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Hiran Cooray calls for practical operating model for ‘Wonders of Lanka’ durng the tourism lull

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One of the country’s top leisure industry personalities, Mr. Hiran Cooray, head of the Jetwing Group, has appealed to all concerned to utilize the time available before tourism returns to normalcy to pay attention to improving country’s hundreds of of natural and man-made wonders that have over the years not received the love and care they deserve.

‘The relevant authorities must utilize this time to prepare a practical model of of operating these sites once tourist arrivals return to expected numbers,” he has said in the annual report of Jetwing Lighthouse PLC, owners of the Geoffrey Bawa-built Lighthouse Hotel on a spectacular site near Galle.

“If these are not looked into, there will continue to be negative publicity and permanent damage to natural assets like Yala National Park and man-made cultural sites like Sigiriya,” he has said.

“As tourism will likely take a while to return to normalcy, there is an opportunity for us to strategically plan on how we will grow responsibly and sustainably,” Cooray said.

He has made the point that tourism has always had its ups and downs from the time his father, the late Herbert Cooray, entered the industry in 1973. But since the war ended in 2009, the industry had enjoyed continuous growth which had led to their own expansion including investments made by Lighthouse in the recent past.

Reviewing the year ended Mar. 31, 2009, Cooray said that having survived a difficult year, “we are now faced with an even more challenging year, the like of which had not been seen during Jetwing’s history.

They had begun the year with a lot of optimism and hoped to obtain better results following the upgrades made to the property during the year. But these were belied by the Easter bomb which exploded three weeks into the financial year. As they gradually got on to their feet after some months of hardship, and was heading for a quick recovery when the whole world was shaken by the Covid pandemic.

The company ended the year under review with a loss of Rs. 96.3 million, down from the previous year’s profit of Rs. 102.6 million. They are holding back on planned renovations on which they had invested about Rs. 200 million last year.

A new swimming pool overlooking the Indian Ocean for which all approval had been received was part of the plan that was expected to help position Lighthouse as the premier hotel on the South coast.

The directors’ report indicated changes in directors’ shareholdings with Mrs. AMJ Cooray gifting her holding of over 1.2 million shares equally to her son, Hiran Cooray and daughter, Shiromal Cooray who run Jetwing.

Lighthouse has a stated capital of Rs. 460 million and reserves of Rs. 2.4 billion together with retained earnings of Rs. 332.1 million in its books. Total assets ran at Rs. 3.84 billion and total liabilities at Rs. 644.2 million.

Jetwing Hotel Management Services with 41.24% of Lighthouse is the major shareholder, followed by Mercantile Investments (16.82%), EPF (11.05%) and the Bank of Ceylon (9.73%). Ms. Shiromal Cooray and Mr. Hiran Cooray are the biggest individual shareholders.

The directors of the company are: Messrs. Hiran Cooray (Chairman) RAE Samarasinghe (MD), Ms. Shiromal Cooray, N. Wadugodapitiya, CSR Anotony, Ranil de Silva, EPA Cooray, Ms. AM Ondaatjie, Dr. C. Pathiraja, T. Nadesan and ATP Edirisinghe.



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

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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

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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

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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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