ECONOMYNEXT - Lanka Milk Foods, a unit of Sri Lanka's Melstacorp Plc, said it will invest 2 billion rupees to set up a dairy farm with 2000 milch cows at Ambewele, Nuwara Eliya to meet a growing demand for fresh dairy products.
The company has incorporated United Dairies Lanka which will set up four new barns to house 2,000 milch cows and two modern milking parlours for an estimated investment of 2 billion rupees, it said in a statement filed with the stock exchange.
"The purpose of the new company is to increase the quantity of good quality milk to be utilized in the production of fresh dairy products of our company and focus on developing marketing strategies to meet the ever-increasing demand for these products," Lanka Milk Foods said.
The new plant is likely to double capacity of the group.
Lanka Milk Foods already has 2,100 heads of cattle of Ayrshire and Friesian breeds grazing in 1,500 acres of land in Ambewela, 6,000m above sea-level.
The milk yield is around 16,000 litres a day.
Lanka Milk Foods, controlled by businessmen Harry Jayawardena through Milford Exports and listed Melstacorp Plc, was trading 90 cents lower at 159 rupees.
The company reported a 236.8 million rupee loss in the June 2018 quarter, compared to a profit of 1.4 billion rupees a year earlier, according to latest results filed with the stock exchange largely due to finance costs increasing 164 percent from a year earlier to 42.9 million rupees.
Gross profits were up 13 percent to 206.8 million rupees on revenues growing 10 percent to 1.3 billion rupees and cost of sales falling 10.5 percent to 1.1 billion rupees.
Operating expenses grew 5 percent to 210.9 million rupees. (COLOMBO, 21 August 2018)