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John Keells Group records strong recurring EBITDA of Rs.7.17 billion in Q4

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The Group witnessed a faster than anticipated recovery momentum with the performance of most businesses reaching pre COVID-19 levels with business activity and consumer trends being near normal by the end of the financial year.

• Excluding Leisure, Group revenue increased by 17% to Rs.36.15 billion in Q4; up 1% to Rs.122.32 billion in 2020/21.

• Excluding Leisure, Group recurring EBITDA increased by 43% to Rs.7.10 billion in Q4; up 8% to Rs.19.16 billion in 2020/21.

• The pace of recovery in Q4 is demonstrated by the recurring EBITDA of Rs.7.21 billion in the quarter against the full year recurring EBITDA of Rs.15.57 billion.

• Given the positive momentum of the performance of the businesses, notwithstanding the impacts of the current outbreak, a final dividend for 2020/21 of Rs.0.50 per share, was declared to be paid in June 2021. Total dividend declared for 2020/21 amounts to Rs.2.00 per share and a total payout of Rs.1.98 billion. The declaration of this dividend reflects the cash generation capability of the Group’s diverse portfolio of businesses, despite the continued impacts on the Leisure business on the overall performance of the Group.

• A consortium consisting of Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Limited (APSEZ) and JKH, in the capacity as the local partner, received a letter of intent (LOI) to develop and operate the West Container Terminal at the Port of Colombo as a public private partnership (PPP) project.

• The Supermarket business witnessed a sharp quarter-on-quarter recovery momentum in sales, with the fourth quarter same store sales recovering to pre COVID-19 levels.

• The Consumer Foods industry group recorded a strong recovery during the year, particularly the performance of the Frozen Confectionery business. The Frozen Confectionery business recorded its highest monthly sales volume in the history of its operations in March 2021.

• Whilst the opening of the airports is expected to help revive the tourism industry in Sri Lanka and the Maldives, the performance of the Leisure business will largely depend on the pace of revival of regional and global travel, when travellers regain confidence, particularly with the vaccination drives in many countries. The performance of the Maldivian Resorts segment and the momentum of forward bookings have been very encouraging.

• With the completion of the residential and office towers at ‘Cinnamon Life’, the hand-over process of the units will commence, on a staggered basis, from the first quarter of 2021/22 onwards, resulting in the recognition of revenue and profits from ‘Cinnamon Life’. Project completion is scheduled for the first quarter of 2022/23.

• The Insurance business recorded double digit growth in gross written premiums during the year driven by an encouraging increase in regular new business premiums. The Banking business recorded an increase in profitability driven by focused recovery efforts, cost management initiatives and higher investment income.



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Business

SL youth eligible for employment in Korea, to get the opportunity shortly

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The Korean Ambassador to Sri Lanka Woonjin Jeong assured the Foreign Minister that the facilities required for the Sri Lankan youth who are eligible for employment in Korea to travel to Korea will be provided shortly. He was speaking at a discussion on the delays faced by young people who are eligible for jobs in Korea, chaired by the Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena at the Foreign Ministry on 16 June, 2021. State Minister of Foreign Employment Promotion and Market Diversification Priyankara Jayaratne, Secretary to the State Minister of Foreign Employment Promotion and Market Diversification Suntharam Arumainayaham, Chairman Kamal Ratwatte, Director Nimal Thibbatumunuwa and Deputy General Manager Mangala Randeniya of the Foreign Employment Bureau were also participated in the discussion.

The Foreign Minister pointed out that those who have qualified for jobs in Korea have been expecting to leave for jobs in Korea for a long time; however it has been avoided day by day due to the COVID pandemic. The Minister also pointed out that they are under severe mental stress due to this.

The Korean Ambassador to Sri Lanka explained the position of the Korean Government and stated that it has been planned to provide employment opportunities in Korea to all those who are eligible for employment in Korea. He said there is a delay in providing those opportunities due to the COVID pandemic; however assured that he is focussed on sending them to Korea at the earliest available opportunity.

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Sterilizer device launched in Sri Lanka

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At a time when the Covid-19 epidemic is spreading around the world, you will no doubt be happy to hear that those invisible germs that collect in such a closed environment can now be destroyed by a small device called STERIONIZER introduced to Sri Lanka by ABC Trade & Investments.

This small device has made life easy for many as you can clean your home or any other place (specially closed environment) by plug-in the STERIONIZER.  

STERIONIZER system keeps air ducts, air heat exchangers and machinery clean and supplies sanitized air in enclosed areas and each ionizing device is completely maintenance free and connected to a data-bus for supervision and monitoring.

STERIONIZER is priced at Rs. 35,000. Phone 070 3 525 525 or 070 1 853 529 for more information.

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Business

Indian assistance to implement solar power project

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It is expected to provide financial benefit to low-income households

 

Measures have been taken to increase the contribution by renewable energy sources to the national power grid by enhancing solar power generation as per the National Policy Framework.A key plan of the Government is to generate solar power by obtaining the contribution of state-owned buildings, places of worship and houses of the low-income families.

It is expected to provide financial benefit to low-income households and to curtail the expenses incurred by the state institutions for electricity, from the project. Steps will also be taken to provide facilities to store solar energy in batteries for the low-income families that are unable to access the national power grid.

The project also includes generating power by installing floating solar panels as a solution to land scarcity. Under the first phase of this, plans have been initiated to generate electricity required for the Parliament centering the Diyawanna Lake as a model project.The Government of India, one of the main stakeholders of Sri Lanka for this project, has entered into a bilateral loan agreement by agreeing to grant a Line of Credit amounting to US$ 100 million through the Export Import Bank of India.The agreement for the Line of Credit signed by the Sri Lankan Government and the Export Import Bank of India was exchanged between Finance Secretary S. R. Attygalle and Indian High Commissioner Gopal Baglay in the presence of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and State Minister Duminda Dissanayake at the Presidential Secretariat recently.

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