Sri Lanka’s MTD Walkers real estate, marine business grows fast

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lankan construction group MTD Walkers made a net profit of Rs162 million in the September 2016 quarter from a loss of Rs70 million a year ago, helped by strong growth in its real estate and marine engineering businesses.

Sales rose 60 percent to Rs3.6 billion during the period, according to interim accounts filed with the stock exchange.

The firm reported earnings per share of 97 cents for the quarter compared with a loss per share of 41 cents the year before.

In the six months to September 2016, MTD Walkers’ loss per share narrowed to 38 cents from a loss per share of Rs1.25 the year before.

The group managed to increase its gross profit margin to 27% up from 20% in the second quarter last year “in what continues to be a tough year for the construction industry,” a statement said.

“The results for this quarter have been encouraging and we hope to capitalise on our upcoming projects to further improve our performance in the next quarter,” said Viraj de Silva, chief financial officer of MTD Walkers PLC.

The increased profitability of the goup during the quarter is greatly due to the  performance of the real estate sector, which MTD Walkers PLC ventured into recently through its subsidiary Walkers CML Properties (Private) Limited, the statement said.

The group’s real estate business profits rose 90 percent to Rs52 million in the six month period, the accounts showed.

Marine engineering business, the smallest in the group, also saw profits growing sharply to Rs53 million from Rs7.4 million the previous year, while profits from the civil engineering business also rose markedly to Rs193 million from Rs2 million over the period.

The group’s engineering sector business losses narrowed to Rs23 million from Rs145 million and trading losses remained at Rs22 million, near last year’s level while power generation profit fell sharply to Rs3 million from Rs72 million.
(COLOMBO, Nov 25, 2016)





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