Lasco pushes ahead with powder plant expansion
James Rawle, Managing Director at Lasco Manufacturing Limited.
Though the rate of capital investment for Lasco Manufacturing Limited (LASM) was restricted due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and cash conservation in its first quarter, $38 million was spent towards the completion of the company’s planned powder plant.
The company is spending a total of US$1.7 million ($215 million) to further extend its dry products plant at White Marl, St Catherine.
The aim is to add 12,000 square feet of space to the existing factory, where the company manufactures powdered products including Lasco Lasoy, Lasco milk powder, Lasco oats porridge mixes, and Lasco Nutrify.
The expansion will add 60 per cent to existing capacity Some of the new space will also be used for storage of raw material
For the three months ended June 2020, revenue and profit climbed for the company.
Net profit totalled $342 million for the three months ending June 2020, a 21 per cent increase over the corresponding quarter of 2019.
Sales revenue for the quarter was $1.85 billion, which was three per cent above the $1.78 billion realised in the same period of the prior year.
Gross Profit was $720 million or eight per cent above the $668 million in the corresponding quarter of the prior year, while operating profit increased to $407 million or 15 per cent above the $355 million realised in the same period last year.
Administrative expenses were controlled at $311 million. This was six per cent lower than the expenses of the comparative quarter of the prior year.
According to James Rawle, Managing Director at Lasco Manufacturing Limited, “The solid performance reflects the company’s proactivity in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, which included implementation of measures and protocols to protect its people, safeguard the supply chain so as to ensure that supplies could be maintained to customers, consumers, and prudent cash management.”
He continued, “The drive for continuous improvements in all areas of the operations continued throughout and contributed to the results as did the diversified nature of our product portfolio”.
Total assets were $9.87 billion, up 12.5 per cent year over year, with current assets at $4.7 billion, up 28 per cent over the similar period in 2019.
Trade and total receivables climbed to $2 billion, up from $1.6 billion the year before and payables climbed to $1.1 billion, marginally higher.
Cash and bank balances, including short term investments were $1.4 billion.
The board approved dividends of $0.06 cents per share, totalling $250 million to shareholders on July 24.
The LASM manging director further said: The pandemic is still evolving and given the inability to chart its depth, duration, and effects it is not possible to provide a reliable outlook for the periods ahead. However, the company is resilient with strong fundamentals and a diverse product portfolio. We therefore remain committed to continue executing the strategies so far deployed while being proactive and agile in response to eventual challenges.”