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LOLC Group posts Rs. 57Bn in Profit Before Tax (PBT)

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First-ever historic profitability in SL’s corporate sector

Sri Lanka’s most valuable and globally diversified financial conglomerate, the LOLC Group, posted a record-breaking performance for the financial year ending March 31, 2021, achieving unprecedented bottom line results of Rs. 57Bn in Profit Before Tax (PBT), and a Profit After Tax (PAT) of Rs. 53Bn – a first for any corporate in the country.

By achieving profits on this significant scale, the Group once again consolidated its position as the top most profitable diversified corporate in the country, three years in a row – establishing LOLC as one of the largest Micro and Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) platforms in the world.

This stunning performance by LOLC resulted in Rs. 28Bn being recorded as Profits Attributable to the Equity Holders of the Parent company. The Group results denote an impressive Earnings Per Share of Rs. 59.01 compared with Rs. 22.93 recorded in the previous year.

Whereas, the total comprehensive income was Rs. 81Bn out of which Rs. 37Bn is attributable to the Equity Holders of the Parent company. Furthermore, the total attributable comprehensive income per share was Rs. 77.84. The resultant Net Assets Value per Share as at the year-end was Rs. 286.23 compared to Rs. 194.72 reported last year, demonstrates the exceptional value creation by the Group during the concluded financial year.

The story of LOLC’s rise into an elite blue-chip within a span of 40 years is nothing short of awe-inspiring, surpassing competitors who have been in existence for over a century. A pioneering leasing company established in 1980, in collaboration with ORIX Corporation of Japan and International Finance Corporation (IFC), LOLC, revolutionized the future of MSMEs in Sri Lanka and rose in stature as Sri Lanka’s largest Non-Banking Financial Institution (NBFI).

Having established a high performance microfinance business model, LOLC rapidly exported its expertise to global markets such as Cambodia, Myanmar, Indonesia, Philippines, and Pakistan in Asia; as well as Zambia and Nigeria in East and West Africa, bringing prosperity to people at the bottom of the pyramid. In addition, the Group has established its footprint in the Maldives and Sierra Leone in the arena of Non-Financial Services.

In Sri Lanka, the LOLC Group diversified into agriculture and plantations, leisure, renewable energy, construction, manufacturing and trading, information services, as well as research and innovation over and above its flagship financial services. All of these businesses recorded an upward trend in profitability in 2020/21, despite the adverse effects of COVID-19 being felt by Sri Lanka’s economy through 2020, coupled with weak GDP growth in the preceding year.

Despite the global economic downturn experienced during the period, a strong pipeline of multilateral and bilateral funding has been available to LOLC and its operating companies both locally and globally – a testimonial to the confidence these institutions have placed in the LOLC Group due to its strong and unblemished track record and the potential for growth even during turbulent times.

LOLC’s financial services have brought about life-changing financial inclusion in MSMEs in Sri Lanka, empowering frequently marginalized communities to build a better future for their families – driving women’s empowerment and financial independence by encouraging their entrepreneurial ambitions. Overall, the LOLC Group’s Financial Services achieved a Rs. 17.3Bn as bottom line despite allowing for a strong level of risk mitigating provisions amounting to Rs. 30Bn for bad and doubtful debts on a very conservative basis against Rs. 17Bn last year.

Livelihoods of people in all sectors have been badly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and at the request of the regulators of each country, the Group’s Financial Services Companies have extended moratoriums to affected customers – extending a safety-net to those in need.

LOLC’s finance companies in Sri Lanka experienced a strong level of deposit inflows despite the all-time low interest rates. The flagship finance company – LOLC Finance PLC (LOFC) – with a Total Assets base of Rs. 170Bn, recorded PAT of Rs. 4.4Bn. Commercial Leasing & Finance PLC (CLC) with a Total Assets Base of Rs. 77Bn also recorded strong performance, posting a PAT of Rs. 2.2Bn in 2020/21. Meanwhile, with a Total Assets Base of Rs. 19Bn, LOLC Development Finance (LODF) PLC recorded a PAT of Rs. 155Mn.

Seylan Bank succeeded in delivering a steady PAT of Rs. 3Bn for FY2020. Deposits increased by 9.9% and advances increased by 4%, whereas the CASA Ratio stood at 33%.

LOLC’s overseas financial services entities made strong contributions to the profitability of the Group in 2020/21 with LOLC Cambodia leading the way with a US$ 45 Mn in PAT with the Total Assets base exceeding over US$ 1 Bn. In Cambodia, LOLC continues to hold a 97% stake in LOLC Cambodia – the fourth-largest microfinance company in terms of market position, and the second most profitable microfinance institution in Cambodia after PRASAC.

LOLC Myanmar Microfinance Company Limited has now become the fourth-largest among the 176 MFIs, with an asset base of US$ 175 Mn, a portfolio of US$ 126 Mn and a growing deposit book of US$ 20 Mn. LOLC Myanmar has seen exceptional performance in FY2020/21 by posting a profit of US$ 3 Mn as PAT, and envisages strong growth prospects amidst the atmosphere of a large unbanked population.

In 2017, LOLC ventured into Pakistan by investing in Pak Oman Microfinance Bank (POMB), a joint venture with the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the Sultanate of Oman, which is now poised for rapid growth in a country with a population of over 200 million – offering attractive industry fundamentals.

Tapping into other neighbouring emerging markets, LOLC invested in the Philippines – a country with a population of 110 million – through LOLC ASKI Finance and LOLC Bank Philippines – a thrift bank in 2019.

In the year under review, the Group made its first finance sector investment in the African region by acquiring a controlling stake of FinaTrust Microfinance Bank in Nigeria – a west African nation with the largest population in the continent of 206 million.

The Group commenced operations in Zambia by incorporating LOLC Finance Zambia as a greenfield operation – which currently operates through six branches.

The global expansion strategy for the financial services sector remains a key focus, with plans being made for expanding into more markets in both Africa and Asia.

LOLC General Insurance Ltd. and LOLC Life Assurance Ltd. demonstrated strong resilience against the unprecedented impacts of the pandemic and other socio-economic adversities.

LOLC Life Assurance registered a GWP of Rs 3.2 Bn – the first Life Company in the industry to achieve this milestone in less than 10 years – and posted a growth of 21% in GWP, backed by a robust growth of 59% in first year premiums: the highest new business growth in the insurance industry. Meanwhile, LOLC General Insurance achieved Rs. 6Bn in Gross Written Premium in 2020 in less than 10 years – a first for Sri Lanka.

 

 



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CDS signs up with Lanka IOC to act as Registrar

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The Central Depository Systems (CDS), a fully owned subsidiary of the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE), recently signed a service agreement with Lanka IOC PLC as the registrar for Lanka IOC PLC, with effect from 01st of January 2023. Lanka IOC PLC, with a corporate history spanning 20 years, is the only private sector auto fuel retailer in Sri Lanka. Over the years, the company has made a significant impact on the socio-economic landscape by enabling mobility, economic activity, and development. With an island-wide footprint of 213 retail outlets, the company services 12% of the country’s retail fuel demand.

Reasoning on appointing CDS, as the Registrar for Lanka IOC PLC, its’ Managing Director, Manoj Gupta, said, “we engaged CDS to conduct our virtual annual general meetings during the period of COVID 19 pandemic where all listed companies were not in a position to convene any physical meeting as it was most essential to maintain social distance. We found the services rendered to us by CDS were highly satisfactory. Thus, we are happy to appoint CDS as the Registrars of the company.” “CDS has provided the service of handling the dividend payments to shareholders consecutively for the last
three years and carried out the functions in a very good manner, coordinating well with the bankers and shareholders,” added the Company Secretary of Lanka IOC PLC, Ms. Amali Liyanapatabendi

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SLT-MOBITEL honoured at Asian Technology Excellence Awards 2022

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Reiterating its leadership in innovative broadband deployment solutions, SLT-MOBITEL, the National ICT Solutions Provider was honoured with the prestigious ‘Technology Excellence Award for Network and Broadband – Telecommunications’ at The Asian Technology Excellence Awards 2022. The recognition is in appreciation of SLTMOBITEL’s innovative use of LTE 850MHz broadband solution which provides extensive coverage to rural areas of the country.

Understanding the need to provide superior rural connectivity to support the nation’s ongoing digital transformation and bridgingn the digital divide, SLT-MOBITEL’s innovative LTE 850MHz network strategically combined the underutilized spectrum from obsolete CDMA fixed line operations and forfeited its resources to obtain a new noninterfered 5MHz band for 4G LTE deployment from The
Telecommunication Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL). This enabled, SLT-MOBITEL to significantly enhance rural connectivity across Sri Lanka, empowering every Sri Lankan to avail the benefit of SLT-MOBITEL’s Sub1GHz 850MHz LTE network especially during Covid-19 travel restrictions where broadband had become a necessity for everyone. In addition, SLTMOBITEL’s LTE 850MHz solution recovered valuable national spectrum resources which was interfered and exhausted earlier. With the coverage enhancement the mobile arm was able to connect an additional 700,000 subscribers who did not have access to broadband services earlier. With the LTE 850MHz deployment, SLT-MOBITEL was able to further bolster its support during COVID-19, providing rural communities especially the school children, people who worked from home and national authorities to immediately respond to Covid-19 emergency situations, thereby narrowing Sri Lanka’s digital divide

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Lingering debt-restructuring worries trigger share market volatility

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By Hiran H.Senewiratne

CSE trading was characterized by a marked degree of volatility yesterday. The CSE started trading on a positive note but by mid-day the market had turned negative, only to register some recovery during the latter part of the day. But the recovery could not be fully sustained, market analysts said. Market volatility could be traced to the worry among traders that the Chinese government is yet to respond
positively to the Sri Lankan government’s debt restructuring plan, although the Chinese Exim Bank responded positively to the IMF bailout proposition, analysts said. Stock market mid- day shares fell on
profit- taking after the market had continuously been on green after debt restructuring assurances by major creditors, an analyst said. “However, the anticipated rate cut wasn’t met and the
market over- reacted and moved to red, the analyst added.

Amid those developments both indices indicated a downward trend.The All- Share Price Index went down by 11.5 points and S and P SL20 declined by 2.78 points. Turnover stood at Rs 1.2 billion with two crossings. Those crossings were reported in Melstacorp, where 594,000 shares crossed to the tune of Rs 29.7 million, its shares traded at Rs 50 and Horana Plantations 300,000 shares crossed for Rs 21 million, and its shares traded at Rs 70. In the retail market, top seven companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were, Lanka IOC Rs 269 million (1.3 million shares traded),Softlogic Life Insurance Rs 147 million (1.3 million shares traded), Softlogic Capital Rs 122 million (eight million shares traded), LOLC Holdings Rs 71.9 million (158,000 shares traded), Expolanka Holdings Rs 54.4 million (289,000 shares traded), Browns Investments Rs 41.9 million (six million shares traded) and JKH Rs 41 million (298,000 shares traded). It is said that high net worth and institutional
investor participation was noted in Agstar, Melstacorp and JKH. Mixed interest was observed in Lanka IOC, Expolanka Holdings and LOLC Holdings, while retail interest was noted in LOLC Finance, Browns Investments and Softlogic Capital.

The Materials sector was the top contributor to the market turnover (due to Agstar), while the sector index gained 0.18 per cent. The share price of Agstar increased by 50 cents (3.23 per cent) to
close at Rs.16. The Diversified Financials sector was the second highest contributor to the market turnover (due to LOLC Holdings), while the sector index increased by 2.16 per cent. The share price of LOLC Holdings appreciated by Rs. 21.75 (5.11 per cent) to close at Rs. 447.25. During the day 41 million share volumes changed hands in 14000 transactions.

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