Friday, November 9, 2012

Sri Lanka's John Keells group net up 59-pct

Nov 09, 2012 (LBO) - Profits at Sri Lanka's John Keells group, which has interests in shipping, leisure, information technology and financial services rose 59 percent to 2.4 billion rupees in the September 2012 quarter from a year earlier.

 The group reported earnings of 2.83 rupees per share. In the half year to September the group reported earnings of 4.79 rupees on profits of 4.0 billion rupees, up 48 percent from a year earlier.
 The bottoline was helped by a 21 percent growth in gross profits to 4.5 billion rupees and other income which rose 332 percent to 835 million rupees.

Chairman Susantha Ratnayake told shareholders that transportation, which includes a container terminal in Colombo earned pre-tax profits of 1.02 billion rupees, up 57 percent from a year earlier.

Pre-tax profits from tourism rose 42 percent to 945 million rupees with city hotels and Maldivian resorts doing well.

"Sri Lankan Resorts and Destination Management were adversely impacted as a result of a disappointing summer," Ratnayake said.

"However, the impact of lower occupancies was somewhat offset by higher average room rates.

"We continue to reiterate the importance of a focused, Sri Lanka centric, destination marketing strategy to attract the relevant visitor segments in ensuring year-round occupancies and yields which justify continued investment in this industry."

The property division lost 258 million rupees on preliminary costs.

Consumer foods and retail profits rose 11 percent to 288 million rupees.

"Volumes of carbonated soft drinks were lower than expected amidst challenging market conditions resulting in lower consumption while ice cream volumes witnessed marginal growth," Ratnayake said.

"During the quarter, both these businesses continued to invest in enhancing market penetration for their respective products."

The division had bought D & W Foods with a 1.02 billion rupee cash call.

Financial services, which includes commercial banking, insurance and stock broking had earned 323 million rupees before tax, up 21 percent from a year earlier. Union Assurance had made a cash call to meet regulatory capital.

Stock brokering was hit by lower market activity.

Information technology had made pre-tax profits of 56 million rupees up 17 percent from a year earlier, helped by outsourcing.

Others including plantations services had earned 620 million rupees including capital gains from divestments.

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