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Bermuda Press rebounds from pandemic loss

The Bermuda Press (Holdings) Limited has reported a consolidated net profit of $228,000 for the year ended September 30, 2021, a $3,208,000 increase compared with 2020.

Overall revenue increased to $19,095,000 compared with $18,704,000 in the prior year.

The Bermuda Press (Holdings) Limited is the parent company of The Royal Gazette Limited, Office Solutions Limited, the Bermuda Press Limited, Island Press Limited, E-MOO (Bermuda) Limited, Bermuda Directories Limited, real estate operations and includes a number of other Bermuda-based companies.

A statement from the company said: “For a second consecutive year the pandemic significantly impacted our operations.

“Through the dedication of employees and decisions taken by management, the group was able to return to profitability despite lockdown measures, the shift to working from home and the decline in tourism which forced businesses, advertisers and subscribers to find ways to reduce their operating expenses.

“The company continued to restructure operations and reduce expenses to offset the rising costs of raw materials and local inflationary pressures.

“The group returned to profitability based on these restructuring efforts and the positive contribution and strength of our real estate holdings.

“Overall, operating expenses decreased to $18,840,000 as compared to $19,804,000 in the prior year.

“The board remains grateful for all the sacrifices made by staff and the co-operation of our union partners in accepting wage reductions during the pandemic which allowed the company to adapt and survive the downturn. The board was very pleased that through these shared sacrifices the company was able to return all staff to their full wages and benefits in 2021.“

Basic earnings per share increased to $0.12 from a loss of $2.08 in 2020. The market price for BPHL’s shares traded most recently at $4.50 compared with $4.26 a year ago.

The company’s local real estate holdings remain the most profitable segment, with an overall occupancy rate of 94 per cent in 2021, of which more than 56 per cent is occupied by third party tenants.

The statement added: “Due to the financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the board took the prudent decision to preserve capital by suspending the payment of a dividend.

“With the company returning to profitability and the company staff returning to full wages and benefits the board was pleased to declare a dividend of $0.07 per share to the shareholders of record at December 31, 2021.

“The board will continue to review the company’s performance with the goal of maintaining quarterly dividend payments to shareholders.“

During 2021, some of the key areas of focus were:

• Launched the “digging for the truth” and “get the whole story” campaigns to educate the community on the need for reliable independent journalism.

• The Stationery Store launched a second location Stationery Store Plus to expand its STEAM and art supply offering, with notable success.

The Royal Gazette continued to invest in the people and systems to meet the Digital First challenge. The company made additional investments during the year to improve its journalistic content and its delivery to both its digital and print audience.

• Bermuda.com relaunched under an advertiser membership model to assist the tourism industry to market its products and offerings in an affordable and scalable way.

• Office Solutions successfully transitioned to a new operating system for its retail and equipment service business. These platforms will continue to allow the business to enhance its service offering to its clients.

• The company continued to review and restructure the operations at Bermuda Press to reduce administration costs and implement a strategy for sustained success in the post pandemic environment.

BPHL’s annual meeting is scheduled to be held by video conference at 10.30am on Friday, March 25. E-mail Sabrina Simmons at sls@bphl.bm or alternatively call 1-441-278-0102 for details.

Positive news: improved performance at Bermuda Press (Holdings) Ltd, owner of The Royal Gazette (File photograph)

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Published March 11, 2022 at 8:01 am (Updated March 11, 2022 at 9:56 am)

Bermuda Press rebounds from pandemic loss

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