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Cargills delivers in teeth of Easter and Covid challenges



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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New Administration building at Horana EPZ opened



The BOI’s Horana Export Processing Zone ceremonially opened its 46 million-rupee new administrative building recently with BOI DG Sanjaya Mohottala as chief guest. The event was attended by a large number of investors, government officials and the senior BOI officials, the BOI announced.

Mohottala said on this occasion that “our biggest challenge is to maintain the GDP rate at 6% for the next 10 years with the BOI charged with the responsibility of uplifting the economy and attracting Foreign Direct Investment.

“We need to provide necessary infrastructure facilities and a healthy investment climate with a more proactive rather than reactive role,” he said.

He announced that steps are being taken to develop thrust sectors for investment such as pharmaceuticals, agricultural processing, ICT, aquaculture and rubber etc. Also the BOI was responsible for providing investors with an efficient service.

Horana Export processing Zone was established in 1999 on 390 acres of which 181 acres is industrial land. The infrastructure provided include water, processing of waste water and electricity, making the zome attractive to investors.

Zone companies have generated 3,375 direct employment opportunities and twice that number of indirect jobs with total export revenue of Rs 8.6 billion earned in 2019.

There are 21 enterprises in commercial operation at the Horana EPZ involved in the manufacture of apparel & accessories, food, wooden products, consumer goods, steel, aluminum and plastic products.

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GPV Lanka awarded SLS 1672: 2020 COVID-19 Safety Management System



GPV Lanka (Pvt) Ltd., recently received the Certificate of Conformity – SLS 1672:2020 COVID -19 Safety Management System from the Sri Lanka Standards Institution (SLSI).

This confirms the company’s unparalleled commitment towards ensuring health and safety measures among its workforce and all stakeholders engaged in its day-to-day operations.

Preparations to face the pandemic’s consequences within a short time is a noteworthy aspect of the organisation. Furthermore, this qualification will support to keep production geared up to serve overseas customers with minimum hindrance.

GPV Lanka (Pvt) Ltd., has become the first Sri Lankan Company into electronics manufacturing to receive this certification. GPV was founded in Denmark in 1961 and is today one of Europe’s leading electronics manufacturers. GPV is a global EMS-partner providing complex electronics, cable-harness, mechatronics and box-build solutions including design and engineering activities to customers worldwide within high mix/low-medium volume.

GPV generates a revenue at about USD 460 million with around 3,700 employees and has production sites across Europe, Asia and the Americas.

GPV Lanka (Pvt.) Ltd has been in the industry in Sri Lanka for more than 30 years and today it has 1,022 employees including 45 electronic engineers with a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility.

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Lankan company offers Chinese language services



In a global climate where China has established its standing as the second largest and fastest growing economy in the world, the extent of the country’s scale and integration has meant that proficiency in Chinese has become a coveted asset.

Hàny? Services -a Sri Lanka-based Chinese content creation, translation, and interpretation company- has launched with a wide portfolio of professional Chinese language services to fulfil the growing interest in investing in this highly lucrative market.

“The company, with its vast global network of qualified Chinese linguists, delivers translation service excellence for any industry, where content is produced such that the client’s brand message is effectively conveyed without the loss of style, tone or context. The language service provider’s scope of services in this regard include document and website translations, interpretation, proofreading, voice-over services, and video subtitling, the SL company said in a news release.

“Additionally, clients of Hàny? Services stand to gain a strong competitive advantage in their respective sectors by having tailor-made content created that will best target the Chinese market accurately, ensuring that every message communicated is localized persuasively.”

The company’s team of seasoned Mandarin translators and writers are experienced in Chinese content writing, creation of localized marketing collateral, website localization and translation, and video creation, helping businesses find their distinctive voice and share their brand story through exceptional content, the release said.

The service also offers greater insight into Chinese business culture and etiquette, a vital asset for those looking to do business with or in China. Here too, Hàny? Services offers training on Chinese business language and culture that will help earn clients’ trust through the ability to communicate and negotiate better; paving the way for more successful agreements and business deals, it added.

Recently the agency launched Sri Lanka’s first ‘Mandarin Corner’ -an interactive initiative to encourage Lankans from across the island to learn, practise, and network in Mandarin with native speakers, students, and others. communication overall, the release said.

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