Mayberry Jamaican Equities (MJE) Hails Wigton Windfarm's Exceptional Performance

Mayberry Jamaican Equities (MJE) Hails Wigton Windfarm's Exceptional Performance

As the largest shareholder in the Wigton Windfarm, with approximately 9% ownership, Mayberry Jamaican Equities (MJE), is proud to highlight the exceptional performance and strategic growth plans, underscoring its commitment to renewable energy and sustainability.

Wigton Windfarm achieved outstanding financial achievements in the fiscal year ending March 2024, despite a challenging climate. Revenue fell by 7%, mostly due to a 17% decrease in wind-powered production. This resulted in a 7% decline in gross profit, totaling $1.2 billion. Operating profit was $898 million, down 16% from the previous year's $1.1 billion, reflecting lower wind generation. This was disclosed at Wednesday's Mayberry Investor Forum.

Wigton's effective financial management during the fiscal year was a major feature, notably in terms of debt reduction and cost management. Administrative expenses rose 11% due to inflationary pressures, while finance costs fell 4% to $405 million. Wigton successfully paid down approximately $800 million in debt, demonstrating robust cash flow from operations. This debt reduction positions the Company favourably for future growth and stability.

A significant factor contributing to Wigton’s financial success was a favourable tax adjustment. The Company transitioned from a tax charge of $327 million the previous year to a tax income of $358 million, driven by a change in the tax rate. Initially assessed at 33.33%, Wigton’s tax rate was adjusted to 25%, thanks to support from the Minister of Finance. This one-off adjustment led to an extraordinary net profit of $839 million for the year, marking a 172% increase and the highest profit in the company’s history.

Despite a 5% fall in total assets to $10.4 billion, mostly owing to asset depreciation, Wigton's asset base remains strong. These assets include nearly $3.9 billion in cash, which is set aside for future business expansion. The Company’s debt stands at $3.9 billion with a low average borrowing cost of around 7%, resulting in a 76% debt-to-equity ratio, down from 107% for the prior financial year. This improvement in leverage and strong cash position underscore Wigton’s financial health and capacity for growth.

The future seems bright for Wigton as it prepares to expand and diversify its renewable energy business. The Company has submitted a competitive bid for a 50-megawatt solar project under the government’s 100-megawatt RFP. If successful, this project will significantly enhance Wigton’s capacity, currently at 62 megawatts, and shift the energy production mix towards solar. This strategic move aligns with global trends in decentralization, decarbonization, and electrification, positioning Wigton as a key player in the broader energy landscape.

"We're not just looking locally, we're looking Caribbean-wide and hopefully one day globally," stated Gary Barrow, CEO of Wigton Windfarm. "Our big vision is to be a Caribbean conglomerate with heavy investments in energy. How we deploy the cash, the debt-equity ratio, and other financial strategies are critical considerations as we move forward."

Barrow emphasized the importance of diversification in mitigating risks associated with renewable energy. "When dealing with renewables, there is a certain level of uncertainty. One year might have really good wind, another year might not. Diversification into solar and other renewable sources helps balance this variability. The industry faces challenges, including supply chain disruptions and inflationary pressures, but we are well-positioned to overcome these."

Wigton continues to invest in innovative technologies and strategic expansion. The Company is closely monitoring advancements in solar panel efficiency and battery technology. "Our strategy document is a living document that we continuously review," Barrow noted. "We have seen significant reductions in the prices of solar panels and batteries, and the technology is becoming more intelligent and cost-effective."

The Company is also exploring opportunities in the electric vehicle market, aligning with global trends toward decarbonization. "We are bullish on the uptake of electric vehicles and are considering how to integrate this into our portfolio," Barrow said. "Our goal is to be the number one renewable energy company in the Caribbean, with a diversified portfolio spanning multiple countries."