Proven Group Limited plans to avoid acquisitions this year due to global uncertainty, but will continue to develop property projects.
This is the second time since the start of the pandemic that the company has taken a passive approach.
“We want to preserve capital,” Proven CEO Christopher Williams said at the company’s annual general meeting on Thursday.
The group recently changed its name from Proven Investments Limited to Proven Group as part of regulatory requirements for the establishment of a holding company for a bank it bought in the Cayman Islands, Williams explained.
Proven and its subsidiaries currently operate or provide services in the investment, banking, retirement, microfinance, real estate and food industries.
The group holds total assets of US$1.1 billion, up from US$675 million a year earlier.
“We operate throughout the Caribbean and there are different levels of downturn. None were significant in percentage terms, nothing more than three or four percent, but there is definitely a slowdown across the Caribbean,” he said, citing interest rate hikes, the inflation and supply chain challenges. “So we are not looking for any acquisitions as a result; we sit back and make the most of our existing portfolio. »
The company intends to maintain its dividend distributions.
“We are happy with our cash position,” Williams said. “There is no panic in any of our operations and we are just maintaining that.”
The group, through its subsidiary Proven Properties Limited, has 10 property developments underway, four of which are due for completion this calendar year. They include Le Cesar, a residential complex comprising six villas and nine apartments; Via in Braemar, comprising 99 residential units; Gladstone Commercial, covering 42,000 square feet of commercial market space; and The Lagoons in the Cayman Islands, a complex of 13 townhouses. All four developments are expected to be completed this month.
“The development we’ve done in Cayman has been incredibly profitable. It’s within budget and time. It was an excellent experience working with the contractor and with the project manager. This will provide very strong returns,” he said, explaining that the group expects to book profits from the project after the titles are handed over in the December quarter.
Among its local projects, Proven opened Sol Harbor in Ocho Rios, which will provide 156 residential units slated for completion by September 2024, and has plans for two properties in Runaway Bay, Williams said.
The group also owns a small property on Chelsea Avenue.
“It’s a parking lot right now and we have no intention of developing this property,” he said.