An Echelon Media Company
Friday July 12th, 2024

In Sri Lanka’s North, legal alcohol is too far away, Lion Brewery says

ECONOMYNEXT – Legal alcohol is too far away for some customers to access in Sri Lanka’s North due to the lack of legal outlets, forcing them to consume illicit products, though new licenses issued recently have helped in other areas, according to an industry official.

While the average distance to a legal alcohol outlet was 45 square kilometers, in the Northern district it was 167 square kilometers.

“Clearly, this opens the door for informal activity as these distances are simply beyond reasonable,” Lion Brewery (Ceylon) PLC chief executive officer R H Meewakkala told shareholders in the annual report.

Sri Lanka has recently issued more beer licenses which has improved sales of legal products, he said.

“It is another lever which the Government should use to curb illicits by increasing access to legal products,” Meewakkala said.

“The issuance of licenses in areas where poor licensed outlet penetration is prevalent has resulted in a positive direction.

“We hope these steps will continue, which will pave the way for a more consistent policy in respect of the alcoholic beverage category.”

The company said it was introducing new beers to tap premium customers.

“New styles of beer and flavours will continue to be introduced to drive premiumization and create consumer experience,” chief executive officer R H Meewakkala said.

“The commencement of the construction of the innovation brewery during 23/24 will be completed this year and will give added impetus to this task.”

Lion has already launched Carlsberg Smooth Draught, Guinness, Lion Ice and two variants of Somersby into the market over the past two years.

The company has revamped its export businesses by exiting 20 markets to focus on Africa, Middle East and South Asia.

“Despite these exits, our International Business grew by 20 percent during the year,” Chairman D A Cabraal said.

Lion Brewery said a tourism recovery had also helped sales, though hikes in value added tax forced them to raise prices.

In the year to March 2024 the firm’s revenues rose from 94,969,346 to 109,755,568 and net profits after tax rose from 6,991,603 to 8,403,478.

Lion Brewery said it had paid cumulative tax contributions totaling 304.9 billion rupees over the past six years. (Colombo/June17/2024)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Leave a Comment

Leave a Comment

Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sri Lanka appoints new Attorney General

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s President Ranil Wickremesinghe has appointed K A Parinda Ranasinghe PC as Attorney General.

He was appointed in terms of Article 61E (b) of the Constitution of Sri Lanka, the president’s media division said.

The new AG received the appointment from President Wickremesinghe at the Presidential Secretariat on Friday.

He fills the post after the retirement of former Attorney General Sanjay Rajaratnam. (Colombo/Jul12/2024)

Continue Reading

Sri Lanka rupee closes stronger at 301.70/302.00 to US dollar

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee closed stronger at 301.70/302.00 to the US dollar on Friday, from 302.80/303.00 to the US dollar on Thursday, dealers said, while bond yields were up.

A bond maturing on 15.12.2026 closed at 10.90/11.00 percent, up from 10.85/95 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.12.2027 closed at 11.75/80 percent, up from 11.80/88 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.05.2028 closed at 11.90/12.00 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2029 closed at 12.10/30 percent, up from 12.15/25 percent. (Colombo/Jul12/2024)

Continue Reading

Sri Lanka stocks close up, muted activity

ECONOMYNEXT – The Colombo Stock Exchange closed up on Friday, data on its site showed.

The broader All Share Index closed up 0.35 percent, or 41.71 points, at 11,843; while the more liquid S&P SL20 Index closed up 0.56 percent, or 19.20 points, at 3,454.

Turnover was low at 653 million.

“The market picked up a bit from yesterday but it’s still below the psychological 12,000 mark,” Softlogic Stockbrokers said.

“Local retail participation drove the market predominantly.”

John Keells Holdings Plc brought in Rs109mn to the turnover, and the share closed flat at 194.50.

Melstacorp Plc contributed in Rs104mn to the turnover, and the share closed flat at 85.00.

Sentiment around the banking counters was mostly negative. Sampath Bank Plc closed down at 77.00, closed flat at 101.25, and Hatton National Bank Plc closed flat at 195.25.

The top contributors to the ASPI were Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc (up at 103.50), Bukit Darah Plc (up at 397.00), and Hayleys Plc (up at 101.00).

Foreign participation remained low as well. There was a higher net foreign outflow of 101 million.

“Foreign selling was seen on John Keells Holdings, and banking counters; Hatton National Bank Plc (down at 195.00), Pan Asia Banking Corporation Plc (down at 20.70), and Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc.

There was selective foreing interest on the diversified financials sector, particularly in companies that had vehicle leasing portfolios. “We think this might be due to the news of the vehicle import ban possibly ending.”

LOLC Holdings Plc closed up at 440.50, People’s Leasing and Finance Plc closed up at 12.20.

Softlogic Holdings Plc which announced the date of its rights issue, closed up at 8.50. (Colombo/Jul12/2024)

Continue Reading