Sales for the quarter ended March 31, 2008 grew by 15.6% to $1.28 billion over the similar period last year, while profit before tax of $188 million reflects a 7% improvement on an excellent first quarter in 2007.
Earnings per share of 68 cents are marginally up from 67 cents in last year’s first quarter results.The quarter’s results were indirectly affected by weaker results from the Financial Services Sector, where in first quarter 2007, there was a significant one time gain on sale of a regional investment and in the Media Sector, where there was a slowing in the demand for advertising. We are pleased to report that we have begun to notice a reversal of these trends in the second quarter.
I am happy to advise that all other Sectors have reported results significantly ahead of last year.Traditionally, the Group produces its best results in the third and fourth quarters of the year and your Board anticipates achieving all 2008 targets.
A. NORMAN SABGA
CHAIRMAN AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE
May 29, 2008