Lasco Financial setting for profit explosion

Lasco Financial enjoyed decent gains in profit for Q1

Revenues at Lasco Financial Services jumped 22.4 percent for first quarter over the similar 2016 period to reach $319 million for an increase of $58.5 million, but importantly trading income climbed 31 percent to $303 million.
According to Managing Director, Jacinth Hall-Tracey “this result represents year over year growth of and is being driven by our strategy of expansion which began in the previous financial year”.
Profit before taxation, moved from $69.7 million in 2016 to $81 million, a 16.5 percent increase with profit after tax increasing 15.8 percent to $66.9 million, compared with the corresponding financial period and resulting in earnings per share of 5.4 cents.
Total Expenses grew 24.6 percent over the 2016 quarter to $238 million with Selling and Promotion cost rising by 31 percent. The increase was “largely driven by increases in Selling and Promotion as we continue to push the LASCO Money consumer facing brand name. This brand has resonated well with our customers and has enabled us to fully explain all our services. Previously, most customers were only aware of our Cambio and MoneyGram services. This brand awareness has been paying off in the increased transactions in all our locations as our customers embrace our more friendly community brand,” Hall-Tracey advised shareholders in a release accompanying the financials.
In the previous financial year, Lasco began the implementation of a strategy to expand the Loans Division by adding a Business Loans Unit. This expansion gave rise to several new loan offices as well as an increase in administrative and sales staff. Increased focus on lending, resulted in 70 percent growth in the loan portfolio that should move the portfolio in the region of $340 million. At the end of March loans amounted to $282 million up 43 percent over the $197 million due at the end of March 2016, no figures for loan is disclosed in the quarterly.
The balance sheet shows assets of $1.54 billion, cash funds of $574 million and stockholder’s equity of $1.22 billion.
IC is forecasting earnings per share of 30 cents for 2018 and should go on to about double in 2019. Lasco Financial last traded on the Junior Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange at $3.55.

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