UDC Records $413 Million Profit

The Urban Development Corporation (UDC) is reporting a significant turn-around in its financial performance, recording $413 million in profit as at March 2014.

Addressing a JIS Think Tank session on Thursday, June 12, General Manager of the UDC, Desmond Malcolm, informed that after inheriting a loss of about $1.2 billion in March 2012, the corporation was able to achieve a profit of $95.1 million by March 2013.

Mr. Malcolm informed that the successful divestment of some of the UDC’s non-performing assets is a major factor in the financial turn-around, including the Forum Hotel in Portmore, and Machado Complex in Kingston.

The Forum Hotel has been divested to a private sector group as a residential and commercial complex; and the Machado Complex will be developed as a downtown Kingston education and training centre by the Ministry of Education through the HEART Trust/NTA.

He also disclosed that the Oceana Hotel is in the final stages of full divestment.

Mr. Malcolm said over the last two years the board of the UDC had a specific focus on increasing revenues from performing assets such as the Dunns River Falls in St. Ann.

“In two years we increased the revenue intake at Dunns River Falls by more than 50 per cent,” Mr. Malcolm stated, noting that this was done without increasing the entrance fees to the historic attraction.

Other measures which resulted in the UDC’s financial stability since 2012 are the strategic re-organization of staff and energy conservation measures.

The General Manager said that going forward the UDC will continue to dispose of loss-making assets. He is encouraging the private sector to partner with the corporation in its development plans.

He further added that the UDC Board, led by Senator KD Knight, “is committed to continue turning the corporation around and maximizing the assets under its control, in the context for national development.”

By Oroyo Eubanks