Lasco Financial Q2 profit jumps

Lasco Financial generated a profit of $136 million in the September quarter compared to a loss of $16 million for the 2019 second quarter. Profit after tax for the six months to September amounts to just $30 million, down from the corresponding period’s $75 million, and an improvement on the first-quarter loss of $106 million.

Lasco Financial former HQ

Earnings per share ended at 10.7 cents for the quarter and just 2.4 cents for the half-year.
For the quarter, revenues fell 5.7 percent or $38 million from the 2019 September quarter, to $617 million, due largely to a $78 million decline in revenues from loans, in the quarter following a $74 million fall in the June quarter, compared with the similar periods in 2019. Remittances grew 11 percent and added $50 million to revenues while Cambio operations contributed 10.8 percent or $34 million to increased revenues, the company’s Managing Director Jacinth Hall-Tracey, informed shareholders in a commentary accompanying the quarterly report. Revenues slipped $140 million from $1.3 billion to $1.16 billion for the six months period.
Administrative and selling and promotion expenses dropped from $1.06 billion to $961 million for the half-year and from $585 million to $400 million for the September quarter. Finance cost for the quarter slipped slightly from $48 million to $45 million and from $96 million to $95 million for the six months. Expenses include loan loss provision of $152 million for the six months compared to $262 million in 2019, and effectively there was an $18 million recovery of doubtful loans in the September quarter.

Jacinth Hall-Tracey, Managing Director of Lasco Financial.

In September 2019, quarter provision for loan losses was $178 million. Taxation dipped slightly, from $38 million for the quarter to $36 million, while the half-year tax provision fell from $76 million to $70 million.
The company generated positive cash flows of $389 million for the half-year, down from $514 million in 2019 and ended the periods with cash and short-term deposits that rose to $1 billion from $307 million. Loans to customers fell to $1.54 billion at the end of March from $1.83 billion at the end of the prior year-end after loan loss provisions rose from $99 million in 2019 to $328 million. Loans to customers are included in the heading of Loans and receivables of $1.6 billion at the end of September. Shareholders equity stood at $1.57 billion and Long-term debt $1.9 billion, up from $1.7 billion at the end of September last year.
The company indicates that “there will now be a shift towards lending again, however, as opportunities for lending are now beginning to manifest as businesses are adjusting to the new normal, with some embracing new opportunities.” The shift to increase lending will add to revenues and profit going forward. With the December quarter being the most profitable, still holds to the projection of 60 cents per share for the full year, but even if it comes out lower, the stock that closed at $2.11 of the Junior Market of the Jamaica Stocks Exchange on Friday with a PE ratio of just 3.5 is highly undervalued and will move sharply higher.

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