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Carson’s ensure no job losses or pay cuts despite crippling blows to business



Carson Cumberbatch PLC, the 107-year old Colombo incorporated conglomerate had suffered a group loss of Rs. 2.65 billion in the year ended Mar. 31, 2020, down 349% from a profit of Rs. 1.07 billion a year earlier. according to the company’s just released annual report.

Despite possibly the worst challenges faced during its long history, Carson’s Chairman Tilak de Zoysa said he was proud to report that none of their group employees lost their jobs or had to take pay cuts on account of the Covid impact – something they considered a key corporate social responsibility.

Carson’s are among the world’s major players in palm oil with extensive plantations in Indonesia and Malaysia and substantial processing capability. The business had been impacted in the year under review by two consecutive years of low prices for crude palm oil (CPO), de Zoysa reported.

“(Prices) started recovering during the third quarter, and were yet again pushed down by the demand downturn following the spread of the pandemic,” he said. “In addition global crude petroleum prices were not incentivising vegetable oil during the year.”

These remained range-bound at the USD 50-60 level, subsequently crashing since Jan. 2020 despite the emergence of an industry benevolent bio-diesel programs in Indonesia. Also adverse weather hurt crops impacting the fresh fruit bunch production.

In addition to growing and processing palm oil, Carson’s are into the ancillary oils and fats industry, beverages (being the dominant stakeholder in the Lion Brewery), portfolio and asset management, controlling the wealthiest investment company quoted on the Colombo Stock Exchange, leisure (Pegasus Reef and Giritale Hotels) and real estate owning prime commercial properties in Colombo.

The chairman said their three main areas of activity were oil palm plantations, beverages and portfolio and asset management with a value of Rs. 7.2 billion.

Despite the negative results resulting from a variety of factors including the Easter bomb and the pandemic, de Zoysa said that as a “resilient conglomerate, the group remained focused and positive by looking ahead despite the immediate economic and operational strain created by the pandemic on markets and businesses.”

He vowed to move forward achieving a balance of utmost health and safety of their operations and the optimum level of business and customer satisfaction.

Carson’s has a strong balance sheet with total assets totaling Rs. 172.9 billion and total liabilities Rs. 117.7 billion. A revenue reserve of Rs. 23.1 billion is also carried in the books. An interim dividend of 75 cents per share was paid during the year under review, down from one rupee a share a year earlier.

Bukit Darah PLC, a member of the Carson’s group, is the single largest shareholder of the company where there is a total if 1,997 shareholders in the register including the EPF (2.85%) and several non-resident investment funds. The Selvanathan family, founders of the Sri Krishna Corporation, is the ultimate controlling shareholder.

The directors of the company are: Messrs. T. de Zoyza (chairman). H. Selvanathan (Deputy Chairman), M. Selvanathan, DCR Gunawardena, SK Shah, VP Malasekera, F. Mohideen, R. Theagarajah, Ravi Dias, AS Amaratunga and Ms. Sharada Selvanathan. Mr. K. Selvanathan is alternated for Mr. M. Selvanathan and Mr. S. Selvanathan for Mr. DCR Gunawardena.

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



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



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



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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