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Paint sales surge boosts Devonshire profits

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Bermuda Paint Company staff: From the left are Victoria Pereira, Pam Dawson, Roy Thomas, general manager Richard Moulder and Jerry Monk

Bermuda’s only paint manufacturers saw profits rocket by 535 per cent last year.

Devonshire Industries, the parent of Bermuda Paint Company, reported net income of more than $317,700 for the year ended in March — up from just over $50,000 the year before.

Net sales at Devonshire Industries went up 15 per cent from $2.69 million in 2013-14 to $3.08 million in 2014-15.

And Bermuda Paint general manager Robert Moulder said that the improved results were a result of an advertising push on top-selling products like roofing material Bda TrueRoof — plus an upturn in an economy stuck in the doldrums for several years.

He added: “With Bda TrueRoof, even though the foam is manufactured outside of Bermuda, the coatings and adhesives are manufactured here on site, so we benefit from that.

“Eighty per cent of our sales come from our manufactured items — the rest comes from accessories, fibre cement and sealant for roofs.”

Mr Moulder added: “I also believe the economy is rebounding — people seem to be willing to repaint their houses. After the crash, people were very reluctant to spend their money on things like that because they had to use it for other things.

“At the end of the day, we have seen an increase as a result of some advertising and the economy is growing to where people are now willing to invest money into their homes.”

And Mr Moulder said that a marketing drive on the firm’s antifouling paint for boats had also contributed to the good results for the financial year.

He added: “We’re hoping to at least reach the same level as we did last year. We’ve seen some market growth.

“But our business is weather-related, so the more it rains, the less we sell. When it’s raining, people just don’t buy paint.”

Mr Moulder said that the firm had not seen a major upturn in business as a result of last October’s twin hurricane strikes from Fay and Gonzalo.

He explained: “A lot of companies made a lot of money, but our income wasn’t affected so much because it came in so quickly and we were basically sold out on the first day.”

Selling costs at the firm increased 12 per cent — attributed to higher wages and related benefit costs of additional retail staff. But that was offset by an overall decrease in advertising and promotional work, which dropped from $116,244 to $84,544 year on year.

Administrative costs remained stable, while other expenses fell $50,688 due to lower bad debt provision.

Devonshire Industries president Jacob Hocking said: “We will be continuing to implement several programmes aimed at increasing our efficiencies and effectiveness over the coming year with the goal of continuing to improve the company’s performance.”

Bermuda Paint Company: Pam Dawson
Richard Moulder: The general manager of Bermuda Paint Company with containers of paint
Photograph by Akil SimmonsReady to go: Paints on the shelves at the Bermuda Paint Company