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Sri Lanka Hemas net up 33.4-pct, braced for VAT, price controls

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Hemas Holdings Plc said profits rose 33.4 percent to Rs847 million in the September 2016 quarter from a year earlier, warning of tough times ahead with value-added tax hikes and price controls.

The group, which has interests in consumer products, pharmaceuticals and leisure, reported earnings of Rs1.48 per share for the quarter.

For the six months to September 2016, the group reported earnings of Rs2.70 a share on total profits of Rs1.53 billion, which was up 47 percent.

The group said consumer businesses volumes grew 13 percent for the six months, with operating profits growing 45 percent to Rs1.2 billion, heled by personal care and personal wash products.

Gross margins were better with low commodity prices. Sales in Bangladesh were also growing, the group said.

Healthcare revenue grew 17 percent to Rs9.2 billion. Leisure grew 8.4 percent to Rs1.8 billion.

However, the firm warned that a closure of Sri Lanka’s main airport in Katunayake for runway repairs, price controls on pharmaceuticals, a broad hike in value-added tax and its imposition on healthcare will be challenging, the firm said. (Colombo/Nov04/2016)

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