…produces a 57 per cent increase in net profits

Sunday, August 09, 2020

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In the midst of a global pandemic, local distribution company Lasco Distributors Limited (LASD) was able to surpass general expectations and produced a 57 per cent increase in net profits totalling $258 million for the quarter ending June 30, 2020.

As a general distributor of consumer and pharmaceutical products, LASD carved out a new record as revenues grew by eight per cent to $4.7 billion.

Executive chairman and founder Lascelles Chin attributed this growth to the company's hard-working staff and increased demand for their canned products, Lasco food drinks and pharmaceutical products in his report to shareholders.

After direct expenses of $3.8 billion were factored in, gross profit for the period ended four per cent higher at $896.2 million. A 10 per cent drop in operating expenses to $650.8 million coupled with a 39 per cent increase in other income to $73.1 million left LASD with an operating profit of $318.5 million, which was 65 per cent higher over the prior period.

Lower finance costs and high taxes resulted in earnings per share of $0.07 compared with the $0.05 in the prior quarter while an unrealised gain on investments of $13.3 million resulted in LASD having a total comprehensive income of $271.4 million versus the $171 million from the prior period.

Total assets increased by 14 per cent to $9.8 billion with non-current assets growing by 11 per cent to $2.3 billion and current assets up 15 per cent to $7.5 billion.

Cash and cash equivalents stood at $2.5 billion compared with the $956.1 million in the prior period while the company's equity holdings increased to $275 million.

LASD purchased one million units of a listed Sagicor company during the quarter which was in addition to their existing holdings comprising Seprod Limited, Lasco Manufacturing, Wigton Windfarm and Supreme Ventures Limited.

Total liabilities grew by 24 per cent to $4 billion with non-current liabilities remaining flat at $82.4 million while the current liabilities increased by 26 per cent to $4 billion. Current liabilities grew during the period as the company's final loan becomes due and payables climbed to $3.8 billion. Shareholder's equity closed out the period eight per cent higher at $5.8 billion, which included a proposed $180 million dividend payment that was paid out in July.

Following the resignation of the prior managing director (MD), Peter Chin, Lascelles Chin confirmed that the company has found a new MD who will be taking up the reigns of leadership very soon. This comes after Lascelles Chin had indicated that the search for the new MD would have taken less than six months.

These are the second set of quarterly results by companies in the manufacturing and distribution sector to release improved results during the COVID-19 measures implemented since March by various governments to contain the virus.

As combined entities, Lasco Manufacturers and Distributors would have surpassed Seprod Limited's profits which topped $570 million recently.

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