Mon | Apr 22, 2019

Lasco Manufacturing to expand powder plant

Published:Wednesday | March 20, 2019 | 12:10 AM
James Rawle, 
managing director of 
Lasco Manufacturing Limited.
James Rawle, managing director of Lasco Manufacturing Limited.

Lasco Manufacturing Limited is spending US$1.7 million ($215 million) to further extend its dry products plant at White Marl, St Catherine.

The expansion will add 12,000 square feet of space to the existing factory, where the ­company manufactures powdered products such as Lasco Lasoy, Lasco milk powder, Lasco oats porridge mixes, and Lasco Nutrify. The added square footage will grow the existing factory space by nearly 60 per cent from 15,000 square feet to some 26,000 square ft, said Lasco Manufacturing managing director James Rawle on Tuesday.

He added that half of the additional space would be used for the manufacturing of powdered products and the other half for storage of raw material and working stock.

“So this will simplify the logistics so we won’t have to do storage elsewhere. It would create better flow and eliminate raw material and packing material storage off the site,” Rawle said.

Lasco previously noted in a release that “the new warehouse is annexed to Lasco’s liquid ­beverage ­manufacturing operations and provides storage space for raw and packing materials as well as finished products”.

The liquid plant, which spans 65,000 square feet, produces brands such as iCool drinks and water, iDrade hydration drink, Lyrix soft drinks, and Konka energy drink.

Affiliates grow sales, profits

Three Lasco ­affiliated companies founded and chaired and by Lascelles Chin have undergone a series of expansions since their listing on the stock market over eight years ago.

In the December 2018 third quarter, the three outfits, combined, generated net profit of $461 ­million and racked up nearly $7 billion of revenue.

In its earnings report for the quarter, Lasco Manufacturing reported net profit of $197 ­million from sales of $1.8 billion. Earnings grew one per cent for the manufacturing arm while sales improved by less than two per cent.

Rawle said on Tuesday that despite the challenges faced in growing market share locally, the company’s prospects remain strong and that it would be exploring other export opportunities in the Caribbean and on the east coast of the United States.

Lasco Distributors Limited made 24 per cent more profit, at $157 million, from revenue of $4.5 billion for the quarter. Turnover improved by 17 per cent.

Lasco Financial Services Limited, the smallest operation of the three affiliates, grew net profit to over $106 million from revenues of $597 million. That equated to profit growth of 95 per cent and revenue growth of 48 per cent, year on year. Those results came a year after the financial services firm acquired the CrediScotia ­microfinancing ­portfolio from Scotiabank Jamaica, which it merged with its own operation.

steven.jackson@gleanerjm.com