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Charana TV achieves Silver YouTube Creator Award

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SLT-MOBITEL, the National ICT Solutions Provider recently announced that Charana TV channel has received the Silver YouTube Creator Award for it exceptional presence in the platform with its vast audience following and unique content produced. The achievement marks a remarkable first-ever milestone win for the telecommunications industry in Sri Lanka. With over 100,000 subscribers and counting, the channel has seen a magnetic attraction from its following on YouTube. Charana TV, primarily available on SLT-MOBITEL PEOTV & PEOTVGO has seen a surge in popularity as one of the most watched channels, in a short span of time, since inception.

The coveted Creator Awards, also known as play buttons, recognizes YouTube’s most elite, organically-grown channels. They are presented at the sole discretion of YouTube. Each channel is reviewed before an award is issued, to ensure that the channel follows the YouTube community guidelines.

The Silver Play Button is awarded to content creators in recognition of surpassing 100,000 subscribers, whilst maintaining quality content. Over the years, Charana TV has elevated its industry presence through differentiated approaches creating creative programing concepts that drew the attention of many around the country.

Commenting on the milestone win, Ajantha Seneviratne, Chief Executive Officer, SLT VisionCom (Pvt) Ltd. said, “It is a great honour to have won the Silver YouTube Creator Award and have it be the first-ever in Sri Lanka’s Telecommunications Industry. We strive to be unique in the Content produced, with programming that creatively educates and entertains audiences connected with us. Our heartfelt gratitude extends towards our supporters for standing by us from the start.”

Charana TV, is a local broadcasting, television channel which endeavours to discover the roots of Sri Lanka’s multi-faceted and rich culture. Its mission is to cater to the aesthetic needs of the public while respecting the diversity of the nation.

Charana TV is currently available on SLTMOBITEL – PEOTV and PEOTVGO channel no. 05 and Ask Cable Vision on channel no. 15, where it reaches a large audience spread island-wide on TV, You Tube and other digital platforms.



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NSB Chairman hands over annual report to President

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Dr. Harsha Cabral, Chairman of the National Savings Bank, formally presented the bank’s annual report for the year 2022 to Minister of Finance, Economic Stabilization & National Policies President Ranil Wickremesinghe at the Presidential Secretariat on Thursday (01).

The report, titled “Strengthening Our Strength,” provides an integrated overview of the bank’s performance within the economic framework and its engagements with the social and environmental sectors.

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The Central Bank of Sri Lanka relaxes its Monetary Policy stance

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The Monetary Board of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, at its meeting held on 31 May 2023, decided to reduce the Standing Deposit Facility Rate (SDFR) and the Standing Lending Facility Rate (SLFR) of the Central Bank by 250 basis points to 13.00 per cent and 14.00 per cent, respectively.

The Board arrived at this decision with a view to easing monetary conditions in line with the faster than expected slowing of inflation, gradual dissipation of inflationary pressures and further anchoring of inflation expectations. The commencing of such monetary easing is expected to provide an impetus for the economy to rebound from the historic contraction of activity witnessed in 2022, while easing pressures in the financial markets.

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‘Damro-revived Agalawatte Plantations in impressive start to 2023’

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* Q1 Revenue grows 49.7% to Rs 1.489 billion

* Pre-tax profit up 44.6% to Rs 417.2 million

* Major investments in replanting of rubber and tea to continue in 2023

Agalawatte Plantations PLC (APL) has reported impressive revenue and profit growth in the first quarter of 2023, consolidating on the remarkable turnaround achieved subsequent to the acquisition of a majority stake in the Company by the Damro Group.

Revenue grew by 49.7% to Rs 1.489 billion for the three months ending 31st March 2023, with revenue from tea doubling to Rs 796.2 million over the first quarter of 2022, and revenue from oil palm up 57.5% to Rs 305.1 million. Rubber contributed Rs 216.9 million to the Company’s top line in the quarter reviewed.

Stable tea prices and an increased oil palm crop enabled APL to post pre-tax profit of Rs 417.2 million for the three months, reflecting growth of 44.6%. Total assets grew by 21.2% since end 2022 to Rs 6.448 billion as at 31st March 2023, and the Company’s net assets value per share improved by 23.5% to Rs 26.09.

Nalaka Gunathilake, Managing Director / CEO of Agalawatte Plantations described the growth achieved in the first quarter of 2023 as extremely encouraging in the context of the Company’s achievement of net profit of Rs 1.76 billion for the year ended 31st December 2022, the highest profit in its history.

Once debt-ridden and at risk of liquidation, Agalawatte Plantations became part of the Damro Group in 2017 when the latter acquired the majority stake in the Company and infused Rs 3.2 billion for the payment of unsettled dues and statutory obligations. Timely investments in replanting, factory modernisation, redefining strategic focus and leadership transformed the Company into the strong corporate it is today, Gunathilake said. Good management practices together with agricultural inputs and professional human resources management policies too played pivotal role in this turnaround.

APL produces around 2 million kgs of latex annually and the company has facilities to manufacture Latex Crepe, Ribbed Smoked Sheets (RSS) and Centrifuged latex depending on the demand in the market. The Company’s tea production is around 2 million kgs per year and this volume is expected to increase with the availability of chemical fertilizer and agrochemicals in the country. APL also produces more than 11 million kgs of oil palm crop annually, generating substantial returns for the Company.

With the Company’s acquisition by Damro Group a strategic management decision was taken to prioritise replanting across all estates under APL management. An extent of over 2,600 acres of aged and uneconomical rubber land has since been replanted with high yielding clones to ensure company’s productivity and sustainability in the years ahead.

The Company disclosed that a further extent of over 1,000 acres is to be replanted in 2023 and land preparation and preliminary work in these areas has already commenced. In order to support the company’s ambitious rubber replanting programme, Agalawatte Plantations has its own network of rubber nurseries and has established 400,000 seedlings in six regional nurseries to supply healthy and vigorous plants.

Between 2017-2022, an extent of over 263 acres of tea has also been replanted and the preliminary work on another 150 acres has been commenced in 2023. Five tea nurseries with 900,000 plants will supply the requirement of high yielding vigorous tea plants for the replanting programme.

APL said it is gearing up for a new phase of growth in the tea plantations by obtaining system and quality management certifications. The company has obtained the Rain Forest Alliance (RA) certification for its upcountry tea estates while all tea manufacturing facilities have obtained the ISO 22000 Food Safety Management System certification.

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