Expolanka Holdings PLC delivered a resolute performance amidst a challenging operating environment for the quarter ending 30th September 2022 with a Revenue of Rs. 161.7Bn (YoY +7%), Gross Profit of Rs. 28.3Bn (YoY +25%) and Profit after tax of Rs.9.0Bn (YoY -25%). This resulted in the Company delivering a YTD Revenue of Rs. 396Bn (YoY +61%) and Profit after Tax of Rs. 29.2 Bn (YoY +59%).
During the quarter, the Company focused on maintaining performance stability whilst building infrastructure and capabilities for future growth. Earnings from international operations continued to remain above 95% as Expolanka Group consolidated its performance during the quarter.With these results, the Company was able to generate an EPS for the quarter of Rs. 4.63.
Global markets remained disrupted during the quarter resulting in a slowdown. Whilst the pandemic-led demand surge has subdued, pressure on capacity has gradually eased, resulting in reduced freight rates.
The logistics sector navigated through these challenges as the business delivered a Revenue of Rs. 159.3Bn (YoY +6%), Gross Profit of Rs. 27.6Bn (YoY +23%) and Profit after Tax of Rs. 8.5Bn (YoY -30%) for the quarter under review. The above resulted in the sector delivering a YTD Profit after Tax of Rs. 27.3Bn, returning growth of 45% YoY.
Soft demand conditions have resulted in Air Freight volumes tailing off during the quarter. However, intense sales efforts supported by solid service capabilities enabled EFL to mitigate these impacts. The quarter under review saw Air Freight rates softening gradually, resulting in yield moderation.The Company has consolidated progress on the Ocean Freight product by focusing on increased customer penetration, developing partner networks and enhanced competencies. Although volumes have lowered during the quarter, it has occurred at a relatively reduced pace. Ocean rates remain tempered during the quarter with corrections in yields.
Despite market challenges, Expolanka has remained consistent and accurate in its long-term multi-pronged strategy of growing volumes, building capacity and enabling operational efficiencies.
The North American trade lane remained the critical business driver; the European and Intra-Asia companies remained resilient with stable growth during the quarter.EFL continues to make inroads into domestic logistics services in its core markets as the business complements its value offering to its customers by enhancing capabilities in all core markets.
Tea industry targets USD 1.2 bn export turnover in 2023
Sri Lanka will earn around USD 1.2 billion from tea exports for 2023 exporting around 260 million Kg, said Chairman of the Sri Lanka Tea Board, (SLTB) Niraj de Mel, last week.
SLTB is forecasting a modest growth for 2023 in comparison to the current year estimating an increased production of 290 million Kgs with export revenues expected to increase to USD 1.4 billion. Due to the depreciation of the rupee against the dollar, during the first half of the year and a shortage of tea, sales caught up and auction prices increased sharply from March 2022. Despite fuel shortages and logistic issues, the Regional Plantation Companies and smallholders have been able to continue the harvesting of green leaf throughout the year. When compared to 2020 and 2021 volumes, the Green Leaf price to smallholders has increased exponentially from July 2022 onwards.
“The tea smallholder who used to get around Rs. 90 per kg three years ago is now getting around Rs. 250 per kg and some estates have paid nearly Rs. 1,000 per kg. He said that though the glyphosate fertiliser ban is lifted planters should not use it heavily as a ‘global ban of glyphosate’ is imminent for the tea industry. Some countries like Taiwan already reject tea grown with the use of glyphosate.” He recalled that tea production reached an all time high with a record of 340 million Kgs in 2013. “After short increases during the period 2017 to 2019, tea production recorded a decrease in 2020, mainly due to the fallout from the pandemic and now we are taking several steps to increase production.”
The Tea board is offering a host of financial grants and loans to the tea growers, factories as well as for exporters. “These include subsidies for replanting, fertiliser for growers, special grants and loans for factories to upgrade their machinery and soft loans for exporters for packaging. These facilities exceed Rs. 4 billion per year.”
Tea Commissioner E. Edirisinghe said that they would also provide Rs. I million for tea factory expansion which comes as a grant. “In addition, we pay 3% of the capital when factories install solar,” he said.
Harin urges for ‘breathing space’ to revive tourism
Minister of Tourism and Lands Harin Fernando said on Saturday that persistent political agitations make his job of promoting Sri Lanka as a safe and convenient tourist destination extremely difficult.
“Now the country has restarted to function although not at a comfortable level to everyone. People undergo many economic difficulties due to high cost of living. These issues need to be addressed and resolved one by one. Creating troubles constantly in a highly political way won’t help the country to come out of the crisis. It will only prolong the crisis.
As Minister of Tourism, I have a hard time promoting tourism in Sri Lanka because it is no easy task to convince potential overseas visitors that the situation is back to normal. So, I appeal to these parties to allow at least six months for the country resuscitate whose breathing had stopped for some time,” he said.
UTECH Technologies recognised at Sahasak Nimavum Innovation Awards
UTECH Technologies (Pvt) Limited, Sri Lanka’s leading Industry 4.0 transformation solutions provider won the most prestigious innovation award, the DASIS award at the Sahasak Nimavum National Innovation Awards held recently. The DASIS Award is judged across all competing categories and only awarded to the innovation that shows novelty in technology and has been commercialized successfully. This award is judged by a learned panel of national and international judges including academia and industry experts. UTECH also won overall gold for best commercialized ICT innovation. UTECH has won many national and international awards, including the overall gold for “IoT technology of the year” at the Asia Pacific ICT Awards (APICTA) in 2021.
UTECH’s Managing Director, Riyad Ismail said, “Having many Sri Lankan industrial conglomerates as our clients, we have started exporting our hardware and software solutions to world markets.”
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