Sri Lanka's Jetwing Symphony Group, a hotel owner and operator recorded revenue growth of 37% to Rs. 484 million for the quarter ended 31 December 2018 (Q3FY19) from the last corresponding quarter (Q3FY18).
The top contributors were Jetwing Yala, Jetwing Colombo Seven and Jetwing Lake, making up over 90% of the Group revenue. Increased ARR and overall occupancy were key drivers of this growth.
Revenue for the 9-months ended was Rs. 1,303 million which was a 30% increase from 31 December 2017.
The Group gross profit margin increased to 84%, from 82% for Q3FY19 whilst recording a gross profit of Rs. 404 million - a 40% increase from the previous corresponding quarter. All properties operated with gross profit margins above 75%, driven by proper management of resources.
All Jetwing Symphony Hotels, with the exception of Jetwing Surf, recorded positive EBITDA and EBIT figures. The Group recorded an EBITDA of Rs. 163 million and an EBIT of 82 million for Q3FY19 which translated to a 2 times and a 36 times improvement, respectively, from the previous corresponding quarter.
Off-season in Arugam Bay resulted in reduced occupation during the quarter under consideration which, combined with high fixed costs, resulted in poor EBIT and EBITDA performance for Jetwing Surf.
The Group recorded a loss of Rs. 32 million, on a recurring basis (profit/loss excluding forex gains/losses), for the quarter ended 31 December 2018 - a 69% QoQ improvement; and a loss of Rs. 170 million for the 9-months then ended, which was a 50% improvement.
The Rupee depreciated by c.7.9% against the USD during the quarter, further affecting the Group's bottom line; which ended with a loss of Rs. 131 million (22% drop, QoQ) and a loss of Rs. 370 million for the 9-months then ended, a 7% reduction from the last corresponding period.
The operational hotels are positioned as premium - with all Jetwing properties recording significantly higher ARRs than the corresponding quarter. Jetwing Kaduruketha saw a c.83% increase in the ARR as the hotel is consolidating on its luxury eco-resort status. Jetwing Colombo Seven and Jetwing Kaduruketha reported slight drops in their overall occupancy rates, due to a reduction in the number of online travel agency bookings and free independent tourist bookings, as a result of the political situation which prevailed in the country during the quarter. However, the overall occupancy rates of the other properties saw a significant increase which is testament to the popularity of your Group's hotels.
Construction of Jetwing Kandy Gallery, Symphony's latest addition, is currently underway with about 80% of the overall sub-structure and 30% of the superstructure work completed.
Expansion of Jetwing Symphony's operating hotel portfolio is in line with Symphony's philosophy of maximizing shareholder returns by pursuing strategic investment opportunities, Chairman of Jetwing Symphony Hiran Cooray said.
The ground-breaking ceremony of the striking new residential development, 93 Fife Residencies, was held on-site at Fife Road, Colombo 05.
The super luxury apartments are designed to meet the rising demand for exclusive new age living in Colombo.
Owned and guided by the leadership of New Delmon Hospitals, the apartment complex will be built on a privately owned property spanning 40 perches of land in Colombo 05, one of the city’s rapidly progressing commercial hubs.
“Our aim is to bring unrivalled modern living options to the deserving residents in Colombo,” stated Director of 93 Fife Residencies Private Limited Mr. Mustaqdeenin his welcome speech. “93 Fife Residencies begins a new chapter in the story of our companies, and also in the lives of the people who will make their homes here.”
93 Fife Residencies draws inspiration from a vision to create exclusive, elegant and elite living structures, adding value and aesthetic to Colombo’s ever-evolving skyline. A total of 40 limited-edition luxury units will be available in the 10-storey structure, with 4 residential units on each floor.
The architecture and integrated design for this luxurious property comes from the team of experts at Surath Wickramasinghe Associates, led by renowned Architect and Planner, Dr. Surath Wickramasinghe.
According to the owner and Director of 93 Fife Residencies Private Limited, Mowjood Mohamed Mohinudeen, the project is a realization of a passion for construction he had for decades.
Iconic Sri Lankan multinational, Hayleys PLC, recorded a strong all-round performance in the third quarter of 2018 (3Q18), as the Group turnover rose by 20% Year-on-Year ( YoY) to Rs. 59.7 billion, resulting in a sharp 80% YoY increase in Group's Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortization ( EBITDA) to Rs. 9 billion for the quarter.
The Group's nine months performance was equally impressive with Turnover reaching an enviable Rs.163 billion and the EBITDA reaching Rs 15.1 billion. The profit from operating activities of the Group was Rs.11.3 billion, which is a 68% YoY improvement. However, the net Finance Cost increased to Rs.7.7 billion from Rs. 3.9 attributing to the inclusion of Singer Group's finance cost and the cost of funding recent acquisitions. The Profit before tax (PBT) of Rs.3.5 billion reflect a 19% improvement over the previous year while the PAT increased by 23% to Rs.1.9 billion.
"We are pleased to see such a strong performance across the Hayleys Group over the last quarter. Taken together with the cumulative results of the period, our businesses have displayed resilience in the face of significant volatility in the domestic and international economy," Hayleys Chairman and Chief Executive, Mohan Pandithage stated.
Further Mr. Pandithage said "Bolstered by the consolidated 9 months results of our recent acquisition, Singer (Sri Lanka) PLC, the Retail sector helped to enhance the Group's results. Further, the outstanding performances in our export businesses, increased volume in the Transportation and Logistics sector also have contributed well to the Group's bottom line. Despite the challenging economic conditions, we move into the final quarter with complete confidence in our ability to deliver planned results".
Due to consolidation of Singer (Sri Lanka) PLC ,the Group's Retail sector, expanded revenue during the 9 months to 31st December 2018 to Rs. 52.4 billion, against a previous Rs. 19.9 billion while operating profit rose sharply from Rs. 966 million to Rs. 3.4 billio
The Group's Transportation and Logistics sector posted similarly impressive results, expanding turnover to Rs. 33 billion, from Rs. 25.8 billion in the previous year, while operating profit rose from Rs. 1.9 billion to Rs. 2.2 billion.
During the quarter, the sector's distribution center capacity was increased with completion of new projects including the Advantis Logistics City while expanding their global presence.
A Strong performance in the Group's Agriculture sector resulted in turnover rising to Rs. 10.8 billion, from a previous Rs. 10.1 billion while operating profit expanding from Rs. 736 million to Rs. 1.2 billion during the 9 months period.
The Purification Products sector (Haycarb Group) posted expanded turnover of Rs. 14.3 billion, against a previous Rs. 10.9 billion while operating profit rose significantly from Rs. 701 million to Rs. 1 billion.
The Group's Hand Protection sector (Dipped Products PLC) recorded a turnover of Rs. 12.9 billion while operating profit in the sector expanded from Rs. 266 million to Rs. 622 million.
Another notable performance was seen in the Group's Eco-Solutions sector which manufacture and export value added coconut fiber products recorded an increase in turnover from Rs. 3.2 billion to Rs. 5 billion, and went on to make a vital reversal in its bottom line, posting a profit of Rs. 302 million against a loss of Rs. 59 million during the 9 months.
The Group has also earned a series of prestigious accolades over the recent past including being crowned Gold Award winner for Overall Excellence in Financial Reporting at the CA Sri Lanka Annual Report Awards together with a further 11 awards. Additionally, the Group also emerged at the top of the LMD Top 20 rankings for 2018 for the second consecutive year.
The Board of Directors of Hayleys PLC comprises Messrs. Mohan Pandithage (Chairman and Chief Executive), Dhammika Perera (Co-Chairman), Sarath Ganegoda, Rajitha Kariyawasan, Dr. Harsha Cabral PC, Lalin Samarawickrama, Ruwan Waidyaratne, Hisham Jamaldeen, Aravinda Perera, Noel Joseph and Jayanthi Dharmasena. (Press release)
Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) announced the appointment of K.A. Kiththi Perera as SLT's new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) while M.B.P. Fernandez was appointed as the Chief Operating Officer (COO).
Perera joined SLT in 1994 and he played significant leadership roles in various departments with increasing responsibilities for nearly 24 years.
He earned a Masters in Engineering from the University of Moratuwa in Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering and is a Chartered Engineer of the Engineering Council (UK) and Institution of Engineering and Technology (UK).
As a key member of its initial management team, he helped in planning, designing and developing of data access networks based on G.SHDSL, metro ethernet and digital radio access technologies. In 2005, SLT appointed Perera as Project Manager of Bharat Lanka Submarine Cable System project where he involved in high level design of first repeaterless submarine cable system (with RA amplifiers and DWDM technology) in South Asia.
As a professional in telecommunication industry, he achieved many awards including the Gold Award (for senior management category) in SLT Transformers Awards in 2014. He also represented SLT in many national and international fora and professional bodies.
Perera has been a Non-Executive Director of Sri Lanka Telecom (Services) Ltd., since 2007.
Meanwhile, new COO of SLT, M.B.P. Fernandez holds a BSc (Eng.) in Electronics and Telecommunications from the University of Moratuwa and an MBA from the University of Sri Jayewardenepura. He is a Chartered Engineer and a Fellow of The Institution of Engineers Sri Lanka.
Fernandez joined SLT in 1991. Following his roles in various multinational telecommunication organizations, he has held a string of senior positions within SLT, culminating to his current position as the Chief Operating Officer. In this role, he oversees the entire planning, operation, sales and maintenance of SLT network and projects of SLT in Sri Lanka. In addition, he has overseen the design implementation and operation of SLT network and projects of SLT in Sri Lanka.
He has played a leading role for planning and deploying very large scale programmes for SLT network transformation. New Generation Network (NGO), Sri Lanka Backbone Network (SLBN), Fiber to The Home (FITH). LTE(4G), National Broadband Programme (i-Sri Lanka), National Data Centre, and Submarine Cable Systerms are some of the flagship projects in which he made his contributions felt. Fernandez is a permanent member of the Technical Subcommittee of SLT since 2011 and a member of the Senior Tender Board.
Sri Lankan tourism authorities are likely to bring back an incentive scheme that supports foreign travel companies that bring in a minimum of 250 visitors.
According to marketing director of Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB), Madubhani Perera, any foreign operator bringing a minimum of 250 visitors will be entitled to US$10 per guest, plus more for guests over the 250-threshold.
The foreign agent will make their own US$10 per guest contribution, and the joint amount will go towards advertising support for the agent.
The scheme was in effect years ago until it was ceased in 2011. It is now in the process of being restored at the request of the Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Travel Agents (SLAITO), subject to approval by the Cabinet.
Mahen Kariyawasam, managing director, Andrews Travels and former president of SLAITO, said that strict criteria will be followed to ensure that the money from the joint incentive scheme is properly utilised.
“In the earlier scheme we had some issues but now we will have a committee that would go through all proposals to ensure a transparent and accountable process,” he said.
Once the scheme is approved, applications from foreign agents who brought in at least 250 guests in 2018 will be entertained.
Meanwhile the much-awaited US$16.6 million, three-year destination marketing promotion campaign has been further delayed and likely to take off only in May (launching at the Arabian Travel Mart). It was due to have been launched at the ITB in March.
The delay is due to tenders, approvals and other paper work which got caught up in the 52-day political crisis in October-November 2018.
While Sri Lanka recently gained endorsement from Lonely Planet, managing director of Aitken Spence Travels – Nalin Jayasundera, pointed out the destination is not reaping the full benefits of such international recognition.
Should there be further delays in the global campaign, he said the destination needs some kind of tactical marketing in at least the top 10 markets until the campaign takes off. “These latest endorsements (could be better taken advantage of) if the tourism authorities work together with the industry on an urgent basis to carry out joint marketing campaigns,” he asserted. (TTGAsia)
Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas Wind Systems has secured an order to build Sri Lanka's first large-scale wind farm, the Mannar, CEB sources said.
Vestas Wind Systems has said it has been selected by Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) to install the Mannar wind farm. The engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract had been obtained in an international tender which included the delivery, installation and commissioning of 30 V126-3.45 MW turbines, as well as civil and electrical works.
Vestas will install Sri Lanka’s first large-scale wind park, the 104-megawatt (MW) Mannar Wind Power Project, the Danish wind giant announced recently. The Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract was awarded by Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB), the main utility company of Sri Lanka, in an international tender, according to a statement from Vestas. The project, which was conceived by CEB and is fully funded by Asian Development Bank (ADB), marks the return of Vestas to Sri Lanka after 19 years, the press release said.
The project will also include a full-scope Active Output Management 4000 (AOM 4000) service agreement as well as the Vestas Online Business SCADA solution lowering turbine downtime to optimize the energy output.
"We are very excited with this order and the opportunity to be back in Sri Lanka," said Clive Turton, president of Vestas Asia Pacific. "This tender signifies a clear indication of CEB and local policymakers' intention to promote sustainable energy sources as well as increase the mix of sustainable energy in the local grid.
Vestas looks forward to working together with our local partners and the local authorities towards this common goal," he added.
Construction is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2019, and the project is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2020.
Eminent lawyer and President’s Counsel Dr. Kanaganayagam Kanag-Isvaran, will deliver the 22nd Annual Oration on Taxation organised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka) on 06th February 2019 at the CA Sri Lanka Auditorium on ‘The tax collector and the rights of the taxed’.
At the oration, Dr. Kanag-Isvaran is expected to address the Constitutional provisions with regard to taxes, the correlation between the fundamental right equality before the law and tax policy and retrospective tax laws. He will also elaborate on rules of natural justice, right to invoke writs, appellate procedure with a special focus on the recently enacted Inland Revenue Act. In addition, the oration will also focus on the scope for a tax ombudsman, the liability of the directors’ with regard to taxes of the company, rights of the tax payer against recovery action by the Commissioner General of Inland Revenue (CGIR), the right to receive interest from the CGIR, etc.
His oration will navigate through the new Appellate Procedure set out in the Inland Revenue Act No: 24 of 2017 and emphasize on the key changes in the law in this regard.
Dr. Kanag-Isvaran, is a President’s Counsel, having taken Silk in January 1988. He is a Barrister-at-Law of Lincoln’s Inn (1964), a Graduate in Law from the University of London (1965) and an Advocate of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka (1966). He was conferred the Degree of Doctor of Laws – LLD (Honoris Causa) by the University of Colombo at its Convocation in November 2017.
He has, on the 28th of July last year, completed 52 years of active practice at the Sri Lankan Bar. He has an extensive practice on the civil side in both the original and appellate courts and specializes in several areas of law including, Corporate Law, Intellectual Property Law, Banking and Finance, Shipping and Admiralty, Telecommunication, I.T., and International Commercial Arbitration.
The Annual Tax Oration of CA Sri Lanka is a much awaited event in the institute’s calendar and attracts a large number of professionals, including high-level tax officials from the public sector, and members of CA Sri Lanka. The Medallion to the orator of this event as in all previous events is sponsored by Mr. Esmond Satarasinghe, a founding member of CA Sri Lanka.
A major constraint hindering the growth of the microinsurance sector is the lack of policies and regulatory mechanisms to facilitate microinsurance, says a recent report produced by the International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation (ICMIF) and the Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka (IPS).
Reviews of available literature, as well as discussions with suppliers of micro-insurance providers agree that the lack of provisions in insurance law for microinsurance in Sri Lanka is a major concern.
The report entitled “ Country diagnostic on mutual and cooperative microinsurance in Sri Lanka” says that current regulatory requirements are arguably more suitable for traditional providers and could be considered too stringent in the case of smaller scale microinsurance providers. According to a study conducted by BASIX Consulting (2016), minimum capital and reinsurance requirements have prevented registered insurers from entering the microinsurance market.
Insurers which are currently involved in microinsurance also find these stringent regulations to be a disincentive to expanding these microinsurance activities. For example, additional high costs associated with recently introduced regulatory requirements such as Risk Based Capital (RBC) regulations, and the segregation of life and general insurance businesses were cited by microinsurance providers as key regulatory hurdles deterring them from expanding their low-premium business ventures. These concerns were shared by the formal cooperative and mutual microinsurance providers in Sri Lanka.
The prospects for insurance business expansion are rather limited for these micro-insurance organisations. A key reason for this is their reluctance to partner with formal insurance providers. Many informal, community-based organisations feel that the profit-maximising outlook of formal insurance companies is potentially damaging to their welfare-maximising endeavours.
The government’s presence in the microinsurance industry is also seen as to be a deterrent to expanding micro-insurance business. For example, AAIB, the main role of which is to provide agricultural insurance has now entered the motor insurance market as well, while the national reinsurer, NITF has also entered the market as an insurance provider. Insurance companies in the private sector find it difficult to compete with such government bodies that can provide services at subsidised prices.
Furthermore, low income households are habitually highly reliant on government assistance in times of disaster; they expect government aid as a matter of course, and thus are not motivated to purchase insurance to face possible risks.
In addition to the government’s assistance, low-income households were found to be highly reliant on community-based networks as a risk management strategy. The high level of social organisation in village communities points to the availability of room for growth for mutual and cooperative microinsurance providers, yet to be fully exploited.
The low demand for insurance among low-income households also contributes to impeding the growth of the microinsurance industry. A major reason for the low demand is the lack of insurance awareness among low income households. Additionally, these households express high levels of mistrust towards insurance companies due to past experiences.
Furthermore, the microinsurance industry targets the low-income households which can often be characterised by highly irregular and seasonal income patterns; the inability of such households to commit to periodical premium payments has also contributed to shrinking their demand for insurance.
Sri Lanka's US$550 million footwear and leather export sector has now been transformed to a vibrant export competitive industry with the assistance of the ministry of industry and commerce on the directions of Minister Rishad Bathiudeen Rishad Bathiudeen.
This compliment was paid by the President of Sri Lanka Footwear and Leather Products Association P.G.D Nimalasiri when he delivered the welcome address at the awards ceremony of 11th Sri Lanka Footwear and Leather fair in Colombo on Monday 27.
The import cess for shoe parts has been increased to Rs 600 from Rs 300 while resolving issues faced by leather tanners by the treasury on the directions of the ministry, he said.
The ministry is also considering the establishment of special leather industry and tanning zone. Sri Lanka’s first ever footwear and leather training course series has been implemented with the Sri Lanka Institute of Textile & Apparel (SLITA) under the Industry Ministry.
Footwear and Leather Products Industry is Rs 100 Billion sector and has great potential in years to come. The footwear and leather sector operators paid a tribute to minister Bathiudeen for his invaluable support and services rendered to the industry, he added.
Sri Lanka’s footwear and leather sector employ around 300,000 and according to SLFLPMA’s President Nimalasiri, its annual production is estimated at around the US $ 550 Mn (Rs 100 Billion). It’s among the leading forex-saving industries in the country. The sector involves all scales of Lankan operators.
According to the Export Development Board (EDB), its exports have surged by 300 per cent in the ten year period from 2008 to 2018. In 2018, its exports totalled the US $ 119 Million. 48% of it was bought by Vietnam and 16% by the UK. Around the US $ 900,000 of Lankan footwear were also bought by the US (2018).
LOLC, one of the largest and most diversified conglomerates in the country is now strengthening its presence in the growing Asian market with the continuing of operations in Myanmar , Cambodia , Pakistan , Indonesia and the Philippines .
The company also explores the possibility of launching its operations in India and Zambia while using strong fundamentals to enter into several other regional financial service markets.
Lanka Orix Leasing Company PLC (LOLC) has changed its name to LOLC Holdings PLC recently with the exit of Japan's Orix Corporation in March 2018 after almost four decades.
It has diversified its portfolio from financial services and non-financial services to leisure, plantations, agri-inputs, renewable energy, construction as well as manufacturing and trading at present.
In line with the Group's diversification strategy, the company will open 160 roomed super five star hotel in Kosgoda in March next year in a tie up with Sheraton Group making a significant value addition to Sri Lanka’s leisure sector.
The Group is actively engaged in the construction sector through the Sierra Group, Trading and Manufacturing through the Browns Group and Asia Siyaka, Agriculture and Plantation through Maturata, Pussellawa, Gal-Oya and Agstar Fertilizers and the renewable energy sector through United Dendro and Hydropower Free Lanka.
With a 63% increase in Group revenue reaching Rs. 150Bn, LOLC has evolved to become the Number 1 Financial Conglomerate in Sri Lanka in the recently released LMD 100 rankings. Having launched its operations in 1980 as a company with a sharp eye on the future and the ability of reading the times with accuracy, LOLC opened its doors to provide what was then Sri Lanka 's pioneer portfolio of leasing solutions to an eager market.
After 38 years, LOLC has rapidly evolved into being the country’s biggest non-banking financial institution and one of the biggest and most diversified conglomerates in the country.
Any Sri Lankan that requires the use of medicinal cannabis (marijuana) products for health or therapeutic reasons will be able to buy it from local pharmacies, with the drug poised to launch its debut in the local market soon.
Medicinal cannabis manufacturer Creso Pharma Limited (CHP) has inked a binding letter of intent with leading Sri Lankan pharmaceutical distributor Ceyoka Health to expand its medicinal cannabis products into the island nation recently, the company announced.
The partnership will initially obtain the necessary regulatory acceptance from local authorities for Creso’s cannAFFORD-50, a CBD lozenge designed to treat chronic pain, before marketing other joint initiatives in the medicinal cannabis field.
The partners have also agreed to establish a comprehensive New Zealand-based cannabis business in the island to explore local research and development activity, domestic cultivation, extraction and product development for meeting domestic and international demand.
It will explore a wide range of other joint initiatives focusing on innovative therapeutic and medicinal products containing hemp extracts.
This product has been developed according to good manufacturing practice standards and is produced in Switzerland by Creso’s partner Swiss-based food and pharma development company, Domaco to the highest Swiss quality with a “Swiss Made” label.
There are an estimated 600,000 cannabis users in the country and medicinal marijuana is legal at pharmacies that hold a license from the Ministry of Health.
There is some domestic cultivation, but it also relies on imports and Creso Pharma is aiming to establish itself as a leading light in the country, foreign news agencies highlighted.
Ceyoka Health is one of the leading pharmaceutical distribution companies in Sri Lanka, with a distribution network of more than 1,800 pharmacies. Creso Pharma and Ceyoka Health plan to work together on a number of joint initiatives to provide Sri Lankans with hemp-based products.
Financial services firm Pine Capital Group has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Provincial Council of the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka to invest in and develop an extent of land in Eastern Province, Sri Lanka.
Pine Capital said it envisions an integrated hospitality and lifestyle township comprising luxury resorts, hotels, serviced apartments, an international fashion design institute and a convention centre to cater for fashion and lifestyle events.
The total investment amount in the project, called Project Beacon, is conservatively expected to be at least US$3 billion.
Pine Capital said in a Singapore Exchange filing: "The board considers that the MOU, in line with the group's business strategy, expansion plan and diversification of its core business to include project management, will offer a good opportunity for the group to broaden its business, revenue base and generate direct cash flow to the company in the future."
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