Darville: AML's investment into GB shows investor confidence
Freeport News Reporter
Sales at AML Foods are projected to top $150 million by the end of 2013 and establish it as the largest food store company in the country, Dionisio D'Aguilar, chairman of AML Foods Limited said yesterday.
He made the announcement during the official opening of the company's Solomon's food store in the Seahorse Shopping Center.
"We wish to thank the residents of Freeport for their support and to assure them that AML's commitment to Freeport will only continue to grow. We must also not forget that AML is a 100 percent Bahamian owned company with over 1,300 Bahamian shareholders many of whom are here in Freeport," he said.
Since the store opened several months ago it has created 60 permanent and part time jobs and is expected to generate an annual payroll of approximately $1.2 million D'Aguilar said.
D'Aguilar said opening a new food store requires an army of focused and passionate people, because every detail matters from where the items are purchased, down to what products are placed in each isle.
He said the company lets its brands represent what Solomon's stands for "great wholesome foods at value pricing."
"Our vision is to provide Bahamian consumers with a shopping experience that is equal or exceeds the U.S. shopping experience," he said.
D'Aguilar said the company has experienced a tremendous amount of public support since it opened.
Almost 40 percent of AML's sales are generated from Grand Bahama, he said.
"We would like to thank the residents of Freeport for their support and to assure them that AML's commitment to Freeport will only continue to grow," he said.
Minister of Grand Bahama Dr. Michael Darville said the company is an example of success.
"AML Foods stands as a remarkable success story in business and entrepreneurship. Incorporated in November 1989, this company has grown by leaps and bounds and in just 22 years with 100 percent Bahamian ownership and in annual sales just short of $100,000,00, AML Foods has certainly become a major engine that drives the retails sector and by extension the Bahamian economy," he said.
Darville said the investment in the Seahorse store has pumped approximately $3.9 million into the local economy and has shown the company's commitment to Grand Bahama.
"This investment in my opinion is a testament to investor confidence in Grand Bahama despite the challenges we currently face in our local economy," he said.
Darville added that the cost of electricity is a challenge to profitability at the store, like many other businesses, and the government is moving to identify sustainable sources of alternative energy.
"I am convinced that if businesses are to remain profitable and if Grand Bahama is to remain competitive as a premiere tourism destination and industrial center we must find a way to reduce the cost of electricity," he said.
President of the Grand Bahama Port Authority Ian Rolle said the new Solomon's store has become a necessity.
"Its presence at this location brings value and convenience to the residents of the surrounding community. Further, it services the needs of resort guests, winter residents and others who dwell in the surrounding tourist commercial areas and thereby enhances the value of our city's tourism and real estate product offering," he said.
Rolle said he applauded AML Foods for it commitment to providing quality products and services for over 23 years throughout the country.
"Today is another milestone in the history of Abaco Markets and for us it represents Bahamian and investor confidence in our island's economy. This is what Grand Bahama needs," he said.
© 2012 The Freeport News