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Sri Lanka Tea Smallholder Factories makes loss in Sept quarter

ECONOMYNEXT – Tea Smallholder Factories, which makes black tea from tea leaves bought from Sri Lankan small farmers, remained in the red in the September 2015 quarter owing to the prolonged slump in tea prices.

The company made a loss of 13 million rupees in the quarter compared with a net profit of 3.4 million rupees a year ago, according to a stock exchange filing of interim accounts.

Sales fell 39 percent to 471 million rupees. The firm made a loss per share for the quarter of 43 cents compared with earnings per share of 12 cents the year before.

Tea Smallholder Factories slipped into the red in the June 2015 quarter as tea prices dropped owing to political instability in key markets like Russia and the Middle East.

The losses of Tea Smallholder Factories came mainly from the Matara and Ratnapura regions while Galle and Nuwara Elya showed profits albeit at a lower level, the accounts showed.

The firm’s three main shareholders are John Keells Holdings with a 37.62 percent stake, Akbar Brothers Limited with 24.39 percent and Central Finance Company 22.85 percent.  (Colombo/November 02 2015)

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