Earnings growth in Sri Lanka listed firms slows in March quarter – Corrected

COLOMBO (EconomyNext) – Aggregate profit growth of Sri Lanka’s listed companies rose 2.2 percent to 53.3 billion rupees in the March 2015 quarter from a year earlier, slowing from a 9.3 percent growth in the December quarter, an equities research report said.

CAL Research said aggregate profits for the 12-month ending March was up 19.4 percent to 139 billion rupees with 271 companies releasing results.

Profits of bank, finance and insurance companies rose 34 percent in the March quarter to 18 billion rupees helped mostly by finance and other companies which grew 94 percent and insurance companies, which grew 102 percent due to a 1.2 billion rupee capital gain at Union Assurance.

Profits at private commercial banks grew 12 percent with the net interest margins of the banking sector contracting 39 basis points to 4.3 percent. At non-bank financial institutions net interest margins grew 140 basis points to 10.8 percent.

Diversified Holdings profits fell 21 percent to 11 billion rupees mainly due to Carsons whose profits from Indonesian units fell with the depreciation in the rupiah.

Food beverage and tobacco grew 5 percent to 6.8 billion rupees, helped by Ceylon Tobacco and Distilleries.

Hotels and Travels profits fell 24 percent to 3.5 billion rupees with costs rising, CAL Research said.

Most hotels were unable to pass or increasing costs to their customers as average room rates came under pressures with revenues flat (down 0.7 percent).

Healthcare grew 68 percent.

Manufacturing grew 47 percent to 5 billion rupees, with helped by Royal Ceramics, Lanka Lubricants and Textured Jersey.

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Motor sector profits were up 41 percent to 845 million rupees, helped by United Motors.

Power and Energy fell to a net loss of 382 million rupees with LIOC running into losses due to state intervention in pricing and taxes.

Corrected Para 2 – CAL Research said aggregate profits for the 12-month ending March was up 19.4 percent to 139 billion rupees with 271 companies releasing results.

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