ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Tea Smallholder Factories maintained profitability in the December 2016 quarter with net earnings of Rs26 million compared with a loss of half-a-million rupees the year before.
The company, which makes black tea from leaves bought from small farmers, returned to the black in the September 2016 quarter with a profit of Rs6.8 million compared with a loss of Rs12.8 million a year ago.
December quarter sales rose 31% to Rs587 million from the year before, a stock exchange filing said.
Tea Smallholder Factories, in which John Keells Holdings has a 37.62 percent stake, reported December quarter earnings per share of 86 cents compared with a loss of two cents the year before.
Most of the profits came from the southern Galle district where small farmers grow low grown teas followed by the hill country Nuwara Eliya district.
The other two main shareholders of the firm are Akbar Brothers Limited with 24.39 percent and Central Finance Company with 22.85 percent.
(COLOMBO, Jan 25, 2016)