Two Lasco Companies Post Gains

The Lasco affiliated companies involved in financial services and distribution made higher revenues and net profit during the full year ending March 2018, but the third in the triad, which is engaged in manufacturing, recorded reduced earnings.

Lasco Financial Services made $254 million net profit on revenues of $1.6 billion, equating to a 35 per cent rise in net profit and a 51 per cent rise in revenue.

Lasco Distributors made $1 billion net profit on revenues of $16.3 billion. That equated to a 65 per cent rise in net profit and a 3.1 per cent rise in revenue.

Lasco Manufacturing, on the other hand, reported lower sales and lower profit. The company made $560.6 million net profit, down 21 per cent, while revenue slipped three per cent to $6.7 billion.

The three companies are chaired by founder Lascelles Chin.

Lasco Financial’s results got a boost from the acquisition of the loan portfolio of Scotia Jamaica Microfinance Limited, which traded as CrediScotia, in December 2017.

“All key business segments increased in line with our plans and the results were further enhanced with the acquisition of a loans company,” said the company in its statement to shareholders.

CrediScotia was subsequently renamed Lasco Microfinance Limited, and since then Lasco Financial has also folded its loan business, including the portfolio balance and staff, into the new company.

“As such, all future loan contracts will be in the subsidiary company, Lasco Micro Finance. Lasco Financial Services will continue to focus on the money service business, including money transfer, cambio, bill payment and other retail financial transactions,” said the company headed by Jacinth Hall-Tracey.

Lasco Distributors results were its “highest” recorded annual profit to date. This performance was due to the management of margins, growth in key business categories, cost efficiencies and proceeds from the ongoing Pfizer court case,” said the company, which is led by Peter Chin.

The company was awarded $273 million in the Pfizer case, which was substantially lower than it expected, and has since appealed the ruling.

During the fourth quarter, January to March, Lasco Distributors rolled out Lyrix carbonated beverage and an energy drink called Konka, both new products made by its sister manufacturing company.

Lasco Manufacturing, led by James Rawle, said its sales suffered in part from increased competition, leading to “lower-than-expected volume growth” in some product categories. Additionally, its bottom line was impacted by increased finance costs and a non-cash deferred tax charge of $125 million.

“Capital investments were tempered at $342 million during the year. This was for the continued buildout of a much-needed warehousing facility and in acquiring additional machinery and equipment for the manufacturing lines,” the company said.

steven.jackson@gleanerjm.com