Thursday, May 3, 2012

People’s Leasing Group marks significant results for 2012 FY

People’s Leasing Group has ended the 31 March 2012 ended financial year with significant results.

 People’s Leasing Company, a subsidiary of People’s Bank, was incorporated in 1995 and is renowned for being ‘The People’s Friendly Lease’. It is a leasing establishment registered with the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, and as a subsidiary of People’s Bank, the company receives Government protection as well as the flexibility as a part of the private sector.

The People’s Leasing Group consists of six subsidiaries – People’s Finance PLC, People’s Microfinance Limited, People’s Insurance Limited, People’s Leasing Fleet Management Limited, People’s Leasing Property Development Limited and People’s Leasing Havelock Properties Limited.

 People’s Leasing Group Chief Executive Officer/General Manager D.P. Kumarage said: “I am pleased to say that the People’s Leasing Group has once again achieved a significant standard for our profits in the financial year of 2011/2012.” This notable success at the end of the financial year is especially noteworthy as it marks the end of the first financial year since the company was listed in the Colombo Stock Exchange, back in November 2011.

“We are happy to note that, as of March 2012, we have met our projections and even gone beyond the projections set forth in July 2011,” said Kumarage, who added that this success was noted with much gratification given the downturn of the industry.

In addition, shareholders received an interim dividend of 50 cents at the end of the third-quarter in December 2011, and a final dividend of 50 cents was approved by the Board of Directors, is subjected to the approval at the Annual General Meeting.

 People’s Leasing Company grantings in 2011/12 were Rs. 48.8 billion up by 17% over Rs. 41.8 billion made in last year. The net profit of the Group for the year ending in March 2012 was Rs. 4,542 million as opposed to an-end-of-year net profit of Rs. 2,612 for the year ended in March 2011. “The growth in grantings can be mainly attributed to the duty concessions given in the past year,” said Kumarage.

 However, he added that with the recent lending restrictions set forth by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka the year ahead would be challenging. “We do not expect the same trend to continue for the leasing industry due to the saturation of the vehicle market and the decreased affordability of the people. It could be difficult, and could create a substantial shift for leasing companies, along with the fluctuations in interest rates and exchange rates, but we believe that with the substantial development taking place and with several large development projects coming in, this situation will improve.”

People’s Leasing Company also notes that despite these challenges their presence is expanding with an increased branch network to 34 fully-fledged branches, 17 mini branches and126 window offices.

“We are in a better position than any other leasing company,” added Kumarage.

 People’s Leasing operates through smaller outlets called window offices at the premises of People’s Bank. Once there is a growth in the customer base, People’s Leasing moves to a mini-branch concept.

 Further growth of customers results in a fully-fledged People’s Leasing branch being set up.

 People’s Leasing Company achieved a non-performing ratio of 0.65, which has decreased from that of 1.33 at the end of the previous year “this non-performing ratio shows the quality maintained at People’s Leasing and has significantly added to our profile,” said Kumarage.

 Last year People’s Leasing Company celebrated 15 years in existence and proudly stated that they continue to be the market leader with six subsidiaries that has also performed well.

“The subsidiary, People’s Finance PLC, was acquired in 2009 as a loss-making company but through our operations it has successfully made a profit of Rs. 339 million this an increase of about 217%, it is not just profitability that has shown a marked improvement but so has the other financial indicators.

 Shareholders received an interim dividend of Rs. 1.25 and we will maintain a good dividend policy within the company,” said Kumarage on the success and profitability of People’s Finance PLC.

 People’s Insurance Limited just completed two years of operations and earned a profit of Rs. 55 million in the first quarter of 2012. “This is quite impressive for a new company. Under General insurance, we are ranked at number six.”

Speaking on future aspirations of People’s Insurance, Kumarage added: “At the moment we are concentrating only on the group, but we will venture out to other companies too in time to come.”

The numbers speak of success and this can be credited to “a good team effort that made the difference. We have a young set of professionals and they have all worked together with commitment, this is the key factor. We have also kept the team motivated and given them a good direction. This performance is visible across the board, and all our branches have shown profits,” said Kumarage.

 Looking back at the year passed by he highlighted the following achievements of the People’s Leasing Group, he said: “The Fitch rating of our company was upgraded from A (lka) to A+(lka).

Meanwhile, People’s Leasing Group emerged triumphant at the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka Annual Report Awards in 2011. The company achieved the prestigious Gold award for the Best Annual Report for the fourth consecutive year in the Leasing sector and People’s Finance PLC also achieved the Silver award for its Annual Report in the Finance Sector. These awards stand as a golden testament to the consistent excellence achieved by People’s Leasing Company and also reflects on the transparency of the organisation, which is also a vital factor in inviting new investors.”

Commenting on People’s Leasing Company’s future plans, he said: “We currently have 42 non-resident shareholders’ we will focus on building up investor relations internationally and also on improving the branch network through the set-up of window offices.”

People’s Leasing Company will also be the recipient of the Diamond BID Quality Award 2012 presented by the Business Initiative Direction (BID) at the international quality convention to be held in Frankfurt, Germany.

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