LJ Williams Ltd group is reporting high vaccination against covid19 among staff saying their action helps to keep the company's operations going amind the pandemic.
Seventy-two per cent of LJ Williams employees and 80 per cent of those working Home Store Limited staff got vaccinated the company said in a press advertising thanking the staff.
"Without vaccination we are doomed to masking, social distancing, sanitising, the roller coaster ride of new cases and the inevitable lockdowns. These responsible members of staff chose to protect their families and their company. They made the choice to reduce the risk that could result in sections of our companies closing down," the ad stated.
"By allowing us to maintain operations, they are protecting the revenue streams that keep them employed and supporting their families."
The LJ Williams group are among businesses in the retail sector which reopened Monday after being closed since April based on government restrictions followed by the state of emergency in May to curb the surge in covid19 cases.
Government had mounted a "vaccinate to operate" campaign which saw business chambers and the Supermarket Association helping the vaccination drive by setting up vaccination sites in Trinidad, with a push to get private sector workers vaccinated. Several companies issued vaccination notices to staff saying those who did not get vaccinated faced temporarily layoffs or reduced working hours, others offered incentives. Government has said vaccination remains voluntary as employers and trade unions continue discussions on a workplace policy in the absence of a national one.
LJ Williams' statement on the successful vaccination of employees comes as it recently reported the impact of the lockdown on its businesses. Group sales declined eight per cent to $26.7 million in the third-month period ending June 30, 2021 from $29 million for the same period last year. This marks the group's first quarter of its 2022 fiscal year.
"The Home Store was impacted by the lockdown that started at the end of April 2021 with C3 and Chaguanas branches closing. Our Barataria branch closed on May 17 and reopened on June 14 with limited hours (22 hours a week). We used the time to make changes to our Chaguanas branch and also finalised plans for a garden centre at our C3 store," chairman Krishna Bahadoorsingh reported in his statement.
However, the group before tax profit was $481,000 compared to a loss of $353,000 in the same period last year.
"This swing of $834,000 is due to improvements by our other business units which generated parent company sales 12 per cent above last year."
The group benefited from its food and allied lines divisions was remained open as essential businesses.
It had mixed fortunes for the hardware division which had a good first quarter due to increased exports but the subsequent closure and limited opening impacted sales.
"Shipping division revenue rose with the general uplift of the economy compared to last year and cost reductions last year continue to yield higher profit," said Bahadoorsingh.
"Our first quarter results are better than the year before despite the challenging environment and we expect the performance to continue once the economy is fully reopened."