Lasco pushes for greater share of food drink market

Thursday, August 16, 2018

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Cost controls and strong sales contributed to LASCO Manufacturing Limited (LASM) growth in net profit by 77 per cent for the first quarter of the year.

LASM now hopes to double net profit over the next two quarters from the completion of its 65,000-square foot warehousing facility and the launch of new flavours from its flagship product LASCO Vanilla Food Drink in September.

For the three months ended June 2018, net profit of the manufacturing giant totalled $237 million over $134 million recorded in the comparative period of 2017.

“The positive out-turn for the quarter reflects growth in volumes, improved operational efficiencies, streamlining and cost controls,” said Managing Director James Rawle. Additionally, LASM's introduction of a reduced sugar variant of LASCO Vanilla Food Drink among products in the iCool juice drink also contributed to improved bottom line results.

According to Rawle, LASM's carbonated beverage Lyrix and energy drink Konka, have seen solid sales from the export market since their launch earlier this year.

“Sales are as expected, even as volumes continue to grow in a competitive market,” he reasoned.

LASM reported revenue of $1.7 billion, up from $1.5 billion during the comparative period last year. Gross profit margin for the period was also up 35 per cent from 32 per cent over the same period of the prior year.

“The margin improvement is attributable to volume growth, sales mix and improved operational efficiencies,” the manufacturing company said.

As for cost control during the review period, administrative expenses stood at $308 million, the same level as in the previous year, resulting in an improved expense to sale ratio of 18 per cent compared to 20 per cent in the same quarter of the prior year.

Nonetheless, LASM continued to invest heavily in marketing programmes and brand building activities throughout the period, with special attention to recently launched new products.

Total assets at the end of June stood at $8.3 billion, an increase of 12 per cent over the same period last year. Trade and other receivables were $2.1 billion or 30 per cent over the prior year, while trade payables were $937 million, an increase of 10 per cent when compared to the same period over the prior year.

LASM's principal activities are the manufacturing of soy-based products, juice, drinks, water and the export of various LASCO branded products. The company has three production lines in its liquid plant, producing the LASCO iCool range of water and juice drinks, LASCO iDrade, a hydration drink, a carbonated beverage Lyrix and the energy drink Konka. The dry division features the complete range of LASCO Food Drinks, LASCO Lasoy, LASCO Enriched Milk Powder, LASCO Oats Porridge Mixes and LASCO Nutrify, a high protein meal replacement.

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