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Kremi lists today, says expansion to start in coming weeks

May 17, 2013

CARIBBEAN Cream Limited, the makers of Kremi ice-cream will list on the Junior Stock Exchange today. This follows the successful close of its initial public offering on May 1 that raised $75 million towards increasing the company's output capacity.

Phase one of the expansion of the South Road manufacturing plant will start in the coming weeks and will see continual investment in more efficient equipment and better manufacturing practices. The physical space will be increased by 50 per cent.

Caribbean Cream CEO Christopher Clarke (right) with Mark Croskery, head of Stocks and Securities Limited, the lead broker of the ice cream maker’s initial public offering.

"For the next year the company will be focused on expanding its production capacity, but after that it will launch a marketing plan to build the Kremi brand. The major focus of the marketing plan will be the expansion into supermarkets and better control over the end user experience," said Christopher Clarke, CEO of CCL.

CCL remains competitive by introducing a new flavour each quarter to constantly appeal to the market. CCL also hopes that with the expansion of the plant and the increase in production, the greater the ability of fending off foreign competition will be.

"Our current undersized cold room will be replaced by a new one capable of holding more than five times the number of units. The new cold room will utilise a more efficient ammonia refrigeration system compared to the Freon one we currently use. This will eliminate the need for offsite storage during peak periods. It will also ensure that the ice cream is harder when being delivered. This means less returns and our vendors get more yield," Clarke added.

General Manager of the Jamaica Stock Exchange, Marlene Street - Forrest, welcomed Kremi as another company willing to take necessary steps to grow their company and ultimately the economy by making the decision to list on the JSE.

"As production is one aspect of the many-pronged approach necessary to growing the economy, we wish to invite more manufacturing companies to see that the raising of equity capital is the most viable option," Street-Forrest said.

"The Jamaica Stock Exchange provides the best medium through which manufacturing and distribution companies are able to access capital to grow, expand, retire expensive debt and ultimately compete in the regional and global market place," she continued. "With more manufacturing companies accessing the market to raise equity capital (patient capital) and taking advantage of the benefits that are derived from listing on the JSE Junior market, the country will see a resurgence of manufacturing companies that are in a better position to expand, contribute to the reduction in unemployment, expand to other markets and provide good returns on investment."

Likewise, Clarke is looking forward to the benefits and ultimate growth of the company.

"Being a publicly traded company will make us more recognised and give us more opportunities. For example when we talk to chain supermarkets they know who they are talking to. We also have more options to finance our future growth and will benefit from the company tax waivers like any junior listed company."

The firm's growth strategy is also expected to result in additional employment and increased operational capacity of the plant in the coming months.

"CCL believes in continually training our staff to make them more productive. This enables us to empower the employees we do have and keep the organisation flat," Clarke said.

Caribbean Cream Limited are the manufacturers of the Kremi brand of ice-cream and ice-cream cakes and the distributors of the Flavourlite products from Trinidad.

Jamaica Observer
Friday May 17, 2013



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