ECONOMYNEXT – Family-owned Sri Lankan consumer durables retailer Abans group said net profit rose sharply last year although sales fell as consumer spending slowed down with economic growth sluggish.
Net profit shot up 549 percent to 894 million rupees for the year ended 31st March 2019 from 138 million rupees the year before, according to its annual report.
Sales of the group, which in recent years has been transferring operational control to professional management with its business structure being re-organised, fell 12 percent to 35.3 billion rupees over the period.
Gross profit was also down, falling 2.7 percent to 10.6 billion rupees.
Abans group chairperson Aban Pestonjee said that despite a decrease in sales, profit before tax shot up to 1.2 billion rupees from half-a-billion rupees the previous year.
“Sri Lanka is on a growth path. Despite slow growth in some years, like the year under review, and perhaps challenging conditions due to disruptions in economic activity, we can expect growth prospects over the medium to long term.”
Over the last 50 years, the firm, begun by Pestonjee as a small corner shop selling used home appliances, has emerged as a top electronics retailer and diversified into financial services, engineering, logistics and real estate.
Abans group shares are not listed on the Colombo stock exchange but its debentures are.
(COLOMBO, 13 June 2019)