LASF reports 21% increase in nine months net profits

Date: February 14, 2018

Lasco Financial Services Limited (LASF), for the nine months ended December 31, 2018 recorded trading income of $1.63 billion; this represented a growth of 50% when compared to $1.09 billion posted in 2017 while trading income for the quarter amounted to $545.20 million (2017: $407.48 million. Other income surged to $109.15 million versus $31.36 million in 2017. This resulted in overall income of $1.74 billion, a growth of 55% compared to $1.12 billion for the corresponding period in 2017. This performance was due to, “positive contributions of all business lines”. Overall revenue for the fourth quarter was $597.33 million (2017: $404.90 million).

Operating expenses amounted to $1.27 billion, 55% more than the $819.84 million the year prior. According to management, “This is mainly due to the expenses from the Subsidiary and general growth in business which would not have been reflected in the previous year.” Of this administrative expenses rose by 47% to $635.66 million compared to the $431.08 million in 2017. Selling and promotional expenses also grew 64% to close at $635.85 million relative to the $388.75 million report in the prior period.

Despite the increase in total expenses, profit from operations grew by 56% to total $467.02 million, relative to the $300.28 million recorded last year. Profit from operations for the quarter improved 78% to close at $163.09 million (2017: $91.48 million).

Finance costs increased to $131.09 million (2017: $26.69 million), resulting in a profit before tax of $335.92 million, relative to the $273.59 million booked for 2017.

Net profits attributable to shareholders totaled $267.72 million, 21% more than the $221.52 million posted for the same period last year, followed by taxes for the period of $68.21 million (2017: $52.07 million). Net profit for the quarter amounted to $106.57 million relative to $54.78 million booked in 2017.

LASF noted, “These results reflect the business one year after the acquisition of Scotia Jamaica Microfinance Limited (which was renamed LASCO Microfinance Limited). Accordingly, we are pleased to demonstrate that LASF is able to generate strong operational profits to cover the increase in business and the additional finance costs associated with the acquisition and increase in transactions.”

Earnings per share for Lasco Financial Services Limited (LASF) amounted to $0.21 (2017: $0.18). EPS for the quarter totaled $0.084 (2016: $0.043), while the twelve-month trailing earnings per share amounted to $0.24. The number of shares used in our calculations amounted to 1,264,694,391 units. LASF closed the trading period on February 14, 2019 at $4.50.

Balance Sheet Highlights:

As at December 31, 2018, the company’s assets totaled $3.66 billion, $394.95 million or 12% more than its value a year ago. This increase was largely due to ‘loans and receivables’ which climbed from $1.85 billion to $2.21 billion.

Equity attributable to stockholders of the company amounted to $1.64 billion relative to $1.33 billion in 2016. This translates to a book value per share of $1.29 (2017: $1.05).

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