Lasco Financial Services Limited made record profit after tax of over $100 million for the first quarter ending June, while also announcing that it ceased its partnership with Courts in Barbados to sell MoneyGram services.
Lasco Financial continues to benefit from increased loan activity at its Lasco Microfinance division, formerly CrediScotia.
“Of note for this financial period is the positive contribution of the newly acquired Lasco Microfinance Limited. Just above half of the increase in income was contributed by loans,” said Managing Director Jacinth Hall-Tracey in the preface to the financial report.
Lasco Financial made $100.5 million net profit for the first quarter, up 50 per cent year-on-year. It’s the first time that Lasco Financial has hit that profit milestone, based on a review of past filings.
The profit growth was aided by an increase in the number of transactions while keeping expenses relatively stable. Revenues increased $235 million or 74 per cent to total $554.5 million.
Subsequent to the financial year end, Lasco Financial embarked upon a reorganisation programme under which its loans division was merged with Lasco Microfinance Limited, giving rise to a substantially larger loan operation with 13 branches nationwide.
Hall Tracey stated that under the reorganised entity, the parent will focus on cambio and remittance services in Jamaica and Lasco Microfinance will focus on providing credit.
Lasco Financial is an agent of the international money transfer company, MoneyGram International. It is a leading agent with a series of subagents locally. It, however, also has operated in Barbados but revealed challenges over the years.
“Conversely, at the end of the quarter, by mutual consent, Unicomer (Barbados) Limited, Courts, and Lasco Financial ceased offering MoneyGram services in that market,” said Hall-Tracey in the financials.
The Financial Gleaner sought clarification from Lasco on whether it meant Lasco would cease operations altogether in that market or would seek to find another partner, but calls to the managing director were not returned.
The Barbados customers will continue to be served by MoneyGram through its other local agent, Lasco said.
Lasco Financial’s book value rose to $1.47 billion in June, compared with $1.2 billion a year earlier.