An accident in the boiler room at instant coffee processor Salada Foods Limited led to a $23 million net loss for the December quarter 2018 and the halt of production.
The good thing is that enough branded Mountain Peak instant coffee was in the trade and still available for purchase.
The decline arose last October from an accident in the broiler room wherein both boilers were damaged and had to be taken offline. The main boiler only came back online at the end of November arising from repair delays, said Salada which manufactures instant coffee and ground coffee beans at its registered office on 20 Bell Road in Kingston.
“While it was down there was no production of coffee however there was sufficient finished goods inventory at Lasco and Salada’s overseas distributors to satisfy market needs,”said Salada in its interim report. Since February 2017, the company outsourced its distribution to Lasco Distributors.
Full production resumed last December, and it is now normalizing inventory levels with its distribution partners and expects by the end of the second quarter to get back on track with its financial results. Revenues amounted to $172 million for three months to December 2018 from $228 million in the corresponding period in 2017.
For the year ended September 30, 2018, the company led by General Manager Dianna Blake-Bennett grew its annual sales to $1 billion an increase of 19 per cent, up from $872,000 in the comparative year.
Improved exports and domestic sales were the keys to unlock much of the sales gains. Profits were buoyed by a strong sales performance, with Salada growing its domestic sales by 16.7 per cent, and improving its export sales in Canada and Barbados by 440 per cent and 220 per cent respectively.