Profit jumps 237% at Lasco Distributors


Lasco Distributors

Lasco Distributors profit jumped sharply in the December quarter by 237 percent to $127 million from just $38 million in 2016.
For the nine months period profit is up just 28 percent to $535 million form $417 million.
Sales revenues were down slightly for the quarter to $3.89 billion from $3.91 billion and was marginally higher for the year to date at $12.24 billion from $12.06 billion in 2016.
Improvement in profit margin along with a rise in other income to $50 million from $19 million in 2016, helped in boosting profit for the December quarter.
Gross profit climbed 21 percent to $676 million for the quarter and 18 percent for the nine months to $2.19 billion from $2 billion in 2016 as margins improved. Gross profit margin rose sharply to 17.4 percent from 14.3 percent for the quarter and for the year to date 17.9 percent from 16.6 percent for the 2016 period.
Operating expenses rose by 9.2 percent to $589 million in the quarter and by 8.3 percent in the nine months period to $1.67 billion.
Earnings per share came out at 4 cents for the quarter and 16 cents for the nine months period and should end around 20 cents for the fiscal year.

Lasco’s products

Gross cash flow brought in $600 million but growth in receivables and advances to related companies, resulted in a rise of just $30 million from operating activities. After paying dividends of $155 million cash funds were reduced from $1 billion at the end of December 2016 to $879 million. Shareholders’ equity stands at $8.1 billion with borrowings at just $215 million. Net current assets is $3 billion just a little below Payables of $3.2 billion.
The company rolled out new flavours in the instant Chocolate range and iCool brand in the quarter. In the coming months, Lasco will expand its product offers.
The stock traded at $3.91 on the Junior Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange with a PE ratio of 19 times 2018 earnings. The company will go into a new year, come April, that should result in a lowering of the PE.

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