Q2 profit climbs 26% at Lasco Financial

Profit climbed a respectable 26 percent for the September 2022 quarter to $74 million from $59 million in 2021, for Lasco Financial Services, with the six months’ profits climbing 17 percent to $157 million over the $134 million garnered in 2021. 
The improvement in profit arose from a 12.5 percent rise in income to $623 million for its second quarter to September against income of $554 million in the 2021 second quarter. Importantly, the performance of the September quarter exceeds that for the June quarter, when revenues came in at $564 million with profits of $56 million, suggesting that growth of revenues and profitability could be accelerating quarter over quarter and not only year over year.
For the half year, revenues rose just 3.7 percent to $1.188 billion from $1.145 billion for the six months in 2021.
For the 2022 September, quarter expenses excluding finance costs rose 11 percent to $469 million from $424 million in 2021 as administrative and other expenses climbed 18 percent to $324 million from $275 million in the 2021 September quarter and selling and promotional expenses declined from $150 million in the September 2021 quarter to $145 million in 2022. For the six months, total expenses increased by just 5 percent, from $857 million to $900 million. Administrative expenses increased 7 percent to $592 million from $555 million in 2021, Management reported that the increase is “in line with the expansion of services and growth in staff.” Selling and Promotional expenses rose marginally to $307 million from $302 million for the same period.
Finance costs fell from $46 million to $28 million in the September 2022 quarter and from $93 million for the September 2021 half year to $55 million in 2022. Taxation more than doubled from $25 million to $52 million in the September quarter and increased from $61 million in the six months to September 2021 to $76 million in 2022.
Earnings per share came in at 5.8 cents for the September 2022 quarter and 12.3 cents for the half year. With the December quarter usually generating the largest income and profit, ICInsider.com projects earnings of 50 cents for the year ending March 2023 and 90 cents per share for 2024. The outcome could be even better if the loan portfolio that was nearly $2 billion in 2019 grows back fast enough from the $812 million net of loan losses it fell to in March this year. Based on the earnings per share, the company’s stock trades at a PE of just 5.4 compared to an average of 12.6 for the Junior Market and just three times 2023 earnings, based on the closing price of $2.72 on Friday making the stock a strong buy.

Lasco Financial profit dropped 39% in 2018 Q2.

The company moved to expand its loan portfolio. Management points to a reduction in cash resulting from an “increase in loan disbursements as we make a push to expand our portfolio and market share”, management states in the commentary to shareholders.
Shareholders equity stood at $2.1 billion at the end of September this year, up from $1.84 billion at the end of September 2021, while borrowed funds amount to $1.5 billion, down from $1.64 billion at the end of September last year. Loans and receivables rose to $1.5 billion from $1.4 billion in September last year and cash and cash at bank and short term deposit amount to $1.64 billion versus $1.7 billion in 2021.
During the six months, $278 million in cash was provided from operating activities compared to $376 million in 2021, after $523 million was used in investing and financing activities cash and bank balance fell $244 million and reduced cash and cash equivalent to $722 million from $897 million in 2021.

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