Bermuda Press half-year profit soars
Bermuda Press (Holdings) Ltd's profit more than doubled to $1.43 million in the first six months of its fiscal year — up from $550,000 a year earlier.
The company, which owns The Royal Gazette, as well as commercial printing, real-estate and retail interests, said a combination of reduced costs and increased revenue boosted profitability in the half-year ended March 31, 2018.
In its interim report, the company stated that “management has worked tirelessly over the past year to find operating efficiencies resulting in cost reductions of $845,000”. Operating revenue increased by $35,000 to $13.17 million for the period.
Basic earnings per share for the six months were 85 cents, up from 23 cents in the previous year. BPHL said its real-estate holdings remained the most profitable segment with an overall occupancy rate of 98 per cent, with 57 per cent occupied by third-party tenants.
The company has carried out a review of its Office Solutions operation, as part of its stated objective to stop funding loss-making parts of the business.
“Office Solutions has three lines of business: retail arts, crafts and stationery supplies; commercial office supplies; and equipment sale and leasing,” BPHL stated.
“The commercial supply business has been challenged owing to changing customer needs and various economic factors in Bermuda.
“In June 2018, the decision to exit the commercial office supplies business was taken. This will not impact our equipment operations as we will continue to supply toner and paper to our equipment customers.”
Also this month, Cameron Poland has joined BPHL as chief financial officer, replacing Derek Winch. Mr Poland has worked in Bermuda for ten years, the past five of which were with a large local company.
BPHL is the owner of the e-commerce website, eMoo, which has been upgraded with a focus on being mobile-friendly, integrated with social media and with improved functionality.
Bermuda Stock Exchange-listed BPHL saw its share price rise from $5 to $6.15 during the six-month period. The company's board decided to raise its dividend to 7 cents per share for the quarter ended March 31.
The company said no shares had been repurchased under the $1 million buyback programme announced in March 2016.
In March, the company began live video-streaming events and added: “We are expanding our business model to include video as part of the product offering for our readership and advertisers.”
The report also highlighted the company's sponsorship roles in the MS Amlin ITU World Triathlon Bermuda, XL Catlin End-to-End and the Bermuda Festival.
It added that supplying the signage and branding solutions for ITU event had reinforced Bermuda Press Digital “as a key player in the sign-printing and solutions business in Bermuda”.