Hemas Holdings see Sri Lanka consumer recovery, net down 4.9-pct in Dec

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Hemas Holdings, which has interests in consumer, healthcare, logistics and leisure said there was recovery in consumer demand through group profits were down 4.9 percent from a year ago to 974 million rupees.

Hemas Holdings reported earnings of 1.64 rupee per share for the quarter. During the nine months to December the group reported earnings of 1.27 rupees on total profits of 755 million rupees, down 69 percent.

Revenues grew a marginal 0.4 percent to 18.0 billion rupees, cost of sales fell 3.5 percent to 11.7 billion rupees, and gross profits grew 8.5 percent to 6.29 billion rupees.

Selling and distribution expenses were up 31 percent to 1.94 billion rupees.

Sri Lanka’s consumer demand was hit from a currency collapse in 2018 and worsened by Easter Sunday suicide attacks.

Hemas produces, personal care items as well as Atlas branded stationary for school children.

“During the quarter, both our Consumer businesses witnessed a steady recovery following subdued performance in the first half amid a general economic slowdown and the adverse impact from the aftermath of the Easter Sunday attacks,” Chief Executive Steven Enderby told shareholders.

“Atlas delivered robust back to school seasonal results, surpassing last year’s revenues and profitability.

He said consumer revenues which fell in 2019, reached last year’s level in the September quarter. From the September to the December quarter, there had been growth and new product launches had also been made.

After the government cut value added tax, prices of consumer items had been lowered.

Enderby said Hemas Hospitals and Morisons a pharma firm was seeing a steady recovery.

“Our pharmaceutical distribution registered satisfactory performance with the price increase on price-controlled pharmaceuticals becoming effective in May,” he said.

“Further, we have seen increased volume growth in our distribution segment.

“Both Thalawathugoda and Wattala hospitals recorded a strong recovery in revenues and
profitability aided by improved operating metrics with average occupancy of 70 percent during the quarter.”

Morison Plc had struck a new 5-year buy back deal with the state hospital system and a new plants was under construction.