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Piramal triples first half profit

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Piramal Glass Ceylon PLC, the sole player in the domestic glass container industry, with a significant export presence, has posted an exceptional first half in the current financial, better than tripling its profit to Rs. 316 million from Rs. 95 million earned a year earlier when business took a punch from the Covid pandemic following the Easter bomb.

Indian-controlled Piramal, quoted on the CSE, said in a news release announcing its half year results that it expected to do well in the second half of the year as well saying “we are hopeful to sustain and further improve the performance as there is a healthy pipeline for new products and new customers in the international market.”

The first half results were achieved despite modest turnover growth, up to Rs. 3.56 billion from Rs. 3.53 billion a year earlier.

The company’s share price gained sharply on the CSE following the release of the first half results.

Reporting that the period under review began with the Covid lockdown with production commencing at 25% capacity by making glass containers for food and pharmaceutical customers. Operations normalizing by mid-May resulting in a first quarter setback.

But demand had begun improving from the second quarter with revenue of Rs. 2.23 billion generated against Rs. 1.94 billion a year earlier, up 14.2%. Profit after tax for the quarter ended Sept. 30,2020, was Rs. 360 million, up from Rs. 74 million a year earlier.

Reporting 20% growth in the domestic market with sales up to Rs. 1.56 billion from Rs. 1.29 billion a year earlier, Piramal said there was a steep rise in demand for its products as a result of panic buying of food. This resulted in higher sales of food jars locally. The demand from the pharmaceutical and agro industries also showed a healthy upward growth though the beverage market saw a setback due to restrictions on social and festive gatherings.

Export sales gained marginally at Rs. 670 million, up from Rs. 651 million a year earlier. The company said improved exports were achieved in the face in limitation of vessel availability in major markets with exports even to India and Pakistan impacted.

“However, the demand of flavoured water bottles for Canadian and North American markets and higher demand for food jars in Australia helped surpass last years sales,” Piramal said. “The company also made inroads in new markets such as UK, Mexico, Colombia and Netherlands with food jars and high-end liquor bottles.”

Piramal Glass Ceylon (formerly Ceylon Glass Company) is the only glass bottle manufacturing plant in Sri Lanka. Coming under the umbrella of India’s Pirmal Group in 1999, its factory was relocated to Horana from Ratmalana in 2007 as a BOI venture.



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Aitken Spence invests in yet another renewable energy project in hydropower

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Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake – Deputy Chairman and Managing Director Aitken Spence PLC accepting the share transfer form from Harsha Abeywickrama – chairman Sunshine Energy Ltd; in the presence of Ms. Stasshani Jayawardena – Executive Director Aitken Spence PLC, Dr. Rohan Fernando – Executive Director Aitken Spence PLC, Ms. Nilanthi Sivapragasam – Chief Financial Officer Aitken Spence PLC and Leel Wickremarachchi – Managing Director of the power segment from Aitken Spence PLC. Shyam Sathasivam – Managing Director, Sunshine Energy Ltd. and Harin Udeshi – Director, Waltrim Energy Ltd.

Aitken Spence PLC recently acquired Waltrim Energy Limited, a subsidiary of Sunshine Holdings PLC for Rs. 900 million. The company contributes 6.6MW to the national grid via three mini hydropower plants located in the Nuwara Eliya district, namely of Waltrim Hydropower (Private) Limited, Upper Waltrim Hydropower (Private) Limited and Elgin Hydropower (Private) Limited. Waltrim hydropower draws energy from Kothmala Oya, Upper Waltrim hydropower and Elgin hydropower from Dambagasthwala Oya.

Aitken Spence expands its portfolio in hydropower in the pursuit of meeting rising energy demands, sustainable development, access to clean energy and lowering our national carbon footprint. This is the second hydropower plant which is owned and operated by Aitken Spence. Branford Hydropower (Pvt) Ltd. is the other hydropower plant with a 2.5MW capacity located in Matale. The company also owns and operates a wind power plant with 3MW capacity located in Ambewela.

“This is yet another investment made by Aitken Spence that shows our commitment to expand the power generation portfolio with renewable energy projects. Hydro power plays a key role in renewable energy segment in Sri Lanka and this initiative strengthens the country’s efforts to move towards cleaner energy sources and effective and efficient management of sustainable and affordable generation of energy supplied to the national grid,” commented Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake, Deputy Chairman and Managing Director of Aitken Spence PLC.

“Aitken Spence maintains highest environmental, safety and quality standards in the management of our power plants. These stringent management frameworks will be extended to the newly acquired power plants to meet compliance requirements as well as global benchmarks for cleaner production of energy,” added Leel Wickremarachchi, Managing Director of the power segment of Aitken Spence.

The Power segment of Aitken Spence is a leading player in the sector with a reputation for investing in pioneering technologies and has diversified into renewable energy by establishing hydro power and wind power plants to support Sri Lanka’s demand for energy. With their commitment to increase the country’s energy consumption from renewable energy sources, the company recently introduced Sri Lanka’s first waste to energy power plant that was officially launched in February 2021. Moreover, these initiatives are in line with the collective efforts of government and the private sector to produce clean energy sustainably.

 

 

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Best Woman Entrepreneur at Entrepreneur Awards 2020

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Christell Skin Clinic proved their mettle as industry leaders yet again, by clinching the three topmost awards at the recently held Western Province Entrepreneurship Awards Ceremony 2020. The highly-anticipated annual event -jointly organised by the National Enterprise Development Authority (NEDA) and the National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka- took place this year at the BMICH.

The event brought together industry leaders and newcomers with the aim to recognise and honour micro, small, medium and large sector entrepreneurs that have contributed significantly to Sri Lanka’s service sector over the past year.

The country’s leading aesthetics and wellness centre took home The Best Enterprise service sector trophy, as well as the Best Entrepreneur of the Year award – the most sought-after prize of the night. More notably however, the Best Woman Entrepreneur title was awarded to the director of the Christell Skin Clinic, Dr. Shanika Arsecularatne, in recognition of her inspirational journey to becoming one of the most successful businesswomen in the country, and also of her outstanding contribution to the field of cosmetology and wellness in Sri Lanka.

“I’m truly honoured to receive this recognition, especially because I believe that no one receives an award like this out of sheer luck, but rather in acknowledgement and appreciation of the hard work, sleepless nights and sacrifices we have all made, to be where we are today,” said Dr. Arsecularatne on accepting her award.

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Plastic Modified Asphalt Concrete car park in Sri Lanka

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The car park of the Walgama Food City with its new “Paving with Plastic”

As a socially responsible corporate citizen, Cargills holds a strong commitment to serving the nation and preserving the planet for future generations. By partnering with AGC Innovate Pvt Ltd – one of the country’s leading innovative solutions providers – Cargills initiated the launch of “Paving with Plastic” as a means to address Sri Lanka’s plastic waste menace in an ecofriendly and pragmatic approach.

The benefits of plastic are irrefutable – this versatile material is ubiquitous in our everyday lives, due to it being cheap and convenient to produce as well as being highly durable and user friendly. However, once used and disposed, plastic lingers in the environment for too long and does not decompose.

As a result, the inherent problem of plastic pollution is a global crisis, with Sri Lanka generating approximately 7000 metric tons of mismanaged solid waste daily, with 6% accounting for plastic and polythene waste. Therefore, in the absence of a proper waste management system, non-recyclable plastic is dumped in large landfill sites. These sites are now exceeding their maximum capacity, and has led to pressing environmental and social concerns in the country.

As a first step to tackling this waste plastic problem, Cargills made a landmark decision to pave the Cargills Food City Carparks using Plastic Modified Asphalt Concrete, partnering with AGC Innovate.

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