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Ideal Motors donates fully-equipped Mahindra Ambulance to Madura Vithana Foundation



Fight against COVID-19

As part of its wide-ranging, empathetic response to the Covid-19 crisis, Ideal Motors (Pvt) Ltd has donated a Mahindra Ambulance valued at approximately Rs. Ten million to the Madura Vithana Foundation on 5th September 2021.

The fully-equipped ambulance was handed over by Nalin Welgama, the Founder and Chairman of the Ideal Group to Member of Parliament, Madura Vithana, Founder of the Foundation. The vehicle was donated primarily to enable the Foundation to support the vaccination of persons over 60 years of age and the disabled in the Colombo District.

The donation also coincided with the company’s Founders’ Day, the birthday of Nalin Welgama, the Founder and Chairman of the Ideal Group which was commemorated on 5th September. This ambulance will also support the country’s efforts in its fight against the Covid-19 pandemic and provide health services to affected citizens expeditiously.

As a company deeply committed and recognized for its series of corporate social welfare initiatives, Ideal Motors (Pvt) Ltd has relentlessly provided assistance during these unprecedented times, supporting vulnerable segments of the population and donating vital equipment.

Ideal Motors (Pvt) Ltd’s relief programme for Covid-19 included donating washing machines and waste bins to the Base Hospital Mulleriyawa which was an urgent requirement, presenting six laptops to the Cardiology Unit of the Colombo National Hospital which were crucial for recording patients’ data, and also providing the Ministry of Health a stock of personal protective clothing and accessories required for health service frontline staff which was handed over by Nalin Welgama to Ministry officials at the Gangarama Temple in Colombo.

In addition, among the social welfare programmes implemented by Ideal Motors are a drinking water project for 1500 severely affected families in the Namalpura area located in the Anuradhapura District, providing drinking water facilities to the school the Thalgaswewa Vidyaravinda Vidyalaya, Nonchchiyagama, in addition to presenting the students with school stationary such as books, bags, shoes and other necessities, constructing the courtyard for the Bo Tree of the Diyapattugama Temple in Kevitiyagala, and offering a Buddha statue while also donating necessary computers to the Diyapaththugama S.A. Welgama Junior School. Furthermore, Mahindra Electric three-wheelers were presented to the Kataragama Temple and the Atamasthanadhipati Thero of the Anuradhapura Temple. To-date, Ideal Motors has spent over Rs 30 million towards their social welfare projects in supporting communities across the island.

Commenting on the company’s social welfare programmes, Nalin Welgama, said, “Founders Day is a special event in the calendar of our company as September 5th marks the inauguration of our business. Over the years the company has engaged in countless social service programmes, however, we have not sought any publicity for our work.”

He added, “The pandemic has affected not only our country but has caused catastrophic results for the whole world. I believe, business leaders need to come forward and support the nation during these challenging times. I request all corporates and their leaders to come together and instead of blaming the government look inwards to see what we can do for our nation. This is our motherland and it is our duty to support the country, especially at this time. We are aware there are several companies that have made vast profits in the last two to three quarters this year due to coronavirus. My humble request is to come forward and dutifully work towards the development of the country.”

Commenting on receiving the ambulance for the Foundation, MP Madura Vithanage said, “We are extremely thankful to Ideal Motors and Nalin Welgama, in providing an ambulance to the Vithana Foundation. Our country is facing a severe shortage of ambulances due to the current corona epidemic. This noble deed will help transport all Public Health Inspection Officers in the Colombo District. We aim to coordinate with the police and the local authorities and ensure that those over 60 years and unable to go to vaccination centers can be visited at home and vaccinated.”

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Hela Apparel Holdings completes FY 2022/23 with resilience, amidst a challenging operating environment



The fourth quarter of FY 2022/23 marked the close of a challenging year for Hela Apparel Holdings PLC. While revenue of Rs. 20.5 Bn in Q4 represented a 40.6% increase in the same period of the previous year, this was primarily driven by the impact of the rupee depreciation. In US Dollar terms, quarterly revenue declined by 9.6% year-on-year. The drop in US Dollar revenue, however, is smaller than the 19.7% year-on-year decline recorded during Q3, as consumer demand in the Group’s key export markets remained relatively resilient.

The tentative stabilisation in demand conditions during the fourth quarter, alongside the proactive cost control measures taken by the organization contributed to an improvement in profit margins. The Group’s gross profit margin increased to 13.5% in Q4, compared to 10.0% in Q3, as capacity utilisation rates improved across the Group’s manufacturing facilities. Operating profit margins also improved, supported by greater optimisation of distribution and administration expenses. That said, elevated finance costs driven by the ongoing rise in global US Dollar interest rates were a significant drag on profitability. As a result, the Group recorded a post-tax loss of Rs. 257 Mn in the fourth quarter.

For the full year ended 31st March 2023, the Group’s revenue increased by 69.3% to Rs. 95.1 Bn. Nonetheless, the significant deterioration in market conditions during H2 eroded accumulated profits, and the Group closed the year with a post-tax loss of Rs. 1,038 Mn. Despite this, Hela’s balance sheet remained in a robust position with the Net-Debt-to-Equity ratio closing FY 2022/23 at 1.6, compared to 1.8 at the same point of the previous year, supported by improvements in the working capital cycle.

In a statement accompanying the financial results, the Company noted that it expects the challenging operating environment to continue into the first half of FY 2023/24 as consumers in its key export markets remain under pressure from high inflation. In this context, it will continue to focus on proactively strengthening its strategic customer partnerships based on its long-term value proposition as a leading global apparel supply chain solutions provider.

The organization also intends to remain agile in the evolving operating environment and consider additional proactive steps to manage costs and ensure a return to profitability. Several of the strategic initiatives taken during FY 2022/23, with a precise focus on process improvements, digital systems, and supply chain management are also expected to support the improvements in profit margins in the coming quarters.

Hela Apparel Holdings PLC is a social capital-focused company built on the principles of inclusivity, equity, and climate stability. With over three decades of industry experience, Hela focuses on building strategic partnerships with global brands to provide apparel supply chain solutions with distinctive advantages. The organisation has a global presence with 10 manufacturing facilities across Sri Lanka, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Egypt, as well as design centres in Sri Lanka, the US, the UK, and France, providing direct employment to over 20,000 people. Innovative, ethical, and sustainable apparel manufacturing is at the centre of Hela’s operations. With numerous accolades for sustainability, the organization was recently endorsed as a signatory to the UN Global Compact and was awarded the ISO 14064-1:2018 certification for quantification and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions across the Group for the second consecutive year.

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Calais Dentelles announces the sale of ‘NOYON’ – Noyon Lanka acquires 100 years of lace heritage



From left to right: Sébastien Bento Soares (Directeur Général - CEO of Calais Dentelles), Pascal Cochez (Chairman of Cochez group and Calais dentelles), Olivier Noyon (Shareholder - Noyon Lanka) and Ashiq Lafir (CEO - Noyon Lanka Pvt. Ltd.).

In groundbreaking industry news, Noyon Lanka (Pvt) Ltd., a subsidiary of MAS Holdings, and DESSEILLES CALAIS, a subsidiary of the CALAIS DENTELLES holding company, announced the sale of NOYON CALAIS’ IP rights and other intangible assets to Noyon Lanka.

NOYON CALAIS is a French lace manufacturer known for a 100+ years of heritage in the industry. This Intellectual Property (IP) acquisition now positions Noyon Lanka as an industry leader in lace manufacturing, combining the legacy and heritage of NOYON CALAIS SAS and MAS Holdings’ technical competency and manufacturing excellence. This sale gives the opportunity for the French business DESSEILLES CALAIS to focus on their main luxury core market.

The IP and other assets acquired enable Noyon Lanka to draw inspiration, create and commercialize lace products and manufacture lace products under the trademark ‘Noyon’. Additionally, Noyon Lanka will now be the owner of all ‘Noyon’ trademarks belonging to Noyon Calais and will own all their archives of sketches, drafts, and samples of lace and embroidery fabrics from the 19th and 20th centuries.

With the acquisition, Noyon Lanka enhances its ability to provide high-quality lace products to customers worldwide, drawing upon and preserving the rich history and heritage of lace manufacturing in France.

Noyon Lanka’s CEO, Ashiq Lafir, commenting on the acquisition, said, “This acquisition will enable us to expand our product design offerings and strengthen our leadership position in lace manufacturing globally. We are humbled and proud to take ownership of NOYON CALAIS’ remarkable legacy and combine it with our technical expertise to create beautiful, innovative lace products for our customers”.

Sébastien Bento Soares, the Directeur Général – CEO of CALAIS DENTELLES, the parent company of NOYON CALAIS, added that “This asset sale enables DESSEILLES CALAIS to focus on our core luxury market and ensures that the rich history and legacy of Noyon’s lace continues to effectively serve its long-time customers, who have come to rely on Noyon’s heritage in lace to provide some of the world foremost brands with the finest lace designs that their customers have adorned over many generations”.

Noyon Lanka was established in 2004 when Noyon Calais France, an industry expert in knitted and leavers lace, partnered with MAS Holdings. Today, Noyon’s lace creators and designers launch over 450 designs each year, with collections ranging from multi-way stretch, high tenacity lace to engineered lace for fabric.

In addition to its production facilities in Sri Lanka, the company has a global footprint with a manufacturing presence in Indonesia and China.

In the image from left to right: Sébastien Bento Soares (Directeur Général – CEO of Calais Dentelles), Pascal Cochez (Chairman of Cochez group and Calais dentelles), Olivier Noyon (Shareholder – Noyon Lanka) and Ashiq Lafir (CEO – Noyon Lanka Pvt. Ltd.).

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Nippon Paint Lanka sponsors painting of Sri Lanka’s tallest Buddha statue



Nippon Paint has donated the paint required to paint the tallest Buddha statue in Sri Lanka. Built by the Methsaviya Sansadaya, it is located at the Mahiyangana Purana Rajamaha Viharaya.

“History records Mahiyanganaya as the first place visited by the Lord Buddha nine months after receiving enlightenment,” said Vidyakeerthi Prof. Chandana Jayaratne, President of the Meth Saviya Sansadaya. “It is also recorded that the Lord Buddha donated a lock of hair to the leader of those who heard his preaching and embraced the noble path. This leader who was known as King Saman (Known today as Saman Deviyo), enshrined the relics and built the first Dagoba in Mahiyanganaya. This has been gradually increased in height during later years. On completion, this will be the tallest Buddha statue in Sri Lanka at 84-feet. The statue was unveiled on Sunday May, 28, 2023.”

Nemantha Abeysinghe, General Manager, Nippon Paint Lanka, said they were very happy to be associated in such a noble venture. “It is an honour for us to be able join the Meth Saviya Sansadaya to have the statue painted with high-quality, weather-resistant, and long-lasting Nippon Paint. Buddhism is the religion of the majority in Sri Lanka and we consider this as a contribution from Nippon Paint to the propagation of religion and culture in Sri Lanka.”

“We are deeply grateful to Nippon Paint Lanka for their noble gesture in donating not one but five coats of paint to withstand the heavy rains, winds and sunshine at this location,” Prof. Jayaratne said.

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