Tuesday, 10 January 2023 11:50

Creative agency The LAB's profit dips 7 per cent

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Creative Agency the Limners and Bards Limited (The LAB) for the year ended October 31, 2022 saw its profit dip seven per cent to total $144 million.

This was approximately $11.5 million less than the $155.5 million it earned at the end of 2021.

"Administration expenses increased by $82.4 million or 35.3 per cent, primarily as a result of higher staff costs. Staff costs were impacted by additional hires, inflationary salary increases, and new benefits," the company's directors said in notes accompanying its year-end audited financials.

"Finance income fell to $7 million compared to $25.8 million recorded in the previous year due to currency revaluation. For a fair comparison, if we were to exclude Scope and finance income, the adjusted net profit would be $139.6 million versus $135.8 million — a 2.8 per cent increase over the prior year," the report also stated.

Owing to poor performance by its Scope Caribbean subsidiary, the company further said that its consolidated performance was affected by a $2.9 million loss recorded by the associate entity at the end of its first full year of operation.

Launched in 2021, Scope was introduced as a medium for leveraging creative talent and influencer marketing across the Caribbean. Listed on a data-driven platform, talents can be hired to create advertising campaigns and other types of films around brand promotion.

Having already invested some 15 million into the wholly owned subsidiary, the directors remain optimistic that they will see better returns on investment following a period of full integration.

The directors, led by CEO Kimala Bennett and Chairman Steven Gooden, also noted that as Scope continues to experience a take-up of its services, it remains focused on exploring additional revenue streams, especially as it positions to secure a firm footing financially.

Despite the fallout in its bottom line, revenues for the LAB over the 12-month period, however, grew to $1.3 billion. This was almost 10 per cent more than that earned in the previous year as a result of increased performance across key business lines, which saw production climb 12.7 per cent to total $48.4 million; media placement to $51.2 million, up 7.7 per cent; and advertising, up $17.9 million or 9.9 per cent, when compared to the prior year.

Total assets at the end of the year increased to $892 million and shareholders' equity grew to $574 million.

Noting that the past year was one focused on building its leadership team and retooling its business in preparation for new initiatives to come, the LAB's directors said that the company will "continue to explore avenues to increase shareholders value in spite of the global and macroeconomic headwinds".

The company, at its last annual general meeting held in the middle of last year, had also said that it remains on the lookout for new companies strategically aligned to integrate with its current business.