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Litro Gas – A driving force in empowering Sri Lanka towards COVID-19 economic recovery

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Overcoming economic adversity through resilience and financial efficiency has been at the heart of Litro Gas strategy as the Company mitigates a powerful turnaround during challenging times.

“External circumstances such as the Easter Sunday attack and the Saudi drone attack in 2019 impacted our businesses but we have been strong enough to manage a successful turnaround” says Anil Koswatte Chairman & CEO – Litro Gas Lanka Ltd & Litro Gas Terminal (Pvt) Ltd.

“This year, the COVID-19 impact was felt considerably, but we were able to rise to the challenge and fulfill our obligations as the country’s leading supplier of domestic LPG.”

“A true test of our capability and strength came during the COVID-19 period – our responsibility to keep the stoves burning in Sri Lankan homes spanned across markets as our dedicated teams worked around the clock to make sure every home had its gas supply unbroken and consistent.”

Koswatte pointed out that Litro Gas used innovative and real time strategies in ensuring the customers were assured of a consistent supply of domestic LP Gas.

“It was not just a testimony to our strength and industry capability but more importantly, a promise we had to keep to our customers as the market leader and the primary supplier of domestic gas to the nation”, he stressed.

Yet, in a testimony to its resilience, economic challenges notwithstanding, Litro Gas went on to record an outstanding performance with a 3.5% YOY volume growth in 2019. A robust 2.3 percent volume growth in the first quarter of 2020 reiterates the Company’s effective response in mitigating the Covid-19 pandemic phase.

The cash flow from operating activities stayed strong when compared against other players in the industry – at LKR 22 billion in 2019. Over LKR 1.5 billion was dispersed to its shareholders at LKR 32.3 per share in Litro Gas Lanka Ltd (LGLL) and Rs 3.66 per share in Litro Gas Terminal (Pvt) Lanka Ltd (LGTL); majority of the shares are held by the Treasury. The Company recorded a turnover of LKR 45 billion with PBT of LKR 7 billion and a net profit of LKR 5 billion.

The Company commands a market share of 75% as the country’s provider of domestic LPG. “The figures affirm the tremendous undertaking Litro Gas has as the industry leader”, says Koswatte.

The tough economic conditions only enhanced the Company’s strength, Koswatte adds, pointing out that gearing increased from 20% to 29%, confirmed as the highest in the history of the Company, following the undertaking of restructuring by Royal Dutch Shell in 1995.

Koswatte reiterates that maintaining strong fiscal discipline backed by a strengthening of the portfolio through strategic investments, was central to the Company’s outstanding success.

“We have always believed in sustaining a strong focus on growth and consolidation – despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Litro Gas was successful in purchasing outright the long term leased land where operations have been based since 1995”, he added.

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Business

New look Chagall opens at Park Street

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Chagall opened its doors at Parkland on Park Street Colombo 2 , with Gerald Solomons, personally welcoming all his clients and the media to the brand new Chagall. 

Gerald who established Chagall as Sri Lanka’s most elite and fashionable salon, despite the prevailing situation with the pandemic and the existing restrictions, displayed his usual flair and panache, greeting everyone with the socially correct ‘ayubowan’ and ensuring that each and everyone present was made to feel special and welcome.Continuing the bold colour scheme of red, black and white, Gerald like his muse Marc Chagall, has a wide range of styles that can cater to an eclectic clientele.

The artist Chagall saw his work as “not the dream of one people but of all humanity”; similarly Gerald through his salon Chagall would like to transform each and every person who walks in through his door, so that they leave transformed, with a new confidence in themselves and their appearance.

Mrs World Caroline Jurie, clients and well wishers, keeping in mind health guidelines made their way to Chagall at Parkland on October 20 where Gerald and his team reaffirmed their commitment to their clients and the beauty industry, to continue upholding the highest standards and maintain all safety measures and health protocols.

Having established himself and Chagall as the hairdresser / stylist and salon of the elite, Gerald’s doors are open to anyone who wants to look good and different to those around them. ” Our doors are open to everyone who wants to look good, who wants to make a statement and who dares to bedifferent” said Gerald .Manicures, pedicures, long and short hair cuts and styles, make up, facials,bridal dressing, sari drapes and the whole gamut of services will beavailable, all in brand new surroundings.All staff have undergone intensive refresher courses with Gerald beinginvolved in their training himself. 

Known for his cool demeanor and eclectic style, Gerald started hairdressing at the age of 15 having left school, determined to make an impression in the world of hair, beauty and style! He joined  Moira Muthukrishna where hiscareer in hair dressing began and today he is a living legend. Chagall was set up in New Zealand where Gerald lived for over 20 years and then moved back to Sydney where Chagall continued. Gerald has also worked in Hawaii, Australia and London.Chagall.

 

 

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CSE indices pick up as trading yields Rs. 1.09 billion

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By Hiran H.Senewiratne

The  stock market on Monday suffered a near 2 percent  decline as investors reacted negatively to the sharp spike in COVID-19 cases in the second wave. Moreover, current investor favourite counters,  Tokyo Cement and Expolanka shares, also slightly declined in trading due to the current situation, market analysts said Amid those developments, both indices moved upwards yesterday. The the All Share Price Index rose by  15.74 points  and the S&P SL 20 Index was up by 8.73 points. The market managed to post Rs. 1.09 billion, safeguarding its track record of over a billion plus turnover for more than a month. But no crossings were reported during the day. 

In the retail market, top five companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were: Tokyo Cement (Non Voting) Rs. 160 million (3.2 million shares traded), Expolanka Rs. 187.6 million (7.8 million shares traded), HNB Rs. 99.8 million (881,000 shares traded), Tokyo (Voting) Rs. 86.7 million (1.47 million shares traded) and Dialog Rs. 69.5 million (6.34 million shares traded). During the day  55.3 million share volumes changed hands in 12620 transactions yesterday.

The market also lost Rs. 44 billion in value with blue chips JKH, Carsons, Ceylon Tobacco, Bukit and Distilleries as major contributors to the ASPI’s dip on the previous day.  Some analysts linked the lacklustre trading and sentiment to the quarantine curfew imposed in Fort and Pettah which caused a shutdown of offices and businesses in the area. 

 

 

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Initiative to support startups in Sri Lanka

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Microsoft for Startups recently launched the Highway to a 100 Unicorns initiative in Asia Pacific to strengthen the region’s startup ecosystem. This follows the initiative’s success in India, where only 56 startups were selected to the Emerge X program from six states, which have over 15000+ startups. The Emerge X winners have greatly benefited with global market access support, a 3-day founder bootcamp with world class mentors, access to funding, ongoing mentorship, and guidance on Azure, artificial intelligence, machine learning and more.

Innovation is critical to unlocking inclusive economic growth in Asia Pacific; high income economies in the region invest three times more in research and development as compared to their peers. To spur innovative entrepreneurship, Microsoft will work closely with governments and industry partners to discover and nurture technology startups with a high potential to become truly global enterprises in the future.

“At Microsoft, we are working to build up a more supportive ecosystem for startups in Sri Lanka,” said Hasitha Abeywardena, Country Manager, Microsoft Sri Lanka and Maldives. “Startups play a vital role in our economy as innovators, disruptors and first-movers. Sri Lanka needs more entrepreneurial development to fuel economic growth. Through Highway to a 100 Unicorns, we will enable startups in Sri Lanka to drive digital innovation in the region. We look forward to walking with founders along their growth journey and supporting them to scale and achieve more.”

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