Laugfs Gas PLC reported a record performance during the 4th quarter ended 31st March 2013, crossing a ground-breaking Rs. 10.6 billion in revenue. For the year ended March 31, the group reported a net profit of Rs. 1.06 billion, up 29 percent from Rs. 822 million a year earlier.
"A landmark achievement for the group, Laugfs achieved this feat despite unprecedented changes which have taken place in its comparatively short one and a half decades of existence. The Group was able to withstand the turbulent times and preserved core of the business, by staying focused on the fundamentals of the operation, while being willing to change everything else necessary to win and retain customers," the company said in a statement releasing its financial results to the stock exchange.
Laugfs posted a Profit Before Tax of Rs.1.3 billion, displaying a remarkable growth of 29 percent over the previous financial year.
The Group Total Comprehensive Income for the year, Net of Tax recorded a commendable Rs.1.0 billion as against Rs. 597 million last year, which is a creditable improvement.
The Total Group Assets increased by 3 percent to a position of Rs.10.6 billion while Property, Plant and Equipment alone increased to Rs.6.5 billion with Net of Depreciation showing an increase of 18 percent over previous year.
"The productive investments made in this manner would accrue benefits to the shareholders in the ensuing years in the form of better returns having comparatively shorter gestation periods and early pay backs," the company said.
The group retained earnings increased by 16 percent to Rs.3.5 billion, while Net Assets increased by 8 percent to Rs.6.5 billion. The Net Asset Value Per Share has increased to Rs.16.76 from Rs.15.58 last year.
The Earnings Per Share (EPS) increased by 28 percent from Rs.2.14 to Rs.2.74 per share.
In terms of the Group’s core business activities downstream operations of LP Gas once again recorded highest ever revenue of Rs.9.7 billion, an increase of 16 percent over the preceding year.
However, Gross Profit margins reduced to 11 percent from the previous year’s 14 percent, mainly due to escalation of world market prices of LP Gas and the impact of upward movement of foreign exchange rates prevalent during the greater part of the financial year under review.
Nevertheless, Laugfs’ EBITDA reached Rs.1.6 billion, amounting to a 62 percent increase over the previous year despite stated uncertainties and slowdown of economic activities that were faced with.
The Profit Before Tax of the company from continuing operations was recorded at Rs.1.4 billion, amounting to a 72 percent improvement over the previous year.
Notably, Total Comprehensive Income Net of Tax to Rs.1.2 billion during the year under review from Rs. 411 million recorded last year while the Company’s total liabilities reduced by 4 percent, during the year to Rs.3.9 billion.
Retained earnings increased sharply by 27 percent from Rs. 2.3 billion last year to Rs.3 billion in the current year.
"The array of achievements described both for the Group and for the company in its core business activity, converged to underscore the strength of a financially healthy organization that always meets its growth targets and maintains uninterrupted momentum, despite uncertain external environment forces that usually prevails. Despite all these impressive achievement we believe the Laugfs Gas’s best and most exiting days remain ahead," the company said.
Considering the group’s strong performance throughout the year, The Board of Directors decided to declare a final dividend of Rs. 1.50 per share for the financial year ended 31st March 2013. This is the third consecutive time the company declared dividends after its historic IPO in December 2010.
"The LP Gas industry globally is in the midst of a profound structural change as new sources of supply compete for market share, and as a cleaner source of energy take a greater share of primary energy consumption.
"The industry globally can take heart that consumption so far has managed to keep pace with this production surge, despite uncertainty of the global economic slowdown. With LP gas demand and supply equilibrium maintain at optimum levels world market price stability is ensured at least in the short to medium term.
"The LP Gas industry locally has an immense potential as a cleaner source of energy, and also since the penetration levels are comparatively very low, as against some of the Asian countries. There is a significant imbalance in energy usage, which has to be adjusted with cleaner and more economic sources of energy like LP Gas in our country.
"However, the key challenges facing the LP Gas industry, in the country in the ensuing years, will be succeeding and educating the authorities and decision makers concerned regarding the use of LP Gas.
"In order to do so, the stakeholders involved are in need of effective, consistent communication using rigorous evidence based on data and analysis. Therefore, it is imperative that the industry must speak with strong, unified voice to persuade the authorities, other stakeholders and financial markets to support the use of LP Gas where appropriate," Laugfs said.