Barbados conglomerate stayed profitable despite T&T forex squeeze
Tuesday, July 11 2017 @ 10:38 PM AST
Contributed by: AleemKhan
Verbatim excerpts from CariCRIS report this month:
Incorporated in 1921, Goddard Enterprises Limited (GEL), started with the opening of a meat and grocery store in Bridgetown by Joseph Nathaniel Goddard and his son, Victor. This family run business was converted into a public company in 1978, with the Goddard family retaining a majority shareholding (64%). Over the years, GEL has grown to become the third largest conglomerate (by assets) operating in Barbados. As at December 2016, it comprised over 50 subsidiaries and 29 associated companies employing over 4,500 persons. Its operations, which are spread over a number of industries and geographies, covering 24 countries throughout the Caribbean, Central, South and North America, can be classified into 3 main businesses, namely automotive, building supplies & services, manufacturing services, catering & ground handling. In 2015, GEL entered into a 50/50 joint venture partnership with Agostiniís Limited, a Trinidad and Tobago-based conglomerate, and formed Caribbean Distribution Partners Limited (CDP). As part of the agreement, GEL transferred 4 subsidiaries to CDP, viz., Hanschell Inniss (Barbados), Coreas Distribution (St. Vincent and the Grenadines), Peter & Co. Distribution (Saint Lucia) and Independence Agencies (Grenada), while Agostiniís Limited transferred Hand Arnold (T&T) and their 40% holding in Desinco Limited (Guyana). CDP subsequently acquired Vemco Limited and Pepsi-Cola Trinidad Bottling Company Limited in October & November 2016, respectively.
The Groupís competitive advantage in its Automotive, Building Supplies and Services Division lies in the exclusive distribution rights it holds for well-known brands such as Nissan in Jamaica, as well as Hyundai and Nissan in Barbados.
In T&T, the main market of GELís joint venture CDP, real GDP contracted by 2.3% in 2016 and companies continue to face significant foreign exchange shortages. Management has indicated that though not significantly impacted financially, the Group faced challenges in FY2016 to access foreign exchange to meet its expenses. Notwithstanding this, Management has indicated that GEL did not lose any of its counterparty arrangements.