Lasco Manufacturing Limited plans to complete its US$25m factory expansion this month and is looking to the United States and Europe for markets amid expectations that the Jamaican economy will continue to offer low growth.
The plant is expected to add 70 per cent to production capacity.
"In addition as the economy of the US improves and as European countries get together in an effort to stop their economic decline, exports will start to grow. Lasco Manufacturing will therefore be prepared to take advantage of the reopening of this global market which has been stagnant for the past two years," the company said.
Lasco does not disaggregate its J$3.2 billion in annual sales by region. Export sales were stable in the year ending March 2012 and Lasco blamed the lack of growth on the "economic recession and changes of distributorship in some markets".
The company sells products to 20 existing markets in the US, UK, the Caribbean and Latin America.
Lasco Manufacturing earned J$588 million in after-tax profit or 46 per cent higher than year earlier levels. Chairman Lascelles Chin explained that a combination of efficiency gains and solid products allowed profit growth despite the soft economies in Jamaica, US and UK.
"We believe that the economy in Jamaica will continue to experience low growth beyond 2012. Lasco Manufacturing with its new facility will strategically position our company to further build market leadership in Jamaica and the export markets," said the annual report.
"A strong manufacturing base is essential to reduce Jamaica's trade deficit which continues to widen year on year becoming an unnerving drag on GDP. Unless steps are taken to revitalise manufacturing the value of manufacturing goods beyond their raw material cost will disappear and the deficit will widen even further."
The expanded manufacturing facility and laboratory will occupy 300,000 square feet of building space. The expansion began in January. It will allow Lasco to expand into new markets including Africa.
The annual report was released ahead of the company's annual general meeting scheduled for October 19.