CPJ investing $50m in technology upgrade

////CPJ investing $50m in technology upgrade

CPJ Chairman  – Mark Hart

CARIBBEAN Producers Jamaica (CPJ), which specialises in supplying goods to hotels and supermarkets, is spending roughly $50 million to upgrade its technology and logistics platform in order to create efficiencies at its three main offices across the region.

It will result in the system running on a Microsoft platform and include new hardware, remote offices and system redundancies.

“It’s an investment for the future,” said CPJ Chairman Mark Hart. “It’s an IT expenditure to modernise the businesses.”

The upgrade, Hart said, started on July 1 and will continue to the end of the ensuing financial year.

“We are spending $50 million because in our business logistics and information can drive sales,” he said, adding that the upgrade will serve as one of the company’s major projects for 2015 financial year. It will create efficiencies at its locations in Jamaica, St Lucia, and Florida, USA.

Hart also told the Jamaica Observer that for 2015, CPJ will focus on its investment in St Lucia but did not disclose any additional capital expenditure required for that territory.

In February 2014, the CPJ board of directors signed a shareholders’ agreement to form a joint venture with Du Boulay Bottling Company, the Coca-Cola manufacturer operating in Castries, St Lucia. The new company was named CPJ St Lucia Ltd and commenced operations as a food service distributor in Castries.

Concurrently, CPJ expects a favourable winter season based on high occupancies arising from increased airlift and available rooms, the company stated in its September first-quarter results. The company, however, recorded a net loss of some US$22,600 despite sales increasing to US$18.7 million over the quarter.

“Due to sharp increases in our [production] costs, margins were impacted as the company held its pricing to hotels,” the company said about the losses in the quarter.

Over 12 months ending June 2014, CPJ earned US$3.4 million in net profit from US$78 million in revenues or 8.4 percent more profit year-on-year. The company, in its annual report for the year ending June 2014, hinted about the need to improve efficiencies.

Jamaica Observer

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