QCOSTARICA – Florida Ice & Farm Company (FIFCO), the Costa Rican based holding company primarily engaged, through its subsidiaries, in the food and beverages industry, confirmed on Saturday the laying off of 500 employees in Costa Rica, that figure represents 10% of the total payroll in the country.
Most of the people who will join the ranks of the unemployed in the country worked in Fifco’s hotel business, in the Reserva Conchal resort community, the Hotel W and Westin Golf Resort & Spa.
Fifco announced the temporary closure of its two hotels on March 22, following mobility restrictions due to the sanitary vehicular restrictions and the closure of borders, as a result of the measures taken by the Government to contain the contagion of covid-19.
“It is important to mention that Fifco supported 100% of its workers for more than 9 months of pandemic, despite having the hotel operation 100% closed and a very important part of its beverage customers also closed,” the company reported in a statement.
The Costa Rican conglomerate assured that it will pay the full severances under the law to workers laid off and would also give them additional financial aid, but did not detail amounts, and assist them in re-entering the job market.
“As the economy, restrictions and tourism improve, the company expects to rehire,” the statement added.
During the closing of the hotels that began on March 22 and lasted until August, Fifco kept the full payroll for that business and 35% of employees continued to receive full salary.
The Reserva Conchal is a tourist project of two hotels with a combined 560 rooms, 150 residential units and a golf course, located in Playa Conchal, southwest of Flamingo, Guanacaste.
Impact of the crisis
The pandemic hit Florida Ice & Farm Co. (Fifco) hard in the first half of the year. The Interim Consolidated Financial Statements as of June 30, 2020 show a negative impact on the company’s results.
The total profit went from ¢30.9 billion colones to ¢12,4 billion in the interannual comparison, a figure that represents a reduction of 59.7%.
El Financiero reviewed, in August, the financial statements to delve into the economic and tax situation of the different businesses such as beverages, food, real estate and others.
FIFCO is structured as a holding company with three subsidiaries: Florida Bebidas (food and beverages that operates the Cervecería Costa Rica – beer brewery), Florida Capitales (investments in bottling facilities), and Florida Inmobiliaria (investments in resort hotels).
In October 2012 FIFCO purchased North American Breweries Holdings (NAB) from KPS Capital Partners, for US$388 million through its subsidiary Cervecería Costa Rica. NAB sells Genesee and Labatt beer in the United States, as well as craft or small batch beers including Honey Brown Lager, Magic Hat and Pyramid. Under contract, FIFCO brews Heineken beer at its facility at La Ribera de Belen.