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LIME in the red

Shawn Cumberbatch

LIME in the red

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Cable & Wireless (Barbados) Limited’s persistently healthy profits have buckled under the weight of a $103 million “major restructuring” programme that included the departure of more than half of its employees.

​For the first time in recent memory, the company which trades as LIME is seeing red – recording a $69.7 million loss before taxes up to the end of March after tallying $208.4 million in profits between 2010 and last year.

And after receiving $63.1 million in dividends last year, the company’s shareholders will not be paid a cent this time.

Chairman Sir Allan Fields reasoned that “shareholders will appreciate that the long-term viability is critical and the sacrifice being made now will redound to the benefit of all stakeholders in many years to come”.

Sir Allan, chief executive officer (CEO) Oliver Chatten and chief financial officer and commercial director Patrick Hinkson outlined the anomalous performance in the company’s 2014 annual report.

​​A year ago LIME confirmed the separation of 200 members of its “service support and delivery associated customer support teams” after it signed a deal outsourcing some of its technical services to Ericsson.

These and other departures from the company strained relations with the Barbados Workers’ Union and prompted the intervention of Prime Minister Freundel Stuart.