Sri Lanka Softlogic group eyes expansion in existing businesses

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Softlogic group, with sales of Rs57 billion, has said it aims to double in size in five years, within existing businesses including the key retail and healthcare sectors, and not look at new ventures.

Expansion within the chosen growth sectors will drive the group’s short and medium term growth, the 25-year-old Softlogic Group’s founder and chairman Ashok Pathirage was quoted as saying in a statement.

The group, which employs more than 9,000 people in Sri Lanka and Australia, is “not looking at venturing into new sectors at this stage,” the statement said.

“We believe there is enough potential within the sectors we are in, to achieve the growth we seek, and to generate robust shareholder value,” Pathirage said.

In the year to 31 March 2016, group net profit rose 22% to Rs676 million with sales up 42%.

Apart from retail and healthcare, the group also has ICT, financial services, automobiles and leisure businesses.

The statement said Pathirage credits “the group’s rapid organic growth and aggressive acquisitions” as a significant contributor to its current position, singling out its acquisitions of the Asiri Hospitals group and ODEL PLC.

Pathirage says the group is positioned to double in size in the next five years, “if everything goes to plan.”

The Healthcare and Retail sectors, as well as Financial Services look “very exciting” in the roadmap for the group’s immediate future, Pathirage said.

Softlogic aims to be a key player in the leisure sector with the opening of its second international hotel property, Mövenpick later this year, but will “pick and choose” its investments, given the capital-intensive nature of the sector, he said.

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“We will also be focussing on profitability in the immediate future as a key component of the next phase of growth,” Pathirage said.

The construction of the 150 bed Asiri Hospital in Kandy has begun and is slated for opening in 2018.

Softlogic is also building what it called the country’s biggest mall, The ODEL Mall.

“We have been a catalyst in the growing popularity of designer brands in the local market and we can see the retail sector emulating Singapore and Dubai. We want to be in that space,” Pathirage said.
(COLOMBO, July 29, 2016)
 

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