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Trading Up | LASCO companies get 'tremendous' boost since Stock Exchange listing

Published:Tuesday | May 17, 2016 | 12:04 AMKeisha Hill
The management team of LASCO Manufacturing Limited.

LASCO Manufacturing Limited and LASCO Distributors Limited, producers, exporters and distributors of soy based and other products primarily from Jamaica have seen tremendous growth since listing on the Jamaica Stock Exchange's (JSE) Junior Market.

Executive Chairman, Lascelles Chin said the main reasons for listing on the JSE included providing for better succession planning, provision of stock options for senior managers and key employees and enabling the public to share in the success of LASCO Manufacturing Limited.

"The company has benefited from tremendous growth through investment in the expansion of the factory, easier access to financing and increased employment opportunities for Jamaicans. We also benefited from increased volumes from expansion, which has made LASCO Manufacturing's products more competitive and successful for export," Chin said.

Chin said he would encourage other small businesses to list on the JSE because of the many benefits to be derived.

"These benefits range from raising equity and increased access to financing, to increased productivity through expansion. It also provides the framework for and promotes good corporate governance given the stringent standards to which companies listed on the JSE must comply," Chin said.

 

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LASCO Manufacturing Limited was incorporated in 1994 and is based in Kingston, Jamaica. The company was formerly known as LASCO Foods (Successors) Limited and changed its name LASCO Manufacturing Limited in May 2010.

Its products include food drinks, lactose free products, porridge mixes, whole milk, and ready milk. The company also exports canned products, condiments, sauces, spices, seasonings and soups, beverages, baby care and personal care products.

In addition, it markets other Jamaican made products in the Caribbean, North America, Canada, the Middle East, and the United Kingdom.

Peter Chin, managing director at LASCO Distributors Limited said they enlisted on the JSE in order to raise equity to support the company's growth plans, through infrastructural and product expansion.

"LASCO Distributors Limited has been able to raise funds to clear long term debts, improve infrastructure and efficiencies, as well as strengthen the workforce. It has also assisted the company to expand its product range and launch new products with a strengthened route to market structure for the brands we distribute," Chin said.

Listing he said has improved their overall corporate governance and has boosted investor confidence, particularly from their principals and other key partners.

"Over the past five years, our profits have grown by yearly averages of 25 per cent. Shareholders' equity has also tripled in the same period, and return on equity has averaged 28 per cent. Our balance sheet is strong, with ample liquidity and we are well positioned to take advantage of future growth opportunities," Chin said.

Company executives are: Ruel Thompson, Joel Gonzalez, Jacqueline Birthwright, Daniel Strachan,Robert Parkins, Catherine Goodall, Alex Balogun, Melissa Anderson, Peter Hylton, Rhona Rhoden-Munoz, Cleverick Doughorty, and Marjorie McCalla.

keisha.hill@gleanerjm.com