LAB reports 54% increase in nine months net profit

September 15, 2020

The Limner and Bards Limited (LAB), for the nine months ended July 31, 2020, reported a 41% increase in revenues to $686.15 million versus $486.28 million booked in 2019. Revenues for the quarter rose by 41% to $214.73 million (2019: $151.80 million). Management noted that, “the revenue growth was driven by growth in media placement (up $136.3 million or 60.5%), advertising agency (up $58.1 million or 72.7%) and production (up $5.3 million or 3%) during the period.”

Cost of operating revenue rose by 46% for the period to $458.71 million (2019: $313.31 million). Consequently, gross profit for the period rose by 31% closing at $227.44 million compared to $172.96 million for the same period last year. For the quarter, gross profit increased 27% to $61.05 million (2019: $48.06 million).

The Company reported a 48% increase in administration expenses to $118.47 million (2019: $79.91 million). Whereas, selling and distribution expense fell 45% to $538,564 (2019: $976,221). For the quarter, the Company reported a 31% increase in administrative expenses which closed the quarter at $39.77 million (2019: $30.35 million). The Company noted that, “these increases are primarily attributable to staff costs (due to increase work volume). While the company implemented a cost containment strategy, some one-off costs also contributed to the increase administration expenses. These included a systemization initiative and training to assist in efficiencies linked to our growth drivers and a pay-out of 50 % of our 2019 employee profit share.”

Consequently, profit before net finance and taxation rose by 18% to $108.43 million (2019: $92.08 million).

Net finance costs decreased to $361,896 compared to net finance cost of $3.44 million for the same period in the prior year. This consisted of finance income of $3.65 million (2019: $250,793) and finance cost of $4.01 million (2019: $3.69 million).

LAB booked a loss in value of investment classified as FVTPL of $257,874 (2019: nil).

Profit before taxation amounted to $107.81 million (2019: $88.64 million). No taxation charge was booked for the period relative to a taxation charge of $18.82 million in 2019, as such net profit for the nine months grew by 54% to $107.81 million (2019: $69.81 million). Net profit for the quarter was reported at $21.14million compared to $12.70 million booked in the corresponding quarter of 2019.

Earnings per share (EPS) for the nine months amounted to $0.114 compared to $0.074 in 2019, while for the quarter EPS amounted to $0.022 versus $0.013 documented in the prior comparable quarter. The twelve months trailing EPS amounted to $0.14. The number of shares used in our calculations is 945,690,252 units. Notably, LAB’s stock price closed the trading period on September 14, 2020 at a price of $2.76.

 Balance Sheet Highlights: 

As at July 31, 2020, the Company reported total assets of $642.12 million, a 24% rise when compared to $519.60 million a year ago. This was mainly as a result of ‘Right of use asset’ and ‘Cash and cash equivalents’ which closed at $52.99 million (2019: nil) and $383.79 million (2019: $236.56 million), respectively.

Shareholders’ Equity as at July 31, 2020 was $444.96 million compared to $331.56 million a year ago. This resulted in a book value per share of $0.47 compared to $0.35 in 2019.

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