Listed company, Stanley Motta Limited has received a big boost with the acquisition of special economic zone (SEZ) status.
This achievement, which was confirmed earlier last month will provide significant benefits for the company going forward.Show Full Article
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In Jamaica, SEZs are being established to attract foreign direct investment, alleviate large-scale unemployment, and develop and diversify the economy.
Stanley Motta stands to gain significantly from this initiative since SEZ companies benefit from a reduced corporate tax of between 7.5 per cent and 12.5 per cent instead of the regular 25 per cent for other local companies.
This status also includes duty-free importation, General Consumption Tax-free importation, no requirement to pay the other port-related taxes (additional stamp duty).
In addition, SEZ status allows the company to have income tax-free profits for an indeterminate period.
The designation of SEZ status should result in some benefits for the stock price, which has fallen by 17.0 per cent since the start of the year.
Stanley Motta closed the February 28 trading session at $4.95 and currently trades at a price-to-book P/B ratio of 0.94 per cent, which is above the Main Market Real Estate Sector Average of 0.85 per cent.
Companies use the price-to-book ratio to compare a firm's market to book value by dividing the price per share by book value per share.
An asset's book value is equal to its carrying value on the balance sheet, and companies calculate it netting the asset against its accumulated depreciation. Stanley Motta Limited saw total income for 2019 increase by 55 per cent over previous year to $419 million from $269.7 million in 2018.
This is due to the 100 per cent occupancy of all rentable space for the full year, according to the company's unaudited financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2019.
Stanley Motta Limited owns 58 Half-Way-Tree Road, a business process outsourcing and technology park. 58 HWT sits on approximately six acres of land at the nexus of Half-Way-Tree and New Kingston and constitutes over 200,000 square feet of commercial office space.
Units 1, 2, 3, and 4 are owned directly by Stanley Motta while Unit 5 is owned by Unity Capital Limited, a St Lucian-based company, which is wholly owned by Stanley Motta.
Chairman and CEO Melanie Subratie in her year-end report highlighted stable earnings for the company noting that performance of the company continues to be underwritten and supported by the collection of rentals in US dollars, she said.
The company, which listed on the Jamaica Stock Exchange in 2018 saw an 18 per cent increase in funds from operations, which is calculated as net operating income plus depreciation. Net operating income, which is defined as rental income less operating expenses was less than anticipated at $308 million for the year.
These were driven by unexpected changes in the foreign exchange rate. There were further revaluation gains of $43 million for the year on the investment property which now sits at $4.8 billion on the balance sheet.
Earnings per share (EPS), which is calculated as profit after tax divided by weighted average number of shares dropped from $ 2.72 per share in 2018 to 37 cents per share in 2019; an 86 per cent decrease. The directors note that prior year EPS was substantially greater due to a substantially higher revaluation gain of $ 1.9 billion.
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