Revenues at The Lab to hit the billion mark

Revenues at Limners and Bards are set to hit the billion mark this year, with the nine months to July hitting $942 million, up 37 percent from $686 million in 2020 and the full year to October 2020 coming in at $912 million.
The topline performance led to profit rising 32 percent from $108 million to $142 million, with earnings per share of 15 cents. Quarterly profits climbed 35 percent from $21 million to $29 million from a 50 percent rise in revenues from $215 million to $323 million.
The revenue growth was driven by media placement (up $142.4 million or 39.4 percent) and production (up $115.9 million or 62.2 percent). There was a reduction in agency (down $2.4 million or 1.8 percent) during the period, Steven Gooden, Chairman and Kimala Bennett, Chief Executive Officer, stated in the Key Performance Highlights report.
The company enjoyed a big jump in finance income in the quarter and year to date periods with an income of $5.5 million for the quarter, up from $1.4 million in 2020 and $20.5 million for the nine months from $3.6 million last year.
Gross profit rose 25 percent to $285 million for the nine months to July, from $227 million and $82 million up 35 percent from $61 million. Gross profit mrgin slipped to 30 percent for the nine months to July, up from 33 percent in 2020 and for the latest quarter 25 percent from 28 percent in 2020.
Administration expenses increased $38.6 million, or 32.4 percent in comparison to the previous nine months period. These increases are primarily attributable to staff costs (increased work volume), repairs and maintenance of production equipment, depreciation and amortization charges and lease interest. Even with this increase, administrative expenses as a percentage of revenue remains relatively flat at 16.7 percent compared to 17.3 percent in the previous period.
Administrative expenses rose a robust 44 percent to $57 million in the quarter and increased 32.4 percent in the nine months to $157 million but the year to date amount remains steady at 15.3 percent of sales revenue and, while the third quarter represents 17.7 percent of sales down from 18.5 percent in 2020, well below the growth in revenues. . Sales and distribution expenses increased from zero percent to $8,000 in the quarter and were flat at $537,000 for the nine months. Finance cost rose in the quarter to $32,000 from $21,500 in 2020 and from $4 million to $5.6 million for the nine months.
Gross cash flow brought in $155 million, the paying $70 million dividends the operations added $68 million to $380 on hands the beginning of the year to end at $449 million at the end of July. Shareholders’ equity stood at $536 million, with long term borrowings at $106 million and short term at $3 million. Current assets ended the period at $657 billion, including trade and other receivables of $184 million, cash and bank balances of $449 million. Current liabilities ended the period at $185 million. Net current assets ended the period at $472 million.
The stock traded at $3.50 on the Junior Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange on Friday.  IC forecast is for earnings per share of 20 cents for the current year to October and 33 cents per share for the fiscal year ending 2022 with a PE of 17.5 times current year’s earnings, but 10.6 based on 2020 earnings. The average for the market based on the current year’s earnings is 12.7.
The company paid two dividends of 7.4 cents in January and 3.6 cents in August this year, amounting to $94 million. Net asset value is $0.57, with the stock selling at 6 times book value.

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