Gonzalez said TCL’s total revenue of $1.7 billion was negatively affected by a 27 per cent reduction in revenue in T&T, primarily due to continued subdued economic and construction activity.

Revenue in Jamaica increased by 10 per cent as that country’s economy continues to progress. In Barbados, there was a 14 per cent increase in revenue as some local market share that had been lost to competition was recovered.

Projections for the future include a continued slowdown in construction activity against a backdrop of increased competition, particularly for T&T and Barbados.

However, the group remains optimistic that through integration with Cemex there will be improved operational efficiencies.

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