Business

Remittance pays off for Lasco

BY JULIAN RICHARDSON Assistant Business Co-ordinator richardsonj@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, October 19, 2012    

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BOOSTED by the expansion of its remittance network, Lasco Financial Services increased second-quarter net profits by 174 per cent to $30.7 million for the period ending September 30, 2012.

Trading income almost doubled from $58.1 million during the 2011 second quarter to $108 million during the period under review, with the company attributing the growth to its larger remittance network.

Lasco Financial took over the MoneyGram remittance operations of Supreme Ventures Financial Services in November 2011, giving it at least 88 locations including Supreme Ventures regional retail centres, sub-agents and select post offices.

Lasco Financial said that its remittance business has grown 68 per cent, ahead of a projected 40 per cent, from the expansion of its agent network.

The cambio business has also benefited from the expansion of the remittance network, said the company, noting that the division has grown 91 per cent year-to-date, compared to the corresponding period last year.

"Remittances have a direct relationship with cambio operations as more US dollars are available for sale," said Atasha Bernard, the company's financial accountant.

Year-to-date revenues from the loans portfolio also grew 81 per cent over the 2011 September year-to-date results, the company said.

The addition of the new network also played a major part in expenses increasing in the September 2012 quarter by 60 per cent over year-earlier levels to $79.1 million. Administrative and other expenses jumped by 37 per cent to $40.7 million while selling and promotion expenses almost doubled to $38.4 million.

Contributions to the growth reflect some staff changes after the Supreme Ventures Remittance business purchase in the 2011 third quarter, the company said.

Lasco Financial was incorporated in 2004 and is licensed by the Bank of Jamaica to operate a Cambio, which trades under the name Lasco Cambio, and is in the business of buying and selling foreign currencies. The company was listed on the Jamaica Stock Exchange Junior Market in September 2010.

Lasco Financial is also an agent of the international money transfer company MoneyGram International and is licensed by the Bank of Jamaica to operate as a remittance service.

Funds can be sent through a MoneyGram agent from anywhere in the world, and picked up within 10 minutes, at any of Lasco's subagents islandwide.

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