Lasco Distributors blow out profits

Lasco Distributors with responsibility to distribute "I Cool" drink.

Lasco Distributors with responsibility to distribute “I Cool” drink.

Lasco Distributors reported an 87 percent increase in profit after tax for the six months to September, of $379 million over 2014 and a 121 percent increase in the September quarter of $247 million over the similar quarter last year.
The Gross profit for the period was S1.1 billion, an increase of $299 million or 36 percent over the prior year. The Gross Profit margin for the quarter was $628 million, or 32 percent over the same period last year. Gross profit margin for the august 2015 quarter is 17.26 percent versus 17.5 percent in 2014 and year to date 16.2 percent in 2015 and 16.28 percent in 2014.
The huge gain came from increased revenues of 34 percent for the quarter, amounting to $6.95 billion and 36 percent for the six months of $3.64 billion.
“This growth was driven mainly by contributions from our iCool and Unilever lines of business, both of which have been doing very well”, Peter Chin, Managing Director reported to shareholders in the directors’ report accompanying the financial data.
An interesting element of the results is the 10 percent growth in revenue over the June quarter a continuation of the quarter over quarter growth evident from late in 2014 with an average of 8 percent for the last three quarters.
Earnings per stock for the six months amount to 11 cents and 7 cents for the quarter. IC Insider projects profit of 34 cents for the current year and 50 cents for the year to March 2017.
Cost were held well below the growth in revenues with Operating Expenses in the latest quarter rising to $396 million from $377 in 2014 and for the six months this year the company incurred $779 million versus $658 million in 2014 for a rise of 18 percent.
Cash flow from operations increased by 94 percent to $391 million from $202 million for the similar period to September 2014 swelling Cash and Equivalents at the end of the Period to $904,043 compared with $191,277.
The company’s shares are listed on the junior market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange. Its principal activity is the distribution of pharmaceutical and consumable items, ii distributes all of Lasco Manufacturing’s products locally.
The stock may be considered fully priced currently with a PE of 10 being one of the higher priced junior market stocks, but with strong growth expected and lower interest rates to come, investors with a long term time horizon may want to accumulate from now, bearing in mind the limited supply available.

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