An uptick in social media usage has driven a positive revenue performance for ice cream and frozen novelties manufacturer Caribbean Cream (Kremi) at the end of its six-month period ended August.
For the half year, the company saw revenues climb to $1.2 billion. That was $222 million or 22 per cent above sales figures in the prior year. For the three-month period revenue out-turns also increased to $645 million-$159 million or 33 per cent above the corresponding quarter of 2021.
The growth led by increased volumes and price increases, the company said, came also as a result of stimulating demand through the use of social media and from building greater presence on the ground.
“We have ramped up our social media and as a result have seen a 40 per cent increase in followership over last year. That has really helped to pumped up our awareness and we have also continued with our above-the-line spend in terms of television and radio as well as outdoor point-of-sale and billboards,” said David Radlein, chief marketing officer, responding to queries from the Business Observer.
Radlein said that despite the sharp growth of its base across social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, which together are now trending above 40,000 followers, the company is still nowhere near its peak and plans to increase followers and ultimately customers going forward.
“Our marketing team is ensuring that our posts are kept exciting and involving, which have been really engaging the consumers,” he stated, noting that the use of challenges, trivias and other strategies along with added incentives have translated well for sales.
“Our agency is also currently working on some other new and innovative ways to attract and bring more customers on board,” he added.
Net profit which plummeted to $8.5 million during the six months, when compared to $61 million earned during the prior year’s period, the directors said came as a result of higher operating cost for utilities, securities and sanitation and loan financing.
Though the bulk of earnings which amounted to $7.2 million was earned across the June-August quarter, it was still almost $83,000 below that earned for the second quarter period of 2021. The company, which at the end of its last financial year in February slipped into the red after recording losses of over $9 million, has since been making steady progress on its path to recovery. During the first quarter it saw profits return at $1.3 million, though way below the $54 million earned for the same quarter in 2021.
Total operating expenses up to the half year mark was $345 million â€” 18 per cent above or $54 million more than that last year.
“While our electricity consumption has remained almost flat, rate increases are driving up our cost and almost weekly fuel price increases are driving up our cost of transportation and a wide range of our materials and services,” commented Christopher Clarke, chief executive officer (CEO), in notes accompanying the financials posted with the Jamaica Stock Exchange.
Not wanting to make a projection for full year performance, the CEO said the outlook remains positive, even as the company continues to invest in its capital base which included the work being done on its combined heat and power (CHP) plant along with the addition of a larger cold room and blast freezers.