Limners and Bards focusses on cost cutting

Advertising agency, the Limners and Bards (The Lab), for the six months ended April 30 grew net profit by 51.75 per cent over 2019.

Profit increased by $29.5 million to $86.6 million compared to the similar period last year.

However, there was no taxation for April 2020 for the Junior Market listed company.

Using the net profit before taxation for April 2019 the increase would by $14.5 million or 20.11 per cent.

The first advertising company to list on the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) in July 2019, the LAB is principally owned by CEO Kimala Bennett at 77 per cent.
The company, which was started in 2009 as The Production Lab, was renamed The Limners and Bards Limited in 2014.  The LAB raised $179 million in its 2019 IPO.

CEO Bennett said in remarks attached to the six month financials that while COVID-19 pandemic spreads, the company remains committed to the welfare of staff ,  their families and clients “in traversing the crisis by bridging the gap between consumers and brands.”The LAB creates advertising campaigns for companies including Digicel, GraceKennedy, National Commercial Bank, Jamaica Public Service, Wendy’s, Domino’s and others.

Its three main business lines are agency, media and production services.  The agency offers brand strategy development, copyrighting, and concept development.

For the six months ended April 30, revenue was $471.4 million, up 40.94 per cent  compared to $334.5 million for the corresponding period last year.
Bennett said revenue growth was driven by growth in media (up $99.3 million or 72.5 per cent) and agency (up $46.7 million or 78 per cent).
Over the period, however, there was reduction in production (down $9.1 million or 7 per cent).

Gross profit margin of 35.1 per cent was also down by 37.3 per cent over that recorded in the previous period.
Bennett said this was mainly attributable to an increase in direct costs associated with agency (up 348 per cent) and media (up 70 per cent).
Administration expenses increased by $27.99 million, or 55.4 per cent in comparison to the previous six – month period.

Bennett indicated these increases were due to staff costs (itself due to increase work volume). Administrative expenses as a percentage of revenue remained relatively flat at 16.66 per cent compared to 15.11 per cent in the previous period.

The company’s balance sheet showed a $283.3 million, or 89.8 per cent increase in total assets over the corresponding period last year.

The CEO said that the company has employed various cost containment policies in an effort to navigate financial challenges incurred by the pandemic.