Jan 29, 2016
Gervase Warner, President and CEO of the Massy Group, said the conglomerate has embarked on a combination of defensive and offensive strategies to grow in the current challenging economic situation.
In his contribution to the group’s annual report, which was posted on the T&T Stock Exchange yesterday, Warner acknowledged that recent developments, such as the fall in oil prices, economic instability in Europe and unrest caused by radical, fundamentalist groups in some parts of the world, contributed to challenging times for businesses.
He maintained, however, that in these times “companies have to work even harder and be even more creative to rise to the challenge to grow.”
He said: “Massy in fact was birthed in such an environment. In the global depression of the 1930s most import/export and distribution businesses were in difficulty. It was as a result of this recessionary pressure that Harry Neal and Charles Massy decided to merge their companies—an engineering company and a motor company to form Neal & Massy Engineering in 1932.
“As it was then, our commitment over the past year was about being smarter about how we operate, finding and building strategic partnerships and seeking out opportunities for growth because we will not allow pessimism to re-define our purpose,” he said.
Warner said Massy’s cost reduction strategy is aimed at operational efficiency rather than cost cutting.
“We are pursuing opportunities by finding new market segments, exploring strategic investments with long term payoffs and acquiring talent and assets of businesses which become available during a downturn. In some instances we have had to make some difficult decisions, such as divesting businesses which were not a strategic fit for the organisation,” he said
His comments came against the backdrop of the release of the Massy’s Group audited results for the 2015 financial year which show a 10.4 per cent increase in the group’s profit before tax to $919 million.
Contributing to these impressive results were Massy’s Automotive & Industrial Equipment Business Unit with a 13 per cent increase over 2014, as well as the Energy & Industrial Gases Business Unit and the Integrated Retail Business Unit, both showing a six per cent increase over 2014.
Warner said Massy’s acquisition strategy contributed $1 billion to a $1.2 billion increase in group revenue, with the recent acquisitions of the majority stake in Consolidated Foods Limited (St. Lucia), Massy Energy Colombia and Massy Delima Grupo Automotriz S.A.S. (Colombia) accounting for $80 million of the profit before tax in 2015 compared to $38 million in 2014.
He said construction of the Methanol and DME plant at Union Industrial Estate, La Brea, which the group is pursuing along with partners Mitsubishi Corporation and Mitsubishi Gas Corporation, is an important part of a diversification strategy that will provide much needed foreign direct investment to T&T and foreign exchange earnings for the group.
Friday January 29, 2016