By Hiran H. Senewiratne
The current US dollar crisis and high US dollar rate discourage investing in Sri Lanka because the investment cost has doubled during the last few months, a leading end-to-end auto care specialist said.
“We were planning to invest in Sri Lanka in a big way but abandoned our plans due to the high US dollar rate and shortage of labour for the auto care industry. Skilled labour problems arose during the Covid 19 lockdown period; most of them left the country for higher salaries, Director, Auto Miraj, Ramith Sarathchandra told The Island Financial Review.
Sarathchandra said that most overseas business plans with Bangladesh and Qatar have been put on hold due to the current situation.
Auto Miraj, end-to-end auto care specialists will be investing Rs 200 million for branch expansion and opening Sri Lanka’s first-ever water steam car wash centre at the Colombo City Center, he said.
Sarathchandra added: ‘We will invest Rs. 100 million to open the first car- cleaning centre using steam wash. This new technology will minimize the use of water using less than two litres of water to wash a vehicle, minimizing the environmental impact as well.
“Initially we will have space to wash six vehicles and will expand it towards the end of 2022.
“In addition, we will be opening our next branch in Kurunegala next month and this will be followed by the opening of three other branches in Vavuniya, Badulla and Gampaha and we hope to invest around Rs, 100 million for this expansion drive.
“Finding skilled painters is a major issue as after learning the basics in Sri Lanka they migrate to the Middle East. Unfortunately, we can’t retain them since we cannot match the salaries the Gulf offers to skilled painters.
“Today Auto Miraj owns the largest automobile maintenance network in Sri Lanka and also filling stations and tyre shops and has also ventured into setting up professional automobile workshops and body shops. Auto Miraj provides genuine spare parts for all Japanese, European, Indian and other vehicles.
“Auto Miraj was also the first to introduce ‘Glass coated paint’, which not only protects the body against minor scratches but also safeguards from bird- droppings, dust and other substances.
“Auto Miraj was set up in 1994 at Ratmalana and as chairman and founder of Auto Miraj, Iroshan Sarathchandra saw a vacuum for professional auto care in Sri Lanka. He introduced many firsts, which included auto hoist clean undercarriage, turbo pressure pumps, engine spray- cleaning, customer lounge with refreshments and free Wifi, prior appointments for customers, dedicated and car cleaning chemicals and many more.
“Auto Miraj has also launched two ‘senior citizen care’ projects in London through 365 Care Homes Ltd.”
Global CEO Forum fetes one of most influential SL entrepreneurs
In tribute to the late Merril J. Fernando, the esteemed Founder of Dilmah Tea, the Global Brand Creator 2023 Award was bestowed at the Global CEO Forum held recently in Sri Lanka. This prestigious accolade was presented to Kirmali Fernando (the daughter-in-law of late Merril J. Fernando) by the Governor of the Central Bank Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe, Kataro Katsuki, Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of Japan in Sri Lanka, Janaka Abeysinghe, CEO -SLT MOBITEL, Dr. DMA Kulasuriya, Director General-NIBM, Ahamed Ikram, Director-Emerald International , Dilanga Karunaratna- Director Otto Bathware and Anura Siriwardena, Chairman-Global CEO Forum.
Coca-Cola Sri Lanka extends its ‘Adopt A Beach’ program for a third year
Coca-Cola Sri Lanka Ltd. proudly continues its mission to safeguard Sri Lanka’s shorelines by extending the ‘Adopt A Beach’ initiative for a triumphant third year. This exciting announcement aligns with the celebration of International Coastal Cleanup Day on September 16, 2023, emphasizing the paramount significance of coastal preservation.
Commemorating the partnership with an exclusive beach cleanup and an enlightening session at Crow Island Beach, the day’s proceedings were honored by the presence of the Governor of the Western Province and Marshal of the Sri Lanka Air Force, Roshan Goonetileke and key government stakeholders representing the Ministry of Local Government, Colombo Municipal Council, Environmental Police Division, Coastal Conservation Department, Waste Management Authority and the Crow Island Beach Management Society.
Additionally, underlining the vital role that the youth of our nation play in forging cleaner and safer coastal regions, particularly through the realms of media and volunteerism, the occasion also brought together young talents from the media sector and a dedicated team of volunteers from the Clean Ocean Force, Clean Ocean Force Youth Club of the Ocean’s University, Clean Ocean Force Youth Club in Negombo, Rotaract Club Colombo Regent, Shri Vimukthi Youth Association, youth from International Schools and Adfactors Public Relations Lanka.
PLC’s profits surge 80.9% in Q1, amidst challenging environment
People’s Leasing & Finance PLC (PLC), a pillar of strength and stability in Sri Lanka’s financial sector, successfully concluded the 1st Quarter of the fiscal year 2023/24 with a year-on-year increase in Profit of 80.9% in the midst of a challenging economic landscape.
PLC’s top line interest income recorded an impressive 10.2%, reaching Rs. 7,465 million owing to the increased investment income during the quarter. However, the company’s net interest income showed a modest fall when compared to the first quarter of 2022/23. This was mostly the result of higher interest expenses brought on by the repricing of deposits to higher rates in line with higher policy rates. Despite the stated decrease in net interest income, PLC was able to end the first quarter with a profit after tax (PAT) of Rs. 331 million as opposed to Rs. 183 million recorded in Q1 2022/23 thanks to the significant year-on-year reduction in Impairment Charges as well as reduction in operating expenses, demonstrative of an intensified commitment to internal sustainability.
Similarly, PLC Group also recorded a PAT of Rs. 552 million during Q1 2023/24, reflecting a year-on-year increase of 21.5% mainly driven by the significant reduction in the Group’s impairment charges and other losses for loans and receivables.
Even in the face of a highly inflationary environment, PLC successfully reduced total operating expenses by 3.5% compared to the corresponding quarter in the year prior due to a determined effort to increase efficiency through digital initiatives, right-sizing of branches, and improvements in internal processes. PLC recognized the significance of recalibrating its balance sheet in a setting not favourable to business expansion and took strategic measures to ensure the right sizing of its balance sheet resulting a total asset base of Rs. 155,380 million as of 30 June 2023. Backed by these strategic moves, total asset base of the PLC Group also remained resilient at Rs. 179,948 million as of 30 June 2023.
In an extremely volatile and complex business setting PLC adopted a highly disciplined liquidity management approach to ensure financial stability whilst maintaining capital adequacy ratios well ahead of the statutory minimums at the end of Q1. The majority of PLC’s funding needs were met through improved collections enabling PLC to remain watchful in growing its deposit base in a high-interest environment. Despite these measures, the deposit base of PLC remained robust at Rs. 93,228 million as of 30 June 2023, showcasing strong customer confidence. The Group deposit base also remained strong at Rs. 100,439 million, as at 30 June 2023.
Meanwhile, PLC retained its No.1 position as Sri Lanka’s Most-Loved Brand in Leasing and Finance category, as ranked by Brand Finance in LMD Brands Annual. The company’s steadfast dedication to excellence was also evident in its ascent from 51 to 36 in the esteemed “Most Respected Entities” ranking by LMD within just one year, further cementing its position as one of Sri Lanka’s most respected and trusted financial services providers.
New Zealand cruise past Pakistan’s 345 with five wickets in hand
Mahedi, Tanzid, Litton and Mehidy star in breezy Bangladesh win
US National Security Agency unveils artificial intelligence security centre
‘Dates have the highest sugar content to fight Coronavirus’
Sunday Island 27 December – Headlines
#Sundayisland Sunday Island- 31 January- Headlines
Features6 days ago
PAMANKADE -THE TOWN THAT VANISHED !
News6 days ago
Business focus shifting in a more favorable direction
Business6 days ago
SLT-DIGITAL Services and Surge Global forge strategic partnership to propel growth marketing and develop enterprise software solutions
News6 days ago
No new date yet for AL exam, postponement to have knock on effect
News5 days ago
US delaying visa for Security Oversight Committee head
Business6 days ago
Nirmal Saverimuttu Chief Executive Officer Virgin Voyages
News6 days ago
Expect more Easter Sunday type attacks: minister
News7 days ago
Sajith tells Parliament about ‘undeniable evidence linking Zahran group to Army intelligence’