KINGSTON, Jamaica – Lower oil prices in the first quarter of 2016 contributed to reducing consumer light bills, which translated to a US$32-million dip in revenues for the monopoly power distributor, Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS).
Despite the fall in revenue, JPS made net profit of US$6.15 million for the March first quarter or 53 per cent higher than a year ago. The reason for the profit rise was due to lower finance costs during the quarter.
Revenues totalled US$148.9 million for the period under review, compared to US$180.9 million in the March 2015, while its operating expenses remained flat. However, its finance costs declined to US$9.7 million for the quarter compared to US$12 million a year ago.
The company’s cash flow and cash equivalents improved dramatically to US$15 million from US$1.5 million a year ago, due to a substantial reduction in cash used for financing activities.
The power utility’s working capital nearly doubled to US$41 million from $21 million a year earlier, due to a marked reduction in payables and provisions.
The utility is owned by Japan’s Marubeni Corporation, 40 per cent; South Korea-based Korea East-West Power, 40 per cent; Government of Jamaica, 19.9 per cent; while 3,000 shareholders own the remaining 0.1 per cent of the shares.
The Government’s shares are held through the Accountant General’s Department and the Development Bank of Jamaica Limited.