Kingston Wharves moves forward with investment | Company


Port company Kingston Wharves Limited will continue to invest in heavy capital projects despite trade uncertainty and a global logistics sector that is still plagued by multiple challenges.

“These initiatives allow KW to build a secure future. KW is strengthening the business, expanding its operations and diversifying the type of freight we handle,” CEO Mark Williams said Thursday.

“The horizon ahead may be uncertain, but we are moving forward with confidence,” he told shareholders at the company’s annual general meeting.

Last year, the company announced a US$60 million campaign to increase cargo capacity. It acquired a new crane to load and unload goods and completed the preliminary stages of the development of quay n°7.

Kingston Wharves also plans to build a warehouse complex on Kingston’s Ashenheim Road, close to its wharf, to allow third-party companies to operate nearshore businesses.

“As we roll out our capital investment initiatives, we will maximize the use of our special economic zone status, our digital transformation [channels] to provide value-added services to manufacturers and distributors,” added Williams. “Preliminary work has begun, steel paid, slots identified and confirmed, and you will see fieldwork in a few months.”

President Jeffrey Hall said the project would be funded with cash and loans. The port company’s liquidity in March was $9.5 billion, giving the company the ability to finance development without borrowing too much. Its debt ratio remained at 5.8%, compared to 5.1% a year earlier. Its borrowings during the period increased from $1.22 billion to $1.35 billion.

Usually, companies try to avoid having a debt ratio above 50%.

“When it comes to interest rates, inflation and geopolitical challenges, they get the board’s attention. We looked at our financing costs and their duration with the environment in mind. We also seek to manage costs despite inflation, but pass on a fair share of costs to customers while ensuring business continuity. When it comes to geopolitics, we can’t influence these things…. The location of the goods may change, but we will continue to have a business,” he said.

In its March quarter financial statements, Kingston Wharves said high fuel costs and disruption to shipping operations in some parts of the world were adding to economic challenges, but said it would “navigate these conditions with greater focus on our competitiveness, our customer service and our strategy. relationships.”

Earnings increased in the quarter from $560 million to $679 million.

Last year, Kingston Wharves increased its revenue by 21% to $9.7 billion and its net profit by 43% to $3.2 billion.

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