World Cup campaign boosts Lasco cash, but financial house posts smaller profit

Wednesday, January 29, 2014    

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LASCO Financial Services made more cash but lower profits during its costly World Cup football campaign, financials indicate.

The football promotion netted the remittance company and cambio with $47.5 million in profit for the December quarter or 16 per cent lower year on year.

"We anticipate that the resulting rise in transactions from this awareness campaign will continue into the future periods," wrote Jacinth Hall-Tracey, Lasco Financial managing director, in her preface to the financials released this week via the Jamaica Stock Exchange.

A total of 1,920 prizes were issued including two trips to the Brazil-based World Cup set for summer. During the quarter revenues jumped 39 per cent to $174.8 million but expenses more than doubled to $86.8 million, which reduced profits year on year for the Lascelles Chin- controlled company.

The company however saw its cash and equivalents position double from year-earlier levels to $302.4 million a the end of December 2013.

In pursuit of increased market share, Lasco and MoneyGram launched its Brazil 2014 campaign towards the end of the second-quarter ending December 31.

"This investment contributed to the more than 100 per cent increase in selling and promotional expenses. We anticipate that the resulting rise in transactions from this awareness campaign will continue into the future periods," Hall-Tracey added.

Lasco Financial indicated that despite the dip in profits its revenue rise actually beat the industry, which officially recorded a 1.5 per cent rise in inflows between April and October.

"LASCO Financial Services has put the necessary strategies in place to ensure that we continue to grow ahead of the industry," she indicated.

LASCO Financial, which operates its head office on Red Hills Road, Kingston is listed on the Junior Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange. It expanded its operations dramatically when it took over the MoneyGram remittance operations from Supreme Ventures in 2011 giving it nearly 90 locations.

"To our staff who ensured the promotion's success, to our agents who gave us support and feedback and indeed MoneyGram International and our marketing companies, thank you," she said of the campaign.

Lasco Financial was incorporated in 2004 and licensed by the Bank of Jamaica to operate a cambio -- Lasco Cambio and remittance service -- MoneyGram.

The company holds equity of $610 million which remained flat year on year. However, its net assets increased 33 per cent over the 2012 corresponding period. This increase in net assets was funded mainly by growth in all revenue divisions, resulting in an increase in cash and cash equivalents and loans and other receivables, financials indicated.





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