February 9, 2021
Lasco Financial Services Limited (LASF), for the nine months ended December 31, 2020 recorded trading income of $1.67 billion; this represented a 11% decrease when compared to $1.82 billion posted in 2019, while trading income for the quarter amounted to $527.18 million (2019: $600.68 million). Other income decreased to $13.03 million versus $111.53 million in 2019. This resulted in overall income of $1.69 billion, a contraction of 12% compared to $1.93 billion for the corresponding period in 2019.
Operating expenses amounted to $1.30 billion, 18% less than the $1.59 billion booked the year prior. Of this, selling and promotional expenses fell 38% to close at $490.28 million relative to the $792.13 million reported in the prior period. Administrative expenses experienced a negligeable growth of 1.4% to $807.09 million compared to the $795.74 million in 2019.
As a result, profit from operations rose 15% to total $390.46 million, relative to the $340.21 million recorded last year. Profit from operations for the quarter grew by 110% to close at $195.68 million (2019: $92.98 million).
Finance costs decreased to $140.96 million (2019: $148.05 million), resulting in a profit before tax of $249.50 million, relative to the $192.16 million booked for 2019. For the quarter, pre-tax profit closed at $149.82 million (2019: $40.99 million).
Net profits attributable to shareholders totaled $153.91 million, 100% increase from $76.93 million posted for the same period last year, followed by taxes for the period of $95.59 million (2019: $115.23 million). Net profit for the quarter amounted to $123.76 million relative to $2.21 million booked in 2019. Management noted, “The tax remission enjoyed by the company for 10 years beginning October 1, 2010 expired on September 30, 2020. Effective October 1, 2020 the company became subjected to the full tax rate of 33.33%.”
Earnings per share for Lasco Financial Services Limited (LASF) amounted to $0.12 (2019: $0.06). EPS for the quarter totaled $0.097 (2019: $0.002), while the twelve-month trailing earnings per share amounted to $0.016. The number of shares used in our calculations amounted to 1,270,561,058 units. LASF closed the trading period on February 8, 2021 at $2.60 with a corresponding P/E ratio of 164.66 times.
LASF highlighted, “We continue to invest in the transformation of our business to add services which provide access to financial systems and opportunities for our customer base. We now eagerly await our approval and launch of our ecommerce services and look forward to the future with great optimism.”
Balance Sheet Highlights:
As at December 31, 2020, the company’s assets totaled $3.98 billion (2019: $4.13 billion), $147.88 million or 4% less than its value a year ago. This decrease was largely due to ‘Receivables’ which fell from $2.59 billion in 2019 to $1.71 billion in 2020. Also, ‘Property, plant and equipment’ which decreased to close at $130.19 million (2019: $150.67 million).
Equity attributable to stockholders of the company amounted to $1.69 billion relative to $1.67 billion in 2019. This translates to a book value per share of $1.33 (2019: $1.32).
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