ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) profit before tax fell 13.5 percent to 3.2 billion rupees during the first four months of the year from a year ago, official data showed.
It had budgeted a profit before tax of 4.4 billion rupees for the period.
The SLPA’s total revenue during the first four months of 2015 was 12.9 billion rupees while expenses were 9.3 billion rupees, including a foreign exchange loss of 0.45 billion rupees, a government report said.
Salaries of SLPA staff were increased with effect from January 2015 with the aim of improving efficiency and better compete with other ports in the region and private container terminals and also to “maintain industrial peace without any employee unrest,” it said.
Total outstanding borrowings of the SLPA had risen to 218 billion rupees by end-2014, due to several port development projects during recent years.
The SLPA’s debt had fallen to 215 billion rupees as at 30th April 2015, the report said.
The SLPA, which has borrowed heavily to fund new port projects, incurred an interest cost of 1.7 billion rupees during the first four months of the year.
The report said the SLPA should take prompt actions to have a prudent debt management system to ensure debt sustainability given its huge outstanding debt at present.
"The performance of the SLPA is expected to expand with the latest improvements and developments in ports," it said.