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Sri Lanka’s Softlogic group eyes Africa, Asia for expansion

ECONMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Softlogic group, which has interests in healthcare, financial service and retail wants to expand into Africa and Asia, Chairman Ashok Pathirage has said, while looking for way to cut debt.

"Our vision has expanded beyond our shores and we are likely to commence operations of our successful Sectors in Asian and African markets to replicate our success in Sri Lanka," Pathirage told shareholders in the annual report.

"There is significant scope for expanding our internationally certified healthcare services in to neighbouring countries with positive outcomes while African markets demonstrate potential for insurance products.

"Understandably we are excited by our next growth phase as we seek to position the Softlogic Group as a leading player in the region in selected Sectors."

Softlogic has expanded with acquisitions in recent years which were funded with debt. In the past the firm has later cut gearing by raising equity.

"Higher levels of debt relative to peers has been part and parcel of our risk profile which has been proactively managed with forethought and foresight as evinced by managed exits to realise cash flow in the recent past," Pathirage said.

"We are evaluating several options for reducing debt and are likely to deploy several strategies to
achieve a satisfactory outcome to improve the financial gearing of the Group."

Softlogic was hit by monetary instability in 2018, leading to a collapse after the central bank printed money, which was worsened by a political crisis triggered by President Maithripala Sirisena.

In the year to March the group posted profits of 104 million rupees, down from 204 million rupees a year earlier after minority interest, on revenues of 75 billion rupees, which grew from 55 billion rupees. (Colombo/July22/2019)





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