Poultry producer Jamaica Broilers Group, JBG, has discontinued operations in the troubled Haiti market.
In a notice posted on the Jamaica Stock Exchange, Jamaica Broilers said that its board has accepted management’s recommendation for the discontinuation of its operations in Haiti, as conducting business in that jurisdiction has become unviable.
The decision was taken on September 28, but management expects to wrap up winding-down procedures within a year’s time.
Haiti has, for the past two years, been a drag on the group’s operation, largely due to the country economic and political instability, along with vulnerability to natural disasters.
For the first quarter ending July, Haiti recorded operating losses of $83 million. That’s up from $48 million in the comparative period in 2021, which triggered a review of the business to determine its future viability. Revenues sank 18 per cent year-on-year as a result of its continued downsizing exercise.
At peak, JBG provided employment to over 500 Haitians, but that number slowly dwindled with the downsizing of farming activities. Feed production continued, however, alongside the trade in table eggs.
As at July 2022, the value of Haiti Broilers’ assets had fallen 55 per cent year-on-year to $842 million.
“We are still working through things, but we expect to redeploy some of the assets to other jurisdictions in which we operate; and what we can sell, we will,” JBG President & CEO Christopher Levy told the Financial Gleaner.
Jamaica Broilers’ strongest market remains Jamaica, followed by the United States.