Rs. 700 million Horana Plantations crossing boosts CSE
By Hiran H.Senewiratne
The CSE persisted in its bearish run yesterday amid poor investor sentiment and resultant low activity despite the boost from the government’s deal with the IMF and other positives. The turnover level increased with a massive Horana Plantation crossing, where its majority stake of 51 per cent, which was held by Vallibel Plantations, was transferred to Hayleys Plantations, market analysts said.
The crossing had generated Rs 700 million to the total turnover, analysts said.
Since Vallibel Plantations and Hayleys Plantations both belong to local business magnate Dhammika Perera, with this crossing the majority stake is now being held by Hayleys Plantations in Horana Plantations, stock market analysts said.
However, the stock market was highly volatile and shares edged- up in mid- day trade yesterday, as buying interest renewed and selling pressures and profit- taking eased, an analyst said.
Lanka IOC was up after the Cabinet had granted approval for three oil companies from China, the United States and Australia in collaboration with Shell to lease 150 fuel stations for each company to operate in the local market, Minister of Energy Kanchana Wijesekera said.
However, the share is coming down as there is an unexpected fuel price revision and investors are retracting, looking at the short term as returns may fall.
Profit- taking has been seen in Sri Lanka Telecom and Lanka Hospitals as Cabinet approval has been granted for the divestment of the stakes held by the Treasury Secretary in the two companies.
Amid those developments both indices moved upwards. The All- Share Price Index went up by 39 points and S and P SL20 rose by 24.9 points. Turnover stood at Rs 1.46 billion with two crossings. Those crossings were reported in Horana Plantations, which crossed 12.75 million shares to the tune of Rs 700 million and its shares traded at Rs 54.90 and NDB 470,000 shares crossed to the tune of Rs 21.2 million; its shares traded at Rs 43.
In the retail market top seven companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were; Lanka IOC Rs 86 million (507,000 shares traded), Expolanka Holdings Rs 67.8 million (515,000 shares traded), SLT Rs 62.2 million (594,000 shares traded), NTB Rs 45.3 million (756,000 shares traded), Tokyo Cement Rs 39.1 million (772,000 shares traded), Hayleys Fabrics Rs 32 million (1.2 million shares traded) and Tokyo Cement (Non- Voting) Rs 27.2 million (550,000 shares traded). During the day 49.1 million share volumes changed hands in 13000 transactions.
It is said high net worth and institutional investor participation was noted in National Development Bank, Sampath Bank and JKH. Mixed interest was observed in Lanka IOC, Expolanka Holdings and ACL Cables, while retail interest was noted in SMB Leasing Non-Voting, Browns Investments and Softlogic Capital.
The Capital Goods sector was the top contributor to the market turnover (due to ACL Cables), while the sector index lost 0.93 per cent. The share price of ACL Cables moved down by Rs. 1.10 to Rs. 80.90.
The Banking sector was the second highest contributor to the market turnover (due to Sampath Bank), while the sector index decreased by 0.72 per cent. The share price of Sampath Bank closed flat at Rs. 51.
Yesterday the Central Bank’s US dollar buying rate was Rs 315.70 and selling rate Rs 333.49.
Hela Apparel Holdings completes FY 2022/23 with resilience, amidst a challenging operating environment
The fourth quarter of FY 2022/23 marked the close of a challenging year for Hela Apparel Holdings PLC. While revenue of Rs. 20.5 Bn in Q4 represented a 40.6% increase in the same period of the previous year, this was primarily driven by the impact of the rupee depreciation. In US Dollar terms, quarterly revenue declined by 9.6% year-on-year. The drop in US Dollar revenue, however, is smaller than the 19.7% year-on-year decline recorded during Q3, as consumer demand in the Group’s key export markets remained relatively resilient.
The tentative stabilisation in demand conditions during the fourth quarter, alongside the proactive cost control measures taken by the organization contributed to an improvement in profit margins. The Group’s gross profit margin increased to 13.5% in Q4, compared to 10.0% in Q3, as capacity utilisation rates improved across the Group’s manufacturing facilities. Operating profit margins also improved, supported by greater optimisation of distribution and administration expenses. That said, elevated finance costs driven by the ongoing rise in global US Dollar interest rates were a significant drag on profitability. As a result, the Group recorded a post-tax loss of Rs. 257 Mn in the fourth quarter.
For the full year ended 31st March 2023, the Group’s revenue increased by 69.3% to Rs. 95.1 Bn. Nonetheless, the significant deterioration in market conditions during H2 eroded accumulated profits, and the Group closed the year with a post-tax loss of Rs. 1,038 Mn. Despite this, Hela’s balance sheet remained in a robust position with the Net-Debt-to-Equity ratio closing FY 2022/23 at 1.6, compared to 1.8 at the same point of the previous year, supported by improvements in the working capital cycle.
In a statement accompanying the financial results, the Company noted that it expects the challenging operating environment to continue into the first half of FY 2023/24 as consumers in its key export markets remain under pressure from high inflation. In this context, it will continue to focus on proactively strengthening its strategic customer partnerships based on its long-term value proposition as a leading global apparel supply chain solutions provider.
The organization also intends to remain agile in the evolving operating environment and consider additional proactive steps to manage costs and ensure a return to profitability. Several of the strategic initiatives taken during FY 2022/23, with a precise focus on process improvements, digital systems, and supply chain management are also expected to support the improvements in profit margins in the coming quarters.
Hela Apparel Holdings PLC is a social capital-focused company built on the principles of inclusivity, equity, and climate stability. With over three decades of industry experience, Hela focuses on building strategic partnerships with global brands to provide apparel supply chain solutions with distinctive advantages. The organisation has a global presence with 10 manufacturing facilities across Sri Lanka, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Egypt, as well as design centres in Sri Lanka, the US, the UK, and France, providing direct employment to over 20,000 people. Innovative, ethical, and sustainable apparel manufacturing is at the centre of Hela’s operations. With numerous accolades for sustainability, the organization was recently endorsed as a signatory to the UN Global Compact and was awarded the ISO 14064-1:2018 certification for quantification and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions across the Group for the second consecutive year.
Calais Dentelles announces the sale of ‘NOYON’ – Noyon Lanka acquires 100 years of lace heritage
In groundbreaking industry news, Noyon Lanka (Pvt) Ltd., a subsidiary of MAS Holdings, and DESSEILLES CALAIS, a subsidiary of the CALAIS DENTELLES holding company, announced the sale of NOYON CALAIS’ IP rights and other intangible assets to Noyon Lanka.
NOYON CALAIS is a French lace manufacturer known for a 100+ years of heritage in the industry. This Intellectual Property (IP) acquisition now positions Noyon Lanka as an industry leader in lace manufacturing, combining the legacy and heritage of NOYON CALAIS SAS and MAS Holdings’ technical competency and manufacturing excellence. This sale gives the opportunity for the French business DESSEILLES CALAIS to focus on their main luxury core market.
The IP and other assets acquired enable Noyon Lanka to draw inspiration, create and commercialize lace products and manufacture lace products under the trademark ‘Noyon’. Additionally, Noyon Lanka will now be the owner of all ‘Noyon’ trademarks belonging to Noyon Calais and will own all their archives of sketches, drafts, and samples of lace and embroidery fabrics from the 19th and 20th centuries.
With the acquisition, Noyon Lanka enhances its ability to provide high-quality lace products to customers worldwide, drawing upon and preserving the rich history and heritage of lace manufacturing in France.
Noyon Lanka’s CEO, Ashiq Lafir, commenting on the acquisition, said, “This acquisition will enable us to expand our product design offerings and strengthen our leadership position in lace manufacturing globally. We are humbled and proud to take ownership of NOYON CALAIS’ remarkable legacy and combine it with our technical expertise to create beautiful, innovative lace products for our customers”.
Sébastien Bento Soares, the Directeur Général – CEO of CALAIS DENTELLES, the parent company of NOYON CALAIS, added that “This asset sale enables DESSEILLES CALAIS to focus on our core luxury market and ensures that the rich history and legacy of Noyon’s lace continues to effectively serve its long-time customers, who have come to rely on Noyon’s heritage in lace to provide some of the world foremost brands with the finest lace designs that their customers have adorned over many generations”.
Noyon Lanka was established in 2004 when Noyon Calais France, an industry expert in knitted and leavers lace, partnered with MAS Holdings. Today, Noyon’s lace creators and designers launch over 450 designs each year, with collections ranging from multi-way stretch, high tenacity lace to engineered lace for fabric.
In addition to its production facilities in Sri Lanka, the company has a global footprint with a manufacturing presence in Indonesia and China.
In the image from left to right: Sébastien Bento Soares (Directeur Général – CEO of Calais Dentelles), Pascal Cochez (Chairman of Cochez group and Calais dentelles), Olivier Noyon (Shareholder – Noyon Lanka) and Ashiq Lafir (CEO – Noyon Lanka Pvt. Ltd.).
Nippon Paint Lanka sponsors painting of Sri Lanka’s tallest Buddha statue
Nippon Paint has donated the paint required to paint the tallest Buddha statue in Sri Lanka. Built by the Methsaviya Sansadaya, it is located at the Mahiyangana Purana Rajamaha Viharaya.
“History records Mahiyanganaya as the first place visited by the Lord Buddha nine months after receiving enlightenment,” said Vidyakeerthi Prof. Chandana Jayaratne, President of the Meth Saviya Sansadaya. “It is also recorded that the Lord Buddha donated a lock of hair to the leader of those who heard his preaching and embraced the noble path. This leader who was known as King Saman (Known today as Saman Deviyo), enshrined the relics and built the first Dagoba in Mahiyanganaya. This has been gradually increased in height during later years. On completion, this will be the tallest Buddha statue in Sri Lanka at 84-feet. The statue was unveiled on Sunday May, 28, 2023.”
Nemantha Abeysinghe, General Manager, Nippon Paint Lanka, said they were very happy to be associated in such a noble venture. “It is an honour for us to be able join the Meth Saviya Sansadaya to have the statue painted with high-quality, weather-resistant, and long-lasting Nippon Paint. Buddhism is the religion of the majority in Sri Lanka and we consider this as a contribution from Nippon Paint to the propagation of religion and culture in Sri Lanka.”
“We are deeply grateful to Nippon Paint Lanka for their noble gesture in donating not one but five coats of paint to withstand the heavy rains, winds and sunshine at this location,” Prof. Jayaratne said.
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