Profit slides at two Lasco companies
Lasco Manufacturing Limited and Lasco Distributors Limited both posted lower profits for the December third-quarter as revenue lagged and expenses climbed.
Lasco Distributors made net profit of $36 million, compared to $212 million a year earlier, reflecting a substantial 82 per cent drop.
Lasco Manufacturing earned $113 million in the quarter, which was 51 per cent lower than the $231 million a year earlier.
Company executives blamed the fall-off on investments in new products.
Lasco Distributors earned revenues of $3.9 billion, which was on par with last year, but higher operating expenses hurt profitability.
"Overall performance was affected by weaker demand for the quarter experienced throughout the general trade. In the ensuing months, the company will seek to realign its major recurring expenses. We will also be scaling down on initial marketing and administrative expenses," said Managing Director Peter Chin in a statement accompanying the company's financials.
Confident in growth strategy
Despite this lull in market demand, Chin indicated that Lasco Distributors remains confident in the core growth strategy for the business.
In November, Lasco Distributors entered the Trinidad Market with the Lasco iCool drink brand through its distributor, Massy Distribution. Lasco exports iCool to several countries, including Barbados, Guyana, Bermuda, Venezuela, the Cayman Islands and Bahamas, with plans to add more overseas markets.Lasco Manufacturing, which is run by Robert Parkins, reported a dip in revenues to $1.5 billion from $1.7 billion in the previous period.
Parkins said his company launched a new product in the quarter, Lasco Nutrify, a high-protein meal replacement product, and that other products will "be introduced within the next quarter for additional business growth".
Lasco has three affiliated companies listed on the stock exchange, all chaired by Lascelles Chin. Lasco Financial Services Limited, run by Jacinth Hall-Tracey, was the only one of the three to grow its profit in the December quarter. The financial firm grew its earnings by 41 per cent to $62 million.
Lasco Financial invested in expansion earlier in the financial year, leading to improved earnings in the ensuing periods, and has been "delivering annual growth in excess of 20 per cent ", Hall-Tracey said.