#1 Lasco Manufacturing Limited Businessuite 2019 Top Jamaica Junior Market Company by US$ Profit after Tax
The year ended March 31, 2019 was, as in the previous year, one of diverse challenges and multiple opportunities, reflecting the dynamic environment in which we operate. On one hand, competitive activities continued to accelerate across all the categories in which we do business, while on the other, consumer demands and expectations continued to rapidly evolve with increasing emphasis on Nutrition, Health, general Well-being and Convenience.
The regulatory framework also tightened as the authorities launched initiatives to protect the environment and the health and wellbeing of the population. We responded well to these issues, fully aware that the trends will continue, by accelerating the rate of internal change to develop an informed, agile and responsive organization fully equipped to exploit the opportunities presented. The results for the year validate our strategies and initiatives which will also provide the foundation for future growth.
Revenue for the year was $7.57B, an increase of $906M or 14% over the prior year. Gross Profit was $2.8B an increase of 20% over the prior year (2018: $2.3B). Gross margin improvement was 200 basis points.
Operating Profit was $1.26B representing an increase of $397M or 46% over 2018 ($861M).
Net Profit rose to $1.077B compared to $561M in the prior year, an increase of 92%. Earnings per share was $ 0.26 in 2019 compared to $0.14 in 2018. This out-turn was fueled by volume and revenue growth, gross margin improvement and significant gains in operational efficiencies.
Capital Investments amounted to $588M (prior year $341M) with the main projects being the completion of a 65,000 square feet warehouse, expansion of the powder manufacturing operations and technology upgrades. These investments will bolster our efficiency drive and generate important savings.
Total assets at year-end were $8.79B an increase of 14% over prior year with Non-current Assets increasing by 7% to $5.07B. Current assets were $3.7B compared to $3.0B in 2018 an increase of 24% while current liabilities were $1.46B.
An interim dividend of $0.038 per share, was paid to shareholders on August 31,2018. Shareholder’s equity at year end was $5.8B, 19% above prior year and return on equity was 18% compared to 11% in 2018.
We continued to drive product innovation and renovation throughout the year resulting in the launch of new products and formats in the iCool Juice drink range, new formats of water, and a low sugar variant of LASCO Creamy Malt Food Drink. Extensive work was done, and is continuing, on sugar reduction in a range of products and we are now well positioned to go to market with products in the reduced sugar segment. At the same time, we otherwise maintained a healthy new product development pipeline for the future corresponding to emerging consumer trends.
As in the previous year, we invested considerable resources in human resource development with targeted training in all areas of the operation to build capacity and multi-skilled flexible teams. This included technical training as we upgraded and acquired new technologies aimed at driving efficiencies.
For the new year, we are committed to continued profitable growth based on multiple drivers including ongoing optimisation of the operations, improving operational efficiencies, new products introductions, waste and cost reductions, and human resource development.
Lascelles A. Chin Executive Chairman
To view full LASCO MANUFACTURING LIMITED ANNUAL REPORT 2019 click HERE