ECONOMYNEXT – Profits at Sri Lanka’s Melstacorp group fell 58 percent to 624 million rupees in the September 2019 quarter from a year ago as finance costs and income tax rose sharply, interim accounts showed.
Sales of the group, which controls the Aitken Spence and has almost 10 percent of the John Keells Holdings conglomerates, were stagnant at 37.6 billion rupees
Quarterly earnings per share were 54 cents. The stock last traded at 44 rupees.
The accounts showed sharply higher finance costs while income tax rose 39 percent to 1.9 billion rupees.
EPS in the six months to September 2019 was 1.55 rupees with net profit down 20 percent to 1.8 billion rupees and sales up almost four percent to 75 billion rupees.
The bulk of profits came from Melstacorp group’s alcoholic beverage business, the listed Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka, its core subsidiary and market leader in spirits.
The accounts showed plantations losses increased in the quarter and losses from its Lanka Bell mobile phone subsidiary fell. Financial services profits were up and profits from diversified business more than halved.
(COLOMBO, 15 November 2019)