Many may think an 80 percent increase in profit and a 19 percent increase in revenue just halfway through the financial year would be reason to celebrate for a company, but that isn’t the case for Salada Foods Jamaica Limited.
The Company is anticipating a levy on coffee beans this year which may very well derail most of the gains the company has made so far. Salada is expecting a significant impact on operating revenue stemming from imminent government taxation and while the company cannot predict what may happen in the coming months, they are preparing for possible pitfalls ahead.
Effective April 1, 2018, Salada is expected to pay USD$1.41 per kilogram for imported green beans and USD$2.40 for value added products. Currently Salada pays USD$1.52 per pound for imported coffee in addition to USD$2.52 per pound for Jamaican coffee blended with the imports. The company already finds it difficult to get the grade of coffee needed to meet the 20 percent quota for local beans for coffee blends.
Initially, the company did not suspect they would be subjected to the coffee tax as part of an ongoing effort to protect local farmers. The assumption was that the tax would be on roasted and ground coffee sold to hotels. On the contrary, their assumptions were incorrect and despite instant coffee being of a different grade, it was also targeted.
For the six month period ending March 31, 2018, Salada reported an increase of JMD$77.89 million in sales of JMD$404.37 million in 2017 for the same period to JMD$482.27 million in 2018. While net profit increased from JMD$44.9 million to JMD$80.2 million, Salada saved 22 percent on expenses in order to achieve this result but the tax on coffee may very well thwart their efforts.
Salada is the sole manufacturer of instant coffee in the Caribbean region and currently trades at JMD$13.00 on the Jamaica Stock Exchange.
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