Lasco to in­vest an­other US$10m in man­u­fac­tur­ing op­er­a­tions

Jamaica Gleaner - - BUSINESS - Steven Jack­son Se­nior Busi­ness Re­porter steven.jack­son@glean­erjm.com

LASCO MAN­U­FAC­TUR­ERS Lim­ited (LML) an­nounced plans for an­other round of in­vest­ment to­talling US$10 mil­lion ($1.3 bil­lion) for the en­su­ing fi­nan­cial year as the com­pany ramps up ex­ports. It builds on the US$4.5 mil­lion spent a year ear­lier. “We will spend US$5 mil­lion on the build­ing we talked about — 62,000 square feet — then an­other US$5 mil­lion on the equip­ment to in or­der to triple ca­pac­ity,” said chair­man Las­celles Chin at Lasco’s an­nual gen­eral meet­ing on Fri­day.

With the in­creased in­vest­ment, the com­pany ex­pects to dou­ble prof­its in two to three years. LML earned $826 mil­lion in net profit on $6.5 bil­lion in rev­enues for its year end March 2016, or 34 per cent higher net profit year on year.

The up­grade will al­low for new prod­ucts lines and in­creased out­put of its new lead prod­uct, iCool.

Sis­ter com­pany Lasco Dis­trib­u­tors Lim­ited now ex­ports iCool to six coun­tries in the re­gion, with plans to en­ter Trinidad & Tobago, and Panama. The com­pany plans to utilise the Massy Group to dis­trib­ute its drink in T&T, while of­fer­ing other prod­ucts to other dis­trib­u­tors.

Lasco will also re-en­ter Haiti – which per­formed well on sales but poorly on re­ceiv­ables – but will only sell dry prod­ucts in that mar­ket as liq­uid prod­ucts at­tract a pro­hib­i­tive 40 per cent duty.

Lasco as­serted to share­hold­ers that it is the num­ber-one com­pany in its class in the Ja­maican mar­ket and num­ber two in Bar­ba­dos and also Guyana.

The iCool drink is sold in six Caribbean coun­tries.

“Be­tween March and Au­gust, the com­pany ex­ported 54 con­tain­ers; in Sep­tem­ber alone, 20 con­tain­ers were ex­ported; and for Oc­to­ber, we al­ready sold 30 con­tain­ers,” said Chin. “We are only now sell­ing to six coun­tries, and we are plan­ning to sell to 14 other coun­tries in the Caribbean.” Las­celles Chin

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