Connect with us


Dilmah Tea and Kahawatte Plantations donate Rs. 25 mn. High Dependency Care Unit to Nawalapitiya General Hospital



Nawalapitiya, Sri Lanka – The Merrill J. Fernando High Dependency Care Facility was inaugurated on August 16 at the, Nawalapitiya District General Hospital. The facility, costing nearly Rs. 25 mn., was funded by Dilmah Ceylon Tea Company Plc and its associate Kahawatte Plantations Plc with the facilitation of the MJF Charitable Foundation, Dilmah announced.

Named after the Ceylon Teamaker who devoted his life to tea, the facility will provide specialised medical care for the predominantly tea estate workers in Nawalapitiya, also serving the Central Province, a news release said.

District General Hospital Nawalapitiya (DGHN) currently provides healthcare services for 500,000 people from the surrounding tea estates, and adjacent Kandy and Nuwara Eliya districts. Current hospital capacity is not sufficient to accommodate demand, especially pandemic related patient surges.

“The 680-strong staff at DGHN were treated to lunch alongside the opening, in appreciation of their dedication. A broader, regional food & nutrition programme is being formulated with details to be announced shortly,” the release said.

“The High Dependency Unit is housed in a structure that has been comprehensively refurbished to expand DGHN’s clinical care capacity and strengthen its COVID 19 response. The benefit from the unit will go beyond the pandemic in strengthening the hospital’s capacity to care for high risk patients. The HDU includes the most advanced medical equipment and respiratory support systems to manage patients with severe COVID-19 and other respiratory ailments.”

“We are grateful for the efforts of Dilmah’s MJF Foundation and Kahawatte Plantations. A comprehensive HDU is a timely need for the hospital in the management of COVID 19 patients who suffer from respiratory distress. This will expand our capacity to save lives closer to their source without having to transfer patients and serve the needs of our population locally” said Dr. M. Nihal Weerasooriya, Provincial Director of Health Services in the Central Province.

Dilmah Tea Company PLC Kahawatte Plantations PLC and Package Care Ltd, – all part of the MJF Group – collaborated with the Provincial Health Services in the Central Province to support this initiative. This ensured quick, cost-effective and efficient refurbishment of the facility, procurement and installation of specialized equipment.

The HDU at DGHN is part of a wider Dilmah – MJF Foundation programme overhaul for the plantation sector. The Foundation was established by its Settlor, Merrill J. Fernando to use earnings from his Dilmah Tea business to serve humanity. Its activities in the tea plantation sector include emergency relief for families in COVID related distress, study support, entrepreneurship development, childcare, nutrition, education support and other initiatives related to the general welfare of the workers. Amongst other achievements the MJF Foundation Scholarship programme has produced doctors, lawyers, entrepreneurs and a magistrate from amongst the children of tea estate workers.

“We face a health crisis of unprecedented magnitude. Every individual and business has an obligation to do what is possible to ease the pain that the pandemic is causing. Our business was formed by my father with the purpose of serving humanity and this Merrill J. Fernando High Dependency Care Unit in Nawalapitiya is a part of the fulfilment of that pledge.” said Dilhan C. Fernando, son of Merrill J. Fernando and CEO of Dilmah Ceylon Tea Company.

Dilmah and Kahawatte Plantations continue to support the plantation community, its initiatives range from healthcare and education to livelihoods support, skills training, and infrastructure including housing. In May 2021, a total of SLR 2.3 million was raised and matched twice over by Dilmah’s MJF Charitable Foundation as part of the sector wide Stronger Together Initiative.

The MJF Foundation is funded by its Settlor’s commitment to 15% for Humanity from the pretax profits of Dilmah Tea and ancillary MJF Group companies including Kahawatte Plantations, Package Care Ltd., Forbes & Walker, PrintCare and Resplendent Ceylon.

In addition to its plantations programme, the Foundation has Centres for Empowerment, supporting communities in some of the poorest parts of Sri Lanka with education, vocational training, agricultural entrepreneurship, support for microbusiness, nutrition support, IT Education, and programmes for women, youth and children with disabilities.

The Merrill J. Fernando Foundation has also partnered with MilleniumIT Esp, 99X, Fortude and Microsoft in developing unique disability and teletherapy apps. Prior to the current restrictions the Foundation supported 6,000 people across Sri Lanka daily, with a larger number expected to benefit once pandemic related limitations can be lifted.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Seylan Bank records Rs. 1.5 Bn PAT for 1H 2022



Seylan Bank recorded a Profit after Tax of Rs. 1,504 Mn for the 6 months ended 30th June 2022 against Rs. 2,105 Mn reported in the corresponding period of 2021. This has been seen by financial analysts as commendable given the extremely challenging and adverse conditions the Bank operated in, with Sri Lanka facing its worst economic crisis since Independence, especially in Q2 this year.

Net Interest income increased from Rs. 10,971 Mn to Rs 16,851 Mn, a growth of 53.60% over the previous year for the 6 months ended 30th June 2022. The Bank’s net fee based income increased by 27.36% from Rs. 2,180 Mn to Rs. 2,776 Mn during 1H, mainly due to an increase in debit and credit card related income, commission income on e-banking, service charges on deposits and commission on remittances which were partly offset by decrease in guarantees related income and loans and advances related income. Other income captions comprising net gains from trading activities, net gains from de-recognition of financial assets, net gains on foreign exchange transactions and other operating income increased by 37.20 % a net gain from Rs. 1,526 Mn from the correspondent year to a net gain of Rs. 2,093 Mn during 1H 2022. The net increase is mainly due to increase in mark to market net gain on derivative financial instruments and impact from net revaluation losses on FCY assets and liabilities.

Total expenses recorded an increase of 7.43 % from Rs. 6,750 Mn in the 1H of the previous year to Rs. 7,251 Mn for the 6 months ended 30th June 2022. Personnel expenses increased by Rs. 287 Mn mainly due to an increase in the staff benefits based on the collective agreement. Other operating expenses and depreciation and amortisation expenses too increased by 7.35% due to increase in prices of purchases and services as a result of higher inflation and local currency depreciation. However, the Bank will continue to take relevant measures to curtail costs with various cost initiatives.

Continue Reading


CSE turnover exceeds Rs. 6 billion as bullish trend accelerates



By Hiran H.Senewiratne

CSE activities were extremely bullish yesterday as market turnover exceeded Rs 6 billion after seven months and the All- Share Price Index surpassed 9000 points for the first time since March 31 this year, stock market analysts said.

All blue chip company shares appreciated by more than five per cent, driven mainly by Lanka IOC and Hayleys. The reason for the market being upbeat was the relative political stability which has come into being under President Ranil Wickremesinghe, who spearheads an effort to establish a national government with some other political parties in parliament, together with the gradual movement of the economy despite all odds, stock market analysts opined.

Observers are of the view that Sri Lanka stock market is still one of the most attractive emerging stock markets in the region. It is said that during 2011/12 the stock market was at the 7000 points level and after ten years, i.e. 2022, the stock market is at 9000 points level. Besides, Sri Lanka’s equity market is ranked as one of the top most of such markets.

Amid those developments both indices moved upwards. The All- Share Price Index moved up by 321 points or 3.69 per cent and closed at 9027.48 points and the S and P SL20 rose by 159.5 points. Turnover stood at Rs 6.3 billion with four crossings. Those crossings were reported in Melstacorp, which crossed 5.2 million shares to the tune of Rs 280 million, its shares traded at Rs 54, JKH 500,000 shares crossed to the tune of Rs 64 million, its shares traded at Rs 128, Kahawatte Plantations one million shares crossed to the tune of Rs 27 million and its shares fetched Rs 27 and Hayleys 200,000 shares crossed for Rs 22 million; its share price stood at Rs 110.

In the retail market, top seven companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were, Lanka IOC Rs 1.4 billion (8.7 million shares traded), Expolanka Holdings Rs 720 million (3.3 million shares traded), Browns Investments Rs 339 million (41.7 million shares traded), Hayleys Rs 326 million (2.8 million shares traded), JKH Rs 294 million (2.3 million shares traded), Melstacorp Rs 235 million (4.4 million shares traded) and Dipped Products Rs 199 million (4.3 million shares traded). During the day 209 million share volumes changed hands in 47000 share transactions.

Lanka IOC and Hayleys drove the market. Lanka IOC shares moved to Rs 27.75 or rose by 20 per cent. Its share price rose to Rs 172.50 from Rs 144.75 and Hayleys share price gained by 11 per cent or Rs 11.75. Its share price moved to Rs 119.75 from Rs 106.25.Yesterday, the Central Bank announced the US dollar buying rate as Rs 357.24 and the selling rate as Rs 368.56.

Continue Reading


Sampath Bank remains vibrant, backed by strong capital and liquidity positions



Sampath Bank continued to maintain a solid capital base and stable liquidity profile in the first half of 2022 notwithstanding multiple economic challenges. The Bank remains vigilant in identifying the current economic issues and has continued to implement in a proactive manner the required countermeasures, clearly demonstrating its strength and stability.

In line with that objective and in order to improve the foreign currency liquidity position, the Bank continues to focus and promote inward remittances as well as to encourage the inflow of export proceeds. The Bank further reinforced its commitment to all its stakeholders by continuing to support all affected segments to sustain their respective businesses in order to ride out the current economic crisis.

Despite the prevailing economic turmoil, the Bank posted a commendable PAT of Rs 7.1 Bn and PBT of Rs 9 Bn for the period ended 30th June 2022, reflecting a minor increase of 0.3% and slight decrease of 5.5% respectively compared to the figures declared in 1H 2021. In the meantime, the Group declared a PAT of Rs 7.4 Bn and PBT of Rs 9.6 Bn, denoting a decline of 2% and 5.5% respectively over the first half of 2021.

Key financial highlights declared by Sampath Bank for 1H 2022:

Strong NIM of 4.85% on the back of rising AWPLR.

323% growth in exchange income stemming from the sharp depreciation of LKR against USD by 80% or by Rs 160.25.

Sizable 69.9% increase in net fee and commission income during the period, driven by cards and trade-related operations.

Higher impairment provisions on loans and investments to capture possible economic uncertainties.

A surcharge tax of Rs 2.67 Bn recognized against the opening retained earnings of the Bank.

Fund Based Income

Total interest income increased by 41.1 % year on year to Rs 59.2 Bn in the first half of 2022, compared to Rs 41.9 Bn in the same period of the previous year. This significant increase in interest income is due to the upward trend in interest rates in the first half of 2022. The AWPLR at the end of the reporting period reached 22.62%, which is 1,711 bps higher than the rate reported on 30th June 2021. Furthermore, the current AWPLR surpassed the end 2021 figure by 1,401 bps. At the same time, the interest rate on a one-year treasury bill climbed by 1,861 bps from the treasury bill rate reported at end of 30th June 2021 and stood at 23.84% at the end of 30th June 2022.

Interest expenses increased by 22.6% compared to the corresponding period of last year due to rising interest trend. The Bank’s total interest expense was Rs 27.8 Bn at the end of the current reporting period compared to Rs 22.7 Bn reported in 1H 2021. Prudent asset and liability management however ensured that net interest income grew by 63% in 1H 2022. This trend is reflected in the NIM growth of 124 bps reported for the period.

Non-Fund based income

The Bank recorded a significant increase of 69.9% in its net fee and commission income (NFCI) in 1H 2022 compared to the same period of the previous year. NFCI is made up of income from a variety of sources, including loans and advances, credit cards, trade, and electronic channels. In the period under review, significant growth was noted in card-related business volumes and as well as fee and commission income from trade-related activities.

During the first half of 2022, net other operating income increased to Rs 16 Bn, an unprecedented 378% increase compared to Rs 3.4 Bn recorded in the corresponding period of the previous year. This was mainly due to the 80% depreciation of LKR against US Dollar. Meanwhile, the Bank posted a net trading loss of Rs 2.5 Bn, compared to the gain of Rs 46 Mn reported during the corresponding period of the previous financial year. Total exchange income for the first six months of 2022 was Rs 13 Bn compared Rs 3 Bn registered in 1H 2021.

Continue Reading