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Cargills delivers in teeth of Easter and Covid challenges

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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).



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Galadari Colombo awarded ‘SLIM People’s Hotel Brand of the Year 2021’

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The Galadari Colombo was given a thumbs up from the people as the People’s Hotel Brand of the Year for the second time running at the recently concluded SLIM (Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing) People’s Awards 2021.

The uniqueness of the SLIM People’s Awards is the fact that it is awarded by the public which shows the popular choice of the Sri Lankan people.

This is the 15th successful running of the much-anticipated event conducted by SLIM in association with Nielsen which is globally renowned for its measurement and consumer insights.

Having stood the test time of time in the hospitality industry for more than 3 decades the Galadari Colombo is hopeful to remain in the hearts of its people as a brand that is trustworthy and dedicated to service.

 

 

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Expatriates’ organization painting competition for Sri Lankan children from care homes highlights close India-Sri Lanka ties

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Celebrating 75 years of India’s independence in Sri Lanka, Sri Lankan children from care homes converged in Colombo from all across Sri Lanka over 10-11 April 2021 for the final round of the nationwide painting competition organized by Colombo Expatriates Cultural Association (CECA) – a voluntary organization of expatriates consisting of mainly Indians – with support of the High Commission of India, Ministry of Education of government of Sri Lanka and several other partners.

Prof. G.L Peiris, Minister of Education was the Chief Guest and Gopal Baglay, High Commissioner of India was the Guest of Honour at the final round. Several other dignitaries including State Minister Piyal Nishantha were also present. The dignitaries lauded the effort as a shining example of strong people-to-people ties between India and Sri Lanka and stressed the enormous significance of the enriching experience for the children.

The competition was held in three categories – Sub Junior, Junior and Senior. The first round of the competition had seen enthusiastic participation of 4,375 students from child care homes across Sri Lanka. Contestants from all provinces who had produced sixty best paintings were invited along with one care-giver for the final round held in Colombo on April 10 at Hotel Taj Samudra. While top three winners in all the three categories were awarded SLR 100,000, SLR 75,000 and SLR 50,000 respectively in addition to various other gifts, certificates and medals, all the 60 finalists received cash awards, desktop computers, and other gifts contributed by various sponsors.

The event also formed part of ‘India @ 75’ celebrations in Sri Lanka which comprise events and activities in the run up to completion of 75 years of India’s Independence in August 2022. Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi had launched these celebrations in India on March 12 2021, 75 weeks before the 75th Anniversary of Independence. In Sri Lanka, formal launch of these celebrations had taken place on April 9 2021 with the inauguration of ‘India Corner’ at the Nagananda Institute for Buddhist Studies.

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Chrissworld to raise Rs. 56.25 million through IPO

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By Hiran H.Senewiratne 

Chrissworld Ltd. (CWL), an SME company  engaged in the provision of third-party logistics (3PL) services, is gearing to raise up to Rs. 56.25 million via an initial public offering (IPO) on the Colombo Stock Exchange, sources said.

The company plans to offer 7,500,000 Ordinary Voting Shares for subscription at Rs. 7.50 per share. The subscription will open on April 27, with Atara Capital Partners representing the company as managers to the issue.

Meanwhile, the CSE noted in a statement that it has approved an application submitted by Chrissworld Ltd. for the listing of its Ordinary Voting Shares by way of an offer for subscription on the Empower Board of the CSE.

The company,  starting off with Rs. 6 million capital in 2019, expanded its capital to Rs. 22.5 million and projects to obtain Rs. 79 million after the IPO.

Chrissworld will be earmarking milestones with the IPO as the first to be listed on the Empower Board, CSE’s newest listing platform, dedicated to SMEs. Further, Central Depository Systems (Pvt.) Ltd., a subsidiary company of CSE, will step in for the first time as the registrar to the issue.

Amid those developments the CSE  started  on a bullish note yesterday and during the latter part of the day with heavy retail investor participation the CSE witnessed a bullish trend. It is said that manufacturing sector counters became the most popular stocks during the day. Notable price appreciation was reported in Hayleys Group, Royal Ceramic Group and  Distilleries.    

Both indices moved upwards. The All Share Price Index went up by 100.10 points and S and P SL20 rose by 49.18 points. Turnover stood at Rs. 3.51 billion with a crossing. The crossing was reported in JKH, which crossed 1.32 million shares to the tune of Rs. 199.3 million and its share price was Rs. 151.

In the retail market, companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were; Royal Ceramic Rs. 511.2 million (1.46 million shares traded), Expolanka Holdings Rs. 359.9 million (4.5 million shares traded),  Hayleys Group Rs. 359.9 million (4.5 million shares traded), Dipped Products Rs. 321 million (5.5 million shares traded), JKH Rs. 290 million (1.9 million shares traded), and Haycarb Rs. 177 million (1.5 million shares traded). During the day 87.8 million share volumes changed hands in 23900 transactions.

Hayleys shares appreciated by Rs. 6 or eight percent. Its shares started trading at Rs. 75.90 and at the end of the day they moved to Rs. 82. Royal Ceramic shares appreciated by Rs. 13.5 or nine percent. Its shares started trading at Rs. 328.25 and at the end of the day they moved to Rs. 358.75. Expolanka shares appreciated by Rs. 2.70 or five percent. Its shares  started trading at Rs. 49.70 and at the end of the day they shot up to Rs. 52.40 and Distilleries shares appreciated by 70 cent or 3 percent from Rs. 20.20 to Rs. 20.90  

Sri Lanka’s rupee quoted steady at 202.00/203 to the one month US dollar Monday, while gilt yields remained unchanged, dealers said.

The rupee last closed in the one-week forward market at 202/203 to the US dollar on Friday. Sri Lanka markets were dull as seasonal bliss kicks in.

 

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