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People live longer thanks to hi-tech and superior health care but NCDs rising



Durdans boosts profit 24% in 2019/20

Ceylon Hospitals PLC, owners of the Durdans Hospital now entering its 75th year, among the lead players in the country’s private health care industry, has closed a challenging year ended March 31, 2020, increasing its net profit 24% to Rs. 467 million on revenue of Rs. 5.98 billion, up from Rs. 5.81 billion a year earlier, the company’s recently published annual report said.

Durdans’ Executive Chairman Ajith Tudawe said that the Easter bomb as well as the Covid pandemic that followed at the end of the financial year had far-reaching effects globally on human lives and economic activities.

With non-communicable diseases (NCDs) on the rise, driven by changes in diet, environmental conditions and stress of modern urban living, the health care industry needed to deliver efficient care and long term-value to all stakeholders in their industry, he noted.

“Advancement in technology as well as well as superior healthcare has led to longevity of life,” Tudawe said. “Yet it also results in an aging population, an issue faced by all regions in the world. This is an issue that the present Sri Lankan social welfare system is not equipped to handle.”

Focusing on opportunities for growth, Tudawe said: “We are now even more confident that our plans to develop a more broad-based customer-centric business model will enable the company to explore new avenues of success and growth.”

Dr. Harsha Baranage, the hospital’s Medical Director stressed the importance of the human healing touch “despite the digitization and modern technology invading the industry.” He said that this approach from the Customer Relations Officer to the Specialist Consultant “is crucial to empathize with the patient.”

Durdans Management Services Ltd., in which several Ceylon Hospitals Directors are interested, is the company’s top voting shareholder with 68.12% of the company followed by the EPF (4.22%), and Lawrence Tudawe Management Services (Pvt) Ltd. (2.35%).

Durdans Management Services (22.47%) followed by the EPF (13.83%) are the top non-voing share owners.

The directors of the company are: Messrs. AE Tudawe (executive chairman), Dr. ADPA Wijegoonewardene (senior vice president – medical), UD Tudawe (executive vice-president), AS Tudawe (executive), while Messrs. YNR Piyasena, AS Abeywardene, SM Ismail, ADB Talwatte, and AVR de S. Jayatillake are independent non-executive directors.

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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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