Despite the daunting challenges presented by the Easter bomb at the beginning of the financial year and the Covid situation at year-end, Cargills (Ceylon) PLC, the country’s leading food company with 411 Food City outlets countrywide now in business, has delivered what its chairman, Mr. Louis Page, has called a commendable result in the year ended Mar. 31, 2020.
Group revenue was up over 13% to Rs. 107.05 billion, operating profit over 50.8% to Rs. 7.06 billion, and the after-tax profit over 35.7% to Rs. 2.76 billion.
The Cargills Group comprises three key operating segments – retail, food manufacturing and restaurant industries with the retaiul operations performed by Cargills Food Company (Private) Ltd. In which the International Finance Corporation, World Bank affiliate, holds an 8% equity stake.
Page reported “robust growth” in the group’s FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) segment primarily driven by the dairy sub-sector now sourcing approx. 150,000 litres of milk per day as the country’s leading milk collector.
While the retail and food manufacturing sectors had done well, restaurant performance had lagged during the period under review although consumption was favourable. The sector had been severely affected by both the Easter Sunday and Covid pandemic.
Page revealed that the listing date for the Cargills Bank which the group had launched has now been deferred for June 2021 and capital raising to meet enhanced regulatlry requirements to Dec. 2022. Thew management of the bank is now being further strengthened by external consultants to fast track the business model which will allow the bank to operate as intended, he said.
“Pushing ahead, I’m cautiously optimistic about the Bank’s future prospects,” he added.
The company has announced a final dividend of Rs. 3.20 a share on top of an interim 1.90 per share underling its capital commitment towards long-term investment which maintaining a consistent divided policy.
“The group has performed ably this past financial year even though it had been one of the more challenging ones in recent times…,” he said adding that the ongoing financial year was expected to post a “heavily skewed” first quarter (due to the pandemic) with grqadual recovery in the second quarter.
CT Holdings PLC with 68.87% is the controlling shreholder followed by Mr. VR Page (6.83%), the EPF (3.27%) and Ms. MM Page (2.23%). Other members of the Page family and related companies are among the top 20 shareholders.
The Cargills directors are: Messrs. Louis Page (Chairman), Ranjit Page (Deputy Chairman/CEO) Imtiaz Wahid (MD/Deputy CEO) Priya Edirisinghe, Sanjeev Gardiner, Sunil Mendis, Joseph Page, Errol Perera, Deva Rodrigo (retired), Y. Kanagasabai, Asoka Pieris and Indira Malwatte ( from Feb. 1,2020).
Union Assurance crowns excellence
Union Assurance PLC held the Annual Awards 2021 to honour its top achievers for their exemplary performance. The ceremony was held at the Monarch Imperial on 8th May 2022, under the theme ‘Crowning Excellence.’ This event, which crowned the champions, was graced by a distinguished leadership team that included Chairman of John Keells Holdings, Krishan Balendra , and Chief Executive Officer of Union Assurance, Jude Gomes.
The awards ceremony recognised the exceptional performance of over 670 award winners, making it the highest number of annual award winners in the Company’s history, a feat driven by a record-breaking performance in 2021. The winners comprised advisors, agency leaders, regional managers, and zonal managers from the island-wide Agency network. The top achievers in the Agency channel (including Best Zone and Best Region) were honoured, while the Ultimate Champion Kalum Jayasinghe was rewarded with a flashy Mercedes-Benz car. Chanaka Appuhamy was also presented with a Mercedes-Benz for his Top of the Table Club achievement.
The CEO of Union Assurance, Jude Gomes lauded the winners for delivering outstanding results. He described their achievements as remarkable since 2021 was full of challenges arising from the pandemic.
Paduma Subasinghe appointed Director Human Resources at Heineken Lanka
Paduma Subasinghe has assumed duties as Director Human Resources of HEINEKEN Lanka Limited. He joins a distinguished panel of Management Team members at HEINEKEN Lanka headed by Managing Director Maud Meijboom-van Wel.
Prior to joining HEINEKEN Lanka, Paduma served as the Director Human Resources in one of the fastest growing export companies in Sri Lanka. His exposure in HR spans across large-scale conglomerates, telecommunication MNCs and consultancy with HR agility being at the core of his forte. Paduma’s versatility befits the transformational journey that HEINEKEN Lanka is on; setting bold ambitions that Challenge the Status Quo with the Courage to Dream and Pioneer whilst Caring for People and Planet to bring forth the joy of true togetherness.
A product of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura (PIM), his postgraduate studies were focused on Human Resources, and he is a Senior Certified Professional of the International Public Management Association for HR, USA. Paduma is also a member of Rotary International and plays a pivotal role in community service through his active involvement in the organisation.
Richard Pieris Finance announces resilient performance for FY 2021/22
Richard Pieris Finance Limited, a fully owned subsidiary of the Richard Pieris Group, and the sole financing arm under the renowned Arpico brand, delivered solid financial performance for the Financial Year 2021/22, amidst a challenging economic backdrop. Supported by the Company’s committed workforce and prudent management strategies, Richard Pieris Finance’s profit before taxes (PBT) rose by a notable 283% to Rs. 444 Mn, compared to prior year. The company also saw revenues growing by 16% to Rs.2,441 Mn during the period. The Company’s deposit base and asset base too grew during the year to Rs.9,910 Mn and Rs.17,927 Mn respectively.
Discussing the achievements and milestones of the year, Lohika Fonseka, CEO at Richard Pieris Finance Limited said, “We are pleased to inform all our stakeholders that the management of Richard Pieris Finance Limited has successfully guided the Company through some of the most challenging times our nation has ever faced. We intend continuing this trajectory, building on our achievements. Supported by our digital drive, the company obtained the membership in CEFTS and JustPay during the year to further customer convenience. Also, we have introduced several new products including pawning to expand our portfolio. Furthermore, taking our plans to fruition, we have upgraded three outlets as fully-fledged branches during 2021/22 to provide a better service to our valuable customers. During the year, Richard Pieris Group infused Rs. 280 Mn of equity capital for strengthening the company’s Tier-1 capital base and the company successfully concluded a debt capital infusion of Rs. 1 Bn to improve the Tier-2 capital base, which positioned the company well above its peers in terms of capital adequacy. While maintaining stability and resilience, we look forward to continuing our business expansion as we pivot and position to tackle the challenges ahead, while always focusing on customer convenience.”
Underscoring the stability and strength of Richard Pieris Finance Limited, the Company has been assessed with the coveted AA-(RWN) from Fitch Ratings Lanka Limited, one of Sri Lanka’s premier credit rating agencies. The Company appointed Kithsiri Wanigasekara as the Chairman who is a veteran professional in the financial services industry together with Shantha Wijeweera, Kithsiri Wijeyaratne, Asoka Keppetipola and Kelum Senanayake to guide and support the Corporate Management team, to navigate the present turbulent economic environment skilfully and effectively. The corporate management team of Richard Pieris Finance Limited comprises of financial industry professionals in multiple disciplines including veteran bankers and legal professionals. Operating within a resilient corporate governance structure while maintaining robust internal controls relating to risk management, compliance and further supported by digital transformation, Richard Pieris Finance Limited is confident on maintaining its growth momentum in future.
Richard Pieris Finance Limited provides Sri Lankans with a full-range of financial products and services including fixed deposits, savings, leasing, Islamic finance, business loans, personal loans, pawning, furniture financing and digital finance solutions. The Richard Pieris Group is a diversified business conglomerate with a rich history spanning over 90 years, having its arms spread across multiple sectors including manufacturing, plantations, financial services, exports, FMCG, logistics and retail. Its flagship brand, “Arpico Supercentres” is one of the most powerful local household brands in Sri Lanka for over 50 years, serving the community with a diverse range of products. A melting pot of talent, home to a workforce of over 27,000 people, Richard Pieris and Company PLC is one of the largest employers in Sri Lanka’s private sector.
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