BS&T, Goddards to look at options as profits decline

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BS&T, Goddards to look at options as profits decline

Unread post by bimjim » ... ECLINE.asp

BS&T, Goddards to look at options as profits decline
Friday, June 05, 2009

Barbados' two biggest conglomerates - Barbados Shipping & Trading (BS&T) and Goddard Enterprises Limited (GEL) -have suffered reduced half-year profits and while there may be employment "repercussions" for one, the other plans to rely on improved efficiency to maintain jobs.

For the six months ended March 31, 2009, BS&T saw a Bds$11.52 million drop in after-tax profit from the Bds$28.09 million recorded in the comparative period in 2008.

GEL's net after-tax income dropped 5.1 per cent from Bds$25.003 million last year to Bds$23.73 million as at March 31 this year.

BS&T chief executive officer Anthony King said: "Some of our businesses are experiencing decreasing activity and these companies would have to explore what course of action they would need to take with respect to their own circumstances."

King added: "Reducing employment is not our first line of response but can be a repercussion of a business adapting to deal with reduced demand for its products and services. However, BS&T has no plans to make across-the-board job cuts."

King said the BS&T companies mainly affected by the economic slowdown were retail operation Dacosta Mannings Inc., vehicle dealership Warrens Motors, and passenger and airport ground-handling company Seawell Air Services.

BS&T was taken over in March last year by Neal & Massy Holdings of Trinidad and Tobago.

Martin Pritchard, GEL's managing director, said his company was not challenged to maintain current employment levels but admitted uncertainty regarding its hotel investments in St Lucia and in Barbados, where it has interests in Almond Resorts.

"I'm not sure what their plans would be in the off season, but right now we are trying to keep all our staff employed," he said in a separate interview on Friday.

GEL subsidiary McBride Caribbean Limited, an aerosol manufacturer gutted by fire in 2007, is to restart operation next month, Pritchard said.
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