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Sri Lanka’s John Keells Holdings net up 18-pct in March

ECONOMYNEXT – Profits at Sri Lanka’s John Keells Holdings grew 18 percent to 3.7 billion rupees in the March 2020 quarter from a year earlier, interim accounts showed, with only a marginal impact from Coronavirus in the quarter.

The diversified group which has interests in property, container transshipment, hotels and fast moving consumer goods reported earnings of 3.18 rupees for the quarter.

In the year to March JKH reported earnings of 7.14 rupees, on total profits of 9.4 billion rupees, down 38 percent from a year earlier.

Total revenues grew 3 percent to 37.1 billon rupees, cost of sales grew 8 percent to 30 billion rupees and gross profits was down 14 percent to 7.0 billion rupees at group level.

JKH said bunkering profits grew with better margins. South Asia Gateway Terminals its container terminal became liable for tax.

Soft drinks and ice cream businesses had grown in January and February but curfews had hit sales in March.

“Both businesses recorded encouraging volume growth in the months of January and February, where volumes grew approximately 20%-30%, on average,” the firm said.

“However, the imposition of island-wide curfew due to the COVID-19 pandemic caused disruptions in sales in the last 2 weeks of March 2020, which is a peak sales month, resulting in a steep decline in volumes, thereby impacting overall volumes for the quarter.”

“The Supermarket business recorded a strong performance driven by a notable contribution from new outlets and growth in same store sales.

“Same store sales recorded an encouraging growth of 5.7 per cent in January and February 2020.

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However, similar to the impacts in the Consumer Foods businesses, a steep decline in same store sales was recorded in March due to the imposition of curfew which resulted in outlets being closed during the latter half of March 2020. Consequently, same store sales for the quarter was 1.7 per cent.

Hotels which were recovering from a Easter Sunday attack in 2019 were again hit by the Coronavirus.

In property 19 units were sold in the Trizen apartment project before Coronavirus curfews led to a closure

Property projects had since resumed construction.

Unspecified administrative expenses rose 25 percent to 3.2 billion rupees.
Finance income was up 50 percent to 2.8 billion rupees. Fair value gains rose 77 percent to 573 million rupees.

Income taxes were down 26 percent to 1.2 billion rupees. (Colombo/Mar21/2020)

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