Lasco Financial Services Limited (LASF), for the nine months ended December 31, 2017 recorded trading income of $1.09 billion; this represented a growth of 37% when compared to $794.46 million posted in 2016, while trading income for the quarter amounted to $407.48 million (2016: $288.25 million). according to LASF, “This is attributed to seasonally strong remittance and cambio inflows bolstered by the income from its new acquisition. LASF acquired 100% shares in Scotia Jamaica Microfinance Company Limited (CrediScotia) through a Share Purchase Agreement effective December 1, 2017. LASF Group now comprises two (2) subsidiaries, CreditScotia, renamed LASCO Microfinance Limited and LASCO Financial Services (Barbados) Limited.” Other income amounted to $31.36 million(2016: $35.95 million), a decrease of 13% year over year. This resulted in overall income of $1.12 billion, a growth of 35% compared to $830.41 million for the corresponding period in 2016. Overall revenue for the quarter was $404.90 million (2016: $297.68 million).
Operating expenses amounted to $431.08 million, 41% more than the $304.96 million the year prior. This as administrative expenses rose by 20% to $388.75 million compared to the $323.87 million in 2016. Selling and promotional expenses also grew 20% to close at $388.75 million relative to the $323.87 million report in the prior period.
Despite the increase in total expenses, profit from operations grew by 49% to total $300.28 million, relative to the $201.58 million recorded last year. profit from operations for the quarter improved 19% to close at $91.48 million (2016: $77.15 million), after booking direct expenses for the acquisition and normal seasonal operational increases.
Finance costs increased to $26.69 million (2016: $2.99 million), resulting in a profit before tax of $273.59 million, relative to the $198.59 million booked for 2016.
Net profits attributable to shareholders totaled $221.52 million, 37% more than the $162.14 million posted for the same period last year. This after taxes for the period totaled $52.07 million (2016: $36.45 million). Net profit for the quarter amounted to $54.78 million relative to $61.97 million booked in 2016.
Earnings per share for Lasco Financial Services Limited (LASF) amounted to $0.18 (2016: $0.13). EPS for the quarter totaled $0.044 (2016: $0.049), while the twelve-month trailing earnings per share amounted to $0.20. The number of shares used in our calculations amounted to 1,257,844,391 units.
LASF noted, “The acquisition of a loans company was one of LASF’s key strategic options to expand its loan business. Over the past year, we have expanded our branch network, team and services in our quest to carve out a significant market share in the Micro Loans business. The acquisition of CrediScotia ,added to its already very strong remittance business, immediately positions LASCO Financial Services Limited among Jamaica’s strongest financial services companies. In the coming months, LFSL will combine its loan business into the subsidiary company and focus on the continued opportunities to serve the market which aligns with our LASCO philosophy and strategy of financial inclusion. The combined businesses will own a network of 13 branches, a large customer base and large loan portfolio.”
Balance Sheet Highlights:
As at December 31, 2017, the company’s assets totaled $3.26 billion, $1.62 billion or 99% more than its value a year ago. This increase was largely due to ‘loans and receivables’ which climbed from $636.19 million to $1.85 billion.
Equity attributable to stockholders of the company amounted to $1.33 billion relative to $1.13 billion in 2016. This translates to a book value per share of $1.06 (2016: $0.90).
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