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Lasco to invest another US$10m in manufacturing operations

Published:Sunday | October 2, 2016 | 12:00 AMSteven Jackson
Chairman of Lasco, Lascelles Chin.

Lasco Manufacturers Limited (LML) announced plans for another round of investment totalling US$10 million ($1.3 billion) for the ensuing financial year as the company ramps up exports.

It builds on the US$4.5 million spent a year earlier.

"We will spend US$5 million on the building we talked about 62,000 square feet then another US$5 million on the equipment to in order to triple capacity," said chairman Lascelles Chin at Lasco's annual general meeting on Friday.

With the increased investment, the company expects to double profits in two to three years. LML earned $826 million in net profit on $6.5 billion in revenues for its year end March 2016, or 34 per cent higher net profit year on year.

The upgrade will allow for new products lines and increased output of its new lead product, iCool.

Sister company Lasco Distributors Limited now exports iCool to six countries in the region, with plans to enter Trinidad & Tobago, and Panama. The company plans to utilise the Massy Group to distribute its drink in T&T, while offering other products to other distributors.

Lasco will also re-enter Haiti - which performed well on sales but poorly on receivables - but will only sell dry products in that market as liquid products attract a prohibitive 40 per cent duty.

Lasco asserted to shareholders that it is the number-one company in its class in the Jamaican market and number two in Barbados and also Guyana.

The iCool drink is sold in six Caribbean countries.

"Between March and August, the company exported 54 containers; in September alone, 20 containers were exported; and for October, we already sold 30 containers," said Chin. "We are only now selling to six countries, and we are planning to sell to 14 other countries in the Caribbean."

steven.jackson@gleanerjm.com