Polaris swings back to profit
Polaris Holding Company Ltd, the parent to Hamilton docks operator Stevedoring Services Ltd and East End Asphalt Company, has reported earnings for the year to the end of March of more than a million dollars.
And while both subsidiaries reported profits, the company said there was some strategic shifting to make it happen, with fewer people on the island.
The company reported that there were less 20ft-equivalent container unit moves, traditionally a guidepost to Bermuda’s economic health, than the year before.
The cargo container moves remained flat in fiscal 2022, with 34,217 TEUs moved during the recent 12 months, down 114 boxes or less than one per cent from the year before.
After an economically depressed period, caused by Covid-19, Polaris returned to profitability, reporting a consolidated gain of $1.13 million or $0.95 per share (March 31, 2021 loss of $511K) or ($0.43) per share], with both Stevedoring Services and East End Asphalt reporting profits.
The statement noted: "As a result of not fully recovering from the worldwide pandemic which enveloped the country in early 2020, coupled with Bermuda’s population base sitting at lows not seen in more than two-decades, TEU volumes remain below that enjoyed in the early 2000s. However, strong break-bulk cargo volumes, cost containment, and a re-engineering of Stevedoring Services’ garage and operations in the middle of fiscal 2021, aided in its return to stability.
"East End Asphalt, which saw a solid pipeline of work get deferred in the wake of Covid-19, experienced a strong rebound, with revenue up 71.8 per cent year over year, and the division shifting into profitability for the first time since acquisition.
"Having halted dividends last year, in June 2021 Polaris re-established its quarterly distributions, first at $0.08 per share, then effective September 2021 and over the past four quarters, paid a reliable dividend of $0.10 per share per quarter; ongoing consistency is anticipated.
"The company’s stock last traded at $8.00 per share, slightly below book value, with that value representing a palatable dividend yield of five per cent.“