|D’Aguilar: AML eyeing $140M in sales|
Guardian Business Editor
Published: Jun 27, 2012
The chairman of AML Foods is upping the ante on total sales projections, estimating that the company should hit upwards of $140 million by 2014.
That represents a $15 million increase over last year’s estimate.
The statement comes shortly after Guardian Business exclusively revealed plans by the firm to open a Solomon's Fresh Market in the Harbour Bay Shopping Centre. For the first quarter of this year, the BISX-listed company saw its sales surge 27.5 percent, partly on the back of the successful opening of the Solomon's Fresh Market out west in the Old Fort Bay Town Centre.
The second store out east, plus a number of other ventures in the pipeline, have inspired Dionisio D'Aguilar to reassess the firm’s prospects.
"I think we should be doing $140 million in sales, climaxing around the end of 2014 and into 2014," the chairman said. "I would base that on the opening of a Solomon's in Lucaya over in Grand Bahama, and you'll have the Fresh Market out east."
The latter is expected to be completed by Christmas after an investment of $5.5 million.
Nestled near the Paradise Island crowd and the boating crowd, along with thousands of residents in the area, D’Aguilar expects the new store to offer a great deal of convenience.
Products at Solomon's Fresh Market are often at higher prices, but offer a level of quality and diversity not seen elsewhere on the island.
"I think the competitors have had to take notice, and perhaps up their game a bit," he said.
Acknowledging that Super Value is "very much the dominant player", the chairman said many Bahamians will continue to shop there due to proximity and convenience. Super Value has by the far the most number of large-scale supermarkets in the capital.
However, AML Foods has managed to scoop up at least two properties since the permanent closure of City Market earlier this year. D’Aguilar said the company is focused on strategic growth, rather than biting off more than it can chew.
"We want the low hanging fruit. We're pretty sure we can hit a home run," he said.
The impressive $140 million in sales by 2014 should be aided by improved synergies between AML's various streams of business. Operating expenses remain a challenge for the BISX-listed company, but Gavin Watchorn, the CEO, told Guardian Business that it's being tempered by rising sales without dramatic spikes in overhead.
"The real advantage is we can have new stores open without having additional cost to our corporate center, which is huge. You can add millions in sales without adding central cost," Watchorn said.
AML Foods has Solomon's, Solomon's Fresh Market, Domino's Pizza, Cost Right, and soon Carl's Jr. under its corporate banner.