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March 2020 quarter earnings decline by 52.0% YoY for 266 companies: First Capital



The quarter ended in March 2020 reported a decline in earnings by 52.0% year -on-year for 266 companies, according to a report released by First Capital Research.

“March quarter earnings dipped by 51.9%YoY to LKR 33.6Bn primarily owing to sluggish performance in Diversified Financials (-87%YoY), Capital Goods (63%YoY), Food, Beverage & Tobacco (-72%YoY), Telecommunication (-52%YoY) and Consumer Services (-101%YoY)”, it said.

The report further said: “Upbeat quarterly performance was only witnessed in the following sectors; Banks (+32%YoY) followed by Food, Staples, and Retailing (+96%YoY) and Materials (+8%YoY)”.

“Lackluster performance in Diversified Financials, Capital Goods and Food, Beverage and Tobacco sectors was mainly owing to subdued economic growth which was heightened by the Covid-19 pandemic striking the island. PLC profit dipped by -90%YoY due to high impairments because of the slowdown in the economy caused a reduction in disposable income of customers and business volumes”.

“Consequently, there was a rise in non-performing loans in the sector which was the main factor for the decline in earnings of Commercial Credit and Finance Plc – (-56%YoY), LOLC Finance Plc (-29%YoY), LB Finance Plc (-19%YoY) as well. Therefore, primarily led by the above-mentioned counters, the Diversified Financial sector recorded a decline of 87%YoY”.

“Plunge in earnings by 63%YoY in Capital Goods was chiefly driven by SHL earnings reporting a loss of LKR 3.3Bn (-11033%YoY) followed by the decline in earnings in BRWN (-53%YoY) and SPEN (-45%YoY)”.

“Notably, JKH recorded a growth of 18%YoY primarily due to the growth in profits in Consumer Foods, Retail and Property segments, overall, the Capital Goods sector recorded a decline in earnings”.

|Banking sector witnessed a profit growth of 32%YoY to record LKR 14.6Bn primarily driven by COMB (+20%YoY), HNB (+57%YoY) and SAMP (+27%YoY). COMB, HNB and SAMP profits were boosted due to financial investment gains (forex and mark to market gains) coupled with the removal of NBT and Debt Repayment Levy which improved the bottom line”.

“Cargills Ceylon Plc recorded an impressive growth of 134%YoY driven by the growth in FMCG and retail space, benefiting the Food, Staples and Retailing sector to record a growth of 96%YoY”, First Capital report said.


Cabinet approves rationalization of VAT exemptions and abolition of SVAT System




The Cabinet of Ministers granted concurrence to the resolution forwarded by the Minister of Finance, Economic Stabilization and National Policies to remove most of the releases from Value Added Tax (VAT), further retaining releases that ease the pressure on low – income families to secure the fundamental sectors of the economy as well as the releases for sectors such as education, health and agriculture, as well as to revise the provisions applicable for the Value Added Tax (VAT) act so that the Simplified Value Added Tax (SVAT) methodology can be canceled with effect from 01.01.2024 by introducing a more formal methodology for repaying the Value Added Tax (VAT) and to instruct the Legal Draftsman to prepare a draft bill for the purpose.

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Venora Lanka Power Panels to set up assembly plant in Australia



Sagara Gunawardene

By Hiran H.Senewiratne

Sri Lanka- based, export- oriented manufacturer, Venora Lanka Power Panels (Pvt) Ltd, with a state of the art electric panel factory at the Export Processing Zone, Biyagama, will set up an assembly plant in Australia.

“Once we set up the electric panel assembly plant in Australia, we will export all our panels from Sri Lanka and that plant will do 30 percent value addition to the product to supply that market, the company’s chairman/ Managing Director, engineer Sagara Gunawardena told The Island Financial Review.

Gunawardena said that the company is a value- addition assembly plant and he would be investing AUS $ 2 million for the project to be set up in Melbourne and hire 100 engineers and other professionals. He explained that the venture has enormous potential.

Venora Lanka provides power panels to mega projects in Sri Lanka and exports to Bangladesh, Maldives, Kenya, Ethiopia, Seychelles and Myanmar. Panel assembling is strictly in compliance with IEC 61439 standards, it was explained.

Gunawardena added: ‘I firmly believe that, being a truly customer focused organization, every employee and every process in the organization has to be aligned behind delighting customers. Therefore, at a time when the country is facing a major dollar crisis, my company would be aiming at bringing dollars into the country, while providing employment for local professionals, especially engineers.

‘At Venora Lanka we do not try to change customers’ mindsets. Instead, we take time to understand what they really want and focus our brand on delivering that. Venora is values- driven first and cost- driven second – creating a unique brand proposition.

‘Since the US dollar rate has come down, it is our concern that importers and suppliers do not change their prices, which is really affecting the manufacturing sector.

Company sources added: ‘The company has several wings of operation, such as local and overseas projects, switch board assembling, telecommunication infrastructure installations, earthing, lighting and surge protection, incorporating world renowned brands.

‘Venora Lanka Power Panels is the first Sri Lankan company to receive the licence, in accordance with the UK Trade Mark Act 1994, to use the trade mark “Best Enterprise”. It won a global award at the event, ‘Golden Awards for Quality and Business Prestige’, held in Geneva, Switzerland, in 2015.

‘Within a short span of time, with the perfect blend of progressive thinking and expertise, Venora Group has expanded to consist of, Venora International Projects, Venora Telecom, Venora Industrial Solutions and Venora Lanka Power Panels (BOI approved). Further, Venora has established its overseas presence through Venora Engineering Kenya and Venora Engineering Myanmar.’

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Share market moves into positive territory; indices up



By Hiran H. Senewiratne

CSE trading got off to a positive note yesterday but during the last session of the day the momentum slowed. However, the market is now moving towards positive territory following the Central Bank announcement of a downward trend in interest rates, market analysts said.

Amid those developments the market witnesses improvements in both indices and in the turnover.

The All- Share Price Index up by 12.8 points and S and P SL 20 rose by 6.97 points. Turnover stood at Rs 710 million with one crossing. The crossing was reported in JKH which crossed 430,000 shares to the tune of Rs 60.2 million; its shares traded at Rs 140.

In the retail market top seven companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were; JKH Rs 212 million (1.5 million shares traded), Access Engineering Rs 44.7 million ( three million shares traded), Lanka IOC Rs 34.5 million (264,000 shares traded), Browns Investments Rs 28.6 million (5.3 million shares traded), LOLC Finance Rs 23.8 million (4.7 million shares traded), Capital Alliance Rs 22.9 million (615,000 shares traded) and First Capital Holdings Rs 19.2 million (574,000 shares traded). During the day the 31.4 million shares volumes changed hands in 9000 transactions.

Yesterday, the Central Bank’s US dollar buying rate was Rs 285.16 and the selling rate Rs 298.85.

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