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Bahamians from all walks of life stood united in the warm glow of candlelight, to pray for relief of people living in poverty and hunger around the world.
AML Foods Limited has recorded a net profit of $1.06 million for the fourth quarter ending January 31, 2013 after pre-opening costs of $356,000, compared to $1.12 million for the same period in the previous year. The company has also registered a year-to-date net profit of $2.42 million after pre-opening costs of $590,000, compared to a prior year-to-date net profit of $1.74 million after pre-opening costs of $296,000.
"We continue to move our company in a forward direction, even in this challenging and competitive environment", said AML Foods President and CEO Gavin Watchorn in a press statement released yesterday. "The past 18 months have been very exciting for us, opening three new stores and growing our company's sales base significantly. Now, we are in a period of focusing on the fundamentals of our business and we will channel our energies towards improving our day to day operations."
The company also recorded a total sales increase of $8.03 million or 26.3 percent for the quarter and $29.48 million year-to-date or 29.9 percent
Total dividends of $926,000 were paid out year-to-date, $618,000 in May 2012 and $308,000 in January 2013.
Gross margin dollars for the quarter were $11.4 million or 29.6 percent of sales, reflecting an increase of $2.37 million or 26.3 percent over the same period in the prior year. Year-to-date gross margin dollars were $38.11 million or 29.7 percent of sales, an increase of $8.9 million or 30.5 percent over the prior year.
Selling, general and administrative expenses (SG&A) for the quarter increased by $2.04 million or 26.1 percent due to the addition of new stores. Year-to-date SG&A expenses increased by $7.78 million or 28.6 percent primarily due to the addition of new stores as well as some same store expense increases in utilities and repairs and maintenance. SG&A as a percentage of sales decreased year-to-date from 27.6 percent to 27.3 percent.
Watchorn further stated, "With so much of our resources directed towards expansion, we have been somewhat distracted from our core functions. We have spent the first quarter focusing on improving our customer service, product consistency levels and shrink. I expect that we will see the benefits of this focus in our results in 2013."
AML Foods Chairman Dionisio D'Aguilar added, "The economic environment that we are currently operating in continues to be challenging and highly competitive. The grocery business is being overbuilt, once again. This will lead to an overly competitive environment in the foreseeable future as different stores tussle for market share.
"In addition, high utility costs continue to impact businesses' ability to yield expected returns. However, despite these issues, we are confident that we will continue to record improvements in our returns to our shareholders in 2013, with expected profits of $3.5 million to $4.0 million."
He continued, "Our company has responded to these challenges by refocusing on the core fundamentals of our business, customer service, product consistency and shrink control. We are committed to our customers in all of our brands and believe that we deliver on both quality and value everyday to our many loyal customers."
D'Aguilar announced a final dividend of $0.04 per share, payable on May 3, 2013 to shareholders on record of April 26, 2013. This will result in a total dividend payment of $0.06 per ordinary share for 2012, a 50 percent increase over prior years.
Earlier this year, AML Foods Limited announced its decision to delay the opening of its first Carl's Jr. store due to the current economic environment. It expects to recommence this project in the latter part of 2013.
Food wholesalers in the country should not be struck with fear due to Sysco's acquisition of Bahamas Food Services (BFS), according to a prominent figure in the industry, Owner of Super Value Rupert Roberts told Guardian Business that both parties can co-exist in the local market.
Robin Hood Joins The Wellness Centre To Promote Healthy Food Choices For Back To School
Robin Hood Mega Store on Tonique Williams-Darling Highway recently partnered with Dr. Patti L. Symonette, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of the Wellness Center to provide parents with some helpful tips on making healthy lunch and snack choices when selecting food items for their children returning to school this new school year.
After a few minutes of watching neuropharmacologist Dr. Santy Daya cook up some tasty Indian food, Butler's Food World was saturated with the wonderful odours. This, plus the exotic taste of the various items produced helped to give this chef the coveted winning position in the four-week cook-off at Butler's Food store.
Food security was the topic of choice for Agriculture and Marine Resource Minister Larry Cartwright and H Arlington D Chesney, Executive Director of the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) .
Built with funds from CARICOM member countries and donor agencies, CARDI was formed in 1975 to improve agriculture management throughout the Caribbean.