DDL Group records $2.3B increase in profit for 2018
Local beverage giant, Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL) Group, recorded its highest ever revenue last year, pegged at $21.862 billion.
In a statement on Sunday, the Group announced that this reflects an increase of $2.378 billion or a 12 per cent increase on the total revenue of $19.569 billion earned in the previous year.
The Group’s profit after tax was $3.279 billion in 2018 compared to $2.6 billion in 2017, an increase of $679 million, or 26 per cent. While its profit before tax for the year was $4.362 billion compared to $3.551 billion in the previous year, an increase of $810 million, or 23 per cent.
Additionally, earnings per share was $4.26 compared to $3.38 the previous year.
According to Chairman of the DDL Group, Komal Samaroo, in the 2018 Annual Report, “It is with great pleasure that I announce to shareholders that the 2018 financial year was another very successful year with excellent performance from our Group.
Revenue, both local and international, continued to show encouraging growth while significant progress was made in key areas of diversification”.
The company further revealed that for 2018, shareholders’ funds increased by 16 per cent. Capital expenditure totalling $2.187 billion, incurred during the year, was all financed by self-generated funds.
Additionally, bank borrowing, in the form of loans and overdraft, was reduced by $1.437 billion from funds generated by the Group in the year. The net debt to equity ratio at the end of the year improved from 0.13:1 in 2017 to 0.06:1 in 2018.
An interim dividend of $0.25 a share was paid in December 2018.
The Directors have recommended a final dividend of $0.85 per share which, if approved by the shareholders at the upcoming annual general meeting, would result in a total dividend for the year of $1.10 per share. In the previous year, the dividend payment totalled $0.80 per share.
On the other hand, DDL, during 2018, focused on capital projects that support the core business as well as projects that are a part of the ongoing programme of diversification.
In fact, the company commissioned a barrel warehouse facility back on March 16, 2018. The construction and commissioning of this new barrel warehouse serves to increase rum ageing capacity by another 30,000 barrels.
Meanwhile, in October, preparatory work for the construction of a new and modern blending plant was started. This plant will utilise the latest digital technology to improve operational efficiency, reduce costs and will also replace the existing blending operations. This new blending plant, which is estimated to cost some $465 million, is expected to be completed by the end of June 2019.