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April 8, 2015
08 Apr 2015

LASCO Chairman urges private sector to convert challenges to profits

Press Release

For Immediate Release

                                    Tuesday, March 3, 2015

LASCO Chairman urges private sector to convert challenges to profits

 

White Marl, St. Catherine; Lascelles Chin, Founder and Executive Chairman of the LASCO Affiliated Companies, urged the private sector to shift focus from difficulties being faced to finding solutions in order to drive economic growth. Speaking at a Mayberry Investment Forum on Wednesday, February 25 at the Knutsford Court Hotel, the LASCO founder revealed impressive growth indicators from the affiliated group to shareholders. He attributed this to the company’s focus on converting challenges in the market into valuable opportunities.

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“There is still more that needs to be done to make the private sector the engine of growth for the country. We capitalize on what is available and keep looking for new opportunities in the midst of difficulties. If we keep harping on what policies are needed to stimulate growth in the economy, we lose sight of what is available and what is being introduced and progress eludes us,” he said.

 

Chin highlighted the depreciating dollar, high energy costs, high taxation and a world economy with fifty percent still in recession as other challenges to doing business, but was quick to note that challenges are not his focus; his efforts are placed on finding solutions. He cited some examples of how companies have capitalized on business opportunities in the face of economic challenges.

 

“Over the past year, Jamaica has moved up on the index for the ease of doing business; we have experienced that shift. Efforts have been made by governments past and present to facilitate business initiatives, local and foreign. We have made and will contribute to make optimum use of all the facilities for business advancement.

 

“We capitalized on the many benefits of the Junior Stock Exchange and its expert staff, setting a pace that has motivated others to follow. We optimize the services offered by JAMPRO and its dedicated staff,” he continued.

 

Statistics from the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association underscore the challenges being faced by the manufacturing sector, which accounted for about 8.40 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) in 2013, down from more than 20 percent in the 1980’s.

 

Notwithstanding, LASCO’s manufacturing arm made a sizable investment of over US$25 million into the expansion of its industrial complex with a new state-of-the-art liquid factory, while LASCO Distributors is planning another JMD$1.2 billion expansion to increase warehouse space. The introduction of the newest product line, iCool beverages, aided LASCO Manufacturing in the achievement of third quarter profits of over $158 million. The developments at both affiliated companies have also resulted in increased employment from 450 to 750 persons.

 

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According to Chin, the key to achieving success is turning challenges into opportunities for exploring new initiatives and strategies for further expansion and innovation.

 

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April 8, 2015
08 Apr 2015

LASCO ON TARGET TO DOUBLE PROFITS

Press Release

For Immediate Release

                                                                                                                                                  Wednesday, March 4, 2015

LASCO on target to double profits

 White Marl, St. Catherine; Lascelles Chin’s predictions of doubling 2013 – 2014 profits in three years might be realized in the year ending 2015-2016, one year earlier than expected. Chin was speaking at the Mayberry Investment Forum on Wednesday, February 25 at the Knutsford Court Hotel, where he said that the three companies, LASCO Manufacturing, LASCO Distributors and LASCO Financial Services, are aiming to achieve combined revenues exceeding $3 billion dollars.

 

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This, he said, would be accomplished through returns from the recent expansions, the introduction of new products already in the pipeline and new partnerships. Chin cited the iCool brand of beverages as one of LASCO’s most successful new products so far, that will contribute to the future profit-making of the company. He emphasized that LASCO Manufacturing Limited has been forced to increase production shifts in order to meet the excessive demand from wholesalers and consumers. The great taste and competitive price were quoted as the reason for the demand, which pressured competitors to lower the prices for similar products. The product has also been credited for the company’s third quarter profits amounting to $158.3 million, an increase of 19.5 percent from the previous quarter ending December 2013.

 

“We introduced the new liquids to the market in October of last year and had to introduce a second shift at Christmas to satisfy the extraordinary demand for the product. The market wants more iCool beverages and we are now introducing a third shift to meet the demand,” said Chin. He also hinted at several new categories of liquid products that will be ideal for export and will take over market share from imported substitutes. 

 

The imminent commissioning of the dry blend plant will lead to increased production capacity for powdered beverage mixes and the introduction of new categories of products. Chin further stated that LASCO will continue to move their powdered products in large volumes both locally and overseas.

 

LASCO Distributors Limited is also looking forward to significant earnings from robust distribution deals with Unilever and MonyMusk. The new sales agreements are expected to build on the company’s financial results for the last nine months, with revenues totaling $7.99 billion for the period ending December 2014, an increase of 15 percent compared to the previous period.

 

 

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Chin’s presentation also spoke to the increased revenue streams for LASCO Financial Services Limited. This he said will result from the partnerships with MailPac Financial Services and CONEC Mobile Wallet to name a few. The company’s new and advanced software (Agent Connect) will allow for easier transaction processing and reduction in identity fraud. LASCO Financial Services is looking forward to meeting its financial target after reporting a net profit of $18.9 million over the last nine months, 33 percent higher than the corresponding period.

 

Undaunted by challenges

Chin is not daunted by the challenges the companies will face to achieve this success and sought to reassure shareholders that LASCO remains on steady footing and their investment is in safe hands.

 

 “We operate in an economy with a depreciating dollar, high energy costs, reduced consumer spending power, high taxation and a world economy with 50 percent still in recession just to name a few of the many challenges,” he said, “however, challenges are not our focus. It is finding solutions that absorbs our time and energy. Before our expansion we employed 450; now we are employing over 750 persons.”

 

 

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February 23, 2015
23 Feb 2015

PRIME MINISTER LAUDS LASCO’S EXPANSION

Press Release

For Immediate Release                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Friday, January 16, 2015

 

Prime Minister Lauds LASCO’s Expansion

 

Prime Minister of Jamaica, The Most Honourable, Portia Simpson Miller, has commended The Honourable Lascelles Chin for his commitment to Jamaica, further demonstrated through the recent expansion of LASCO Manufacturing’s production capacity.  While addressing the media during her tour of the facilities at White Marl on Wednesday, January 14, the Prime Minister stated, “I recognize the company as a driver of economic growth and a valuable and consistent provider of jobs for Jamaican people. LASCO’s investment in their new factory capacity, the new liquid plant at White Marl, is a response to growing market demand. The ability of companies to change in response to new market dynamic is critical to renewing Jamaica’s manufacturing sector and giving new life.”

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The company broke ground in 2012 for the state of the art facility which has been in full operation since the third quarter of last year.  LASCO has since launched the first locally manufactured line of non-carbonated beverages for the company. The brand LASCO iCool, includes iCool Water, iCool Juice Drinks and iCool Cranberry Flavoured Waters and has been well received in trade.

 

The Honourable Lascelles Chin, Founder and Executive Chairman of LASCO Affiliated Companies says further expansion is on the horizon as the manufacturing company will implement a third production shift to meet the escalated demand, as well as to enhance the storage capacity. “We will be investing over $1.2 billion to erect a 100,000 sq ft warehouse at LASCO Distributors Ltd. providing well needed space required for satisfying the increased production of liquid and powdered products from the new LASCO Manufacturing Plant,” explained Lascelles Chin.

 

LASCO Manufacturing Limited’s new manufacturing plant constructed for over US$25 million brings their facilities at white marl to just about 340,000 sq ft with the introduction of liquid manufacturing facilities and bottle-blowing plant. LASCO’s massive investment in technology is expected to improve efficiency and with the expansion will come more jobs.

 

Dr. Eileen Chin, Managing Director, LASCO Manufacturing Limited noted that the expansion has been a long process that has registered both challenges and successes. “We saw the need to provide consumers with healthy products at an affordable price and our aim as market leaders is to bring the consumer the highest quality products at the lowest possible price. LASCO iCool Juice Drinks and Cranberry Flavoured Waters has added Vitamin B6 & B12 and minerals, which is good for the nervous system, energy and stress relief. It is a great tasting and healthy product for everyone,” she explained.

 

Dr. Chin also noted that the company which exports a number of countries is focused on further expanding in these markets with growth of 40% – 50% annually over the last three years. “We continue to contribute to the country and to building Brand Jamaica”.

 

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Additional Information

 

LASCO Manufacturing Limited

LASCO Manufacturing Limited, makers of Jamaica’s number one LASCO Food Drink, celebrates 20 years of successfully producing amazing products for local and international markets. Remaining true to its slogan, “Everyday Family Values”, each product offered by LASCO delivers superior quality and value to the consumer.

LASCO iCool Water and Non-carbonated Drinks

LASCO’s newest brand and beverage line is the refreshing iCool water, flavoured water and juice drinks. With the slogan ‘iCool Fi Life’, the product line already created waves in the market, within just a few weeks on the shelves.  The purified water is available in the sizes 600ml and 6L, and has been described by its consumers as cool, crisp and refreshing. The newly released LASCO iCool Flavoured Water is available in Cran-strawberry and Cranberry flavours and is competitively priced against its competitors.     LASCO iCool Juice Drink, is available in the tantalizing flavours, Fruit Punch and Tangerine.  LASCO iCool is an excellent world-class thirst refresher, in an attractively packaged and environmentally friendly low density plastic bottle. The product is among the most competitively priced beverages on the market.

January 15, 2015
15 Jan 2015

LASCO Distributors further strengthens partnership with Unilever

News Release

    Wednesday, January 7, 2015

 

LASCO Distributors further strengthens partnership with Unilever

White Marl, St. Catherine; Unilever, one of the  world’s  largest consumer goods company, has inked another distribution deal with LASCO Distributors Limited, this time for its line of Personal Care products. Effective December 29, 2014, LASCO began distribution of the brands; Just for Me, Motions, Tresemme, VO5 and St. Ives.

The announcement came following the declaration of a strategic partnership between the local distribution company and Unilever Caribbean in November which saw LASCO assuming responsibility for the distribution of the multinational’s food brands.

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Peter Chin, Managing Director of LASCO Distributors Limited, noted that “We are pleased with the appointment  to distribute  these Unilever Personal Care brands  as it forms part of our  strategic growth plans to increase product distribution and  penetration in Jamaica.

Roxane de Freitas, Managing Director of Unilever North Caribbean, noted that “We look forward to building a strong and sustainable partnership with LASCO Distributors Limited. The addition of the Unilever personal care brands to the portfolio will better enable Unilever to achieve its growth objectives through its local partner.”

Unilever produces some of the world’s leading consumer brands including teas, ice cream, margarine, lotions and  shampoos.  The Unilever brands add to LASCO Distributors portfolio of over 3,000 notable local and international consumer and pharmaceutical brands and products.

Unilever is already benefitting from LASCO Distributors Limited’s effective and comprehensive merchandizing, 24 hour delivery service and the company’s expansive warehouse facilities at White Marl St. Catherine.  With the latest addition coming just a month after the initial distribution agreement, LASCO is poised to further strengthen its position in the local market.

LASCO Distributors Limited commenced distribution for Unilever in November with the food brands – Lipton and Red Rose teas, Knorr Side Dishes, Hellmann’s Mayonnaise, Blue Band, Flora, I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter and Country Crock margarines and it’s ice-cream brands Ben and Jerry’s, Popsicle and Breyers.

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November 11, 2014
11 Nov 2014

LASCO/MoE Teacher and Principal of the Year Pass with Flying Colours

(L-R) Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, Minister of Education, Anieta Bailey, Teacher of the Year, Heather Murray, Principal of the Year, Dr. Eileen Chin, Managing Director, LASCO Manufacturing Ltd., and Hon. Lascelles Chin, Executive Chairman, LASCO Affiliated Companies.

(L-R) Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, Minister of Education, Anieta Bailey, Teacher of the Year, Heather Murray, Principal of the Year, Dr. Eileen Chin, Managing Director, LASCO Manufacturing Ltd., and Hon. Lascelles Chin, Executive Chairman, LASCO Affiliated Companies.

Kingston, Jamaica; Anieta Bailey, a teacher at Marymount High School and Heather Murray, Principal of Hampton High School  have been selected top educators in the annual LASCO/Ministry of Education Teacher and Principal of the Year Awards 2014/2015. The educators were honoured for excellence in the teaching profession at the Awards Ceremony on Tuesday, November 4 at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel.

The Teacher and Principal of the Year each received a trophy and a cash award of $250,000 among other prizes and will be attending the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) Professional Development Conference in Houston Texas in 2015.

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Murray succeeds outgoing LASCO/MoE Principal of the Year Norman Malcolm of Windward Road Primary, while Bailey will take over the reins from Janet Walters of John Rollins Success Primary.Each winner was selected from an impressive batch of finalists who gave committed and dedicated service to education and the school community.

Runners-up in the Teacher of the Year category Loaneen Palmer-Carroll of deCarteret College and Roxanne Blagrove of Holland High School, received high marks for innovation in using several teaching techniques to boost learning outcomes. Yvonne Ward-Hardie of Retrieve All-Age School and Lynton Weir of Old Harbour High School, runners-up in the Principal of the Year class, also had a brilliant report card, having demonstrated exceptional leadership. The second and third place winners received $150,000 and $100,000 respectively, trophies and other prizes.

Dr. Eileen Chin, Managing Director, LASCO Manufacturing Limited was impressed with the winners and explained that these champions in education must be recognized for their exceptional work.

“We recognize the important role educators play in the development of our society. Their commitment to shaping the minds of the youth and their tireless service, which sometimes requires them to go above the call of duty, often goes unnoticed. We hold this programme dear to our hearts because it gives us an opportunity to recognize and show appreciation to these unsung heroes as we pay tribute not only to the awardees but to all the hard working members of the profession,” she said.

Heather Murray has devoted over 37 years to molding the minds of the youth. Her community interventions while at the Hampton High School for Girls have resulted in increased enrollment at the institution by approximately 50 per cent. During her decade of leadership at the school, she has also introduced technology-based learning concepts such as lessons via Skype/video calling, e-Learning and Digital Media usage throughout the curriculum that has improved capabilities of the student output.

Like Principal Murray, Anieta Bailey also utilizes technology in the delivery of her lessons. She has proven that creative, engaging and interactive teaching sessions are essential to the classroom experience. Her success during the eight years spent at Marymount High School has motivated other teachers to emulate her enthusiasm and teaching practices.

The LASCO/MoE Teacher of the Year programme began in 1997 and subsequently incorporated the Principal of the Year category in 2006 to recognize the leaders in educational administration.

August 15, 2014
15 Aug 2014

LASCO DISTRIBUTORS, TRULY JAMAICAN FOR 25 YEARS

LASCO Distributors Plans Product Line Expansions To Commemorate 25 Years of OperationKingston, Jamaica: September 23, 2013: A church service held at the Christian Fellowship World Outreach on Red Hills Road marked the first in a series of scheduled events to commemorate LASCO Distributor’s 25 years of service to Jamaican families. The consumer and pharmaceutical product distribution company will be expanding its operations in the coming year with a number of product lines under the LASCO brand.

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Energised by more than half a billion dollars profits over the last financial year, Founder & Executive Chairman of LASCO Affiliated Companies, the Honourable Lascelles Chin, addressed the LASCO family, special guests and church members at the church service on September 22, 2013. He acknowledged that “we are filled with great pride and gratitude to God, yet truly humbled to have reached such a significant milestone. Over the last 25 years, LASCO has grown to become a strong household name, synonymous with affordability, quality, value and service.”

LASCO Distributors is one of the largest distributors with over 250 products under the LASCO umbrella as well as other brands. The Company has attracted additional product representation with Pharmaceutical Houses and will be bringing to the market a number of new brands as it strengthens its distribution network.

The Chairman reminded the gathering “at LASCO, our philosophy has always been to provide high quality, affordable products to all our customers.  It has also been our philosophy to share our success through the corporate programmes that we sponsor.  This is why for over 12 years now we have successfully honoured our police, teachers, and nurses through various Programmes.  It is our hope to honour many more unsung heroes for their contribution to this great nation.” With the continuing economic pressures at home, the launch of new products to be distributed by LASCO will re-affirm the Company’s commitment to Jamaican families.

Pastor of the Christian Fellowship Outreach, Rev. Dr. Mark Hardy, JP commended LASCO Distributors on reaching 25 years in his sermon surrounding “God at work in the past, present and future”. He recognized the challenging period in which LASCO was founded in 1988, the same year as Hurricane Gilbert and the uncertain national economic environment with the IMF. He saluted the Chairman and the LASCO team for remaining steadfast in hard work and dedication to building a successful company, overcoming many of the challenges along the way.

Also in attendance at the church service were Assistant Commissioner of Police, Mr. Leon Rose, LASCO Board members, NAJ President, Anthonette Patterson-Bartley, 2013/2014 LASCO Nurse of the Year Miss Shailee Neish and Student Nurse Tameka Swaby, 2012/2013 Teacher of the Year Mrs. Daeganna Spencer-Hull and Principal of the Year Dr. Margaret Bailey, as well as a sizeable complement of LASCO Distributors staff members and their families.

December 5, 2013
05 Dec 2013

Students islandwide REAP success

KINGSTON – Students from 50 schools who participated in the inaugural LASCO Releaf Environmental Awareness Programme (REAP) were recognized for their outstanding work at a special awards ceremony and luncheon held today (May 14, 2013) at the Knutsford Court Hotel, St Andrew.

Moneague Primary and Junior High in St Ann emerged with top scores winning the main prize of the LASCO  REAP Trophy and 10 computers for its computer lab. Also receiving computers for its/their schools were second and third placed winners, Highgate Primary and Junior High in St Mary and Denham Town Primary in Kingston.  The Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Preserving our Natural Environment was presented to Moneague’s Cadayne Lewis, the top student from the winning Environmental club.  Cadayne also won a scholarship amounting to $20,000 from the NCB Foundation.

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The LASCO Chairman’s Lascelles Chin Award, also for Excellence in Preserving our Natural Environment, was presented to Jordayne Mundy, the top student of the second place school, Highgate Primary and Junior High.

Other schools finishing among the top five were third placed Denham Town Primary whose Amelia Powell, won for Best Poem; Goshen All-Age in St Elizabeth was fourth and Albert Town Primary in Trelawny finished fifth.

The top placed teachers were Annette MacDonald and Cordella West from Moneague.

Members of the winning environmental club all received medals courtesy of the RJR Communications Group and other consolation prizes.

The top students from 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th placed schools all received scholarships from NCB Foundation and other consolation prizes.

Speaking at today’s awards ceremony, Mr. Lascelles Chin, OJ, Chairman and CEO of LASCO Affiliated Companies, main sponsors of the project, congratulated all who participated in the programme for their involvement and commitment.

He noted that the description of Jamaica as the ‘Land of Wood and Water’ was being seriously undermined by groups of people cutting down forests to make charcoal.

Mr. Chin said the LASCO REAP Programme was an important step towards reversing that trend. In commending the students for their commitment, the LASCO chairman urged them to see the programme as a metaphor for their lives.

He said to reap success, they had to learn to work together as part of a bigger team, setting aside individualistic concerns and to focus instead on the collective good of the society.

Mr. Chin also reminded them that they should not expect to reap overnight success in their various endeavours. Rather, they should set long term goals and work continually to improve themselves.

Referring specifically to the LASCO REAP project, he noted that to date, more than 2,500 trees have been planted island-wide.

LASCO REAP was launched in October 2012, in an effort to reinforce the popular description of Jamaica as the Land of Wood and Water. This was done as part of an awareness building programme targeting primary school level children to be become more actively involved in the environment around them.

The LASCO REAP Programme was executed with a view to creating a new zeal both in the student population as well as with the local community at large.

It was launched in commemoration of Jamaica’s 50th Anniversary of Independence and included a competition initiated among 50 pre-selected schools island-wide. This served to increase awareness of the correlation of lifestyle and environment.

The mission of LASCO Reap is to increase environmental awareness and education in students in all primary schools, including the 50 pre-selected Schools island-wide via a competition focusing on the following areas:

– Comprehensive Talent Competition in the Areas of Poetry, Dance, Song, Art and

Essay (all related to the theme of environmental awareness)

– Reforestation via Comprehensive Tree- Planting Programme

– Energy Conservation and Recycling

– Vegetable and Flower Garden Design and Maintenance

– Anti-Litter and Clean up Campaign (School and Community)

– Greenbelt Depletion and Urban Development AWARENESS

Representatives from other corporate affiliates such as the Sandals Foundation, the NCB Foundation, Protect the Environment, RADA and the Forestry Department also made presentations at today’s ceremony.

With the REAP team describing the first term as a big success, they are hoping to continue the project in the coming years.

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