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Starchina International Trade Company to buy 4 million kilo grams annually of Pure Ceylon Tea



Starchina International Trade Company Ltd. of China will buy more than 4 million kilograms of Ceylon Tea annually in terms of an MOU and the import quantity is expected to increase by 10 percent to 15 per cent every year, a government press release said.

The release: The Memorandum of Understanding has been signed with Fujian Starchina International Trade Co. Ltd, a subsidiary of Fuzhou Benny Tea Industries Co. Ltd according to the vision of the government of Sri Lanka to “Promote Investments and Trade”. Minister of Plantations Industries Dr. Ramesh Parthirana and Sri Lanka Tea Board signed a MOU, with one of the largest tea companies in China. The MOU was signed by using Zoom technology in front of the ambassador Dr. Palitha T. B. Kohona of embassy of Sri Lanka in Beijing. The other participants were Jayampathy Molligoda, chairman of the Sri Lanka Tea Board, the Group Chairman of Benny Tea Industries Co. Ltd and the Sri Lanka Tea Board representatives in Beijing and the officials of “BEST Energy Co. Ltd” the local representation of Benny Tea Industries Co. Ltd.

This MOU was Initially recognized and approved by the Board Directors of Sri Lanka Tea Board, Plantation Ministry, Attorney Generals office of Sri Lanka, Ministry of Foreign affairs and finally the President and the Prime Minister, head of the Sri Lankan Cabinet.

Chinese market highlights.

• China retail market value: US$ 6 trillion

• Online penetration value: US$ 1.42 trillion

• Estimated foreign imported goods proportion of online: US$ 569 billion

• Internet users in China: 731 million

• Internet users of middle class consumers in China: 400 million (Year 2020 estimation)

• Mobile monthly active users: 620 million

• Mobile transaction on retail online sales: 90%

• Product/brand comments per day: 20 million

China tea market is rapidly growing and converting Green tea to Black tea with a substantial growth. By 2020, China’s Ceylon Tea imports registered 14.2 million kilograms, year-over-year increase by 20%. Sri Lanka average tea production registered 310 million kilograms per year and renowned as the best and cleanest orthodox teas in the world.

Starchina International Trade Company Limited will buy more than 4 million kilograms per year, and predicted to increase the import quantity by 10%-15% annually. Also improving to purchase value added Ceylon tea year by year starting from 60,000 kgs in the first year. The validity of this agreement for 15 years and the advantage is the buying company assures the quantity with an annual increase for the number of years through a legally bound agreement. Starchina International Trade Company Limited currently operating with over 3000, B 2 B clients and more than 180,000 Milk tea shop clients in China.

All Sri Lankan exporters will be enjoying “ZERO” cost to ge into this market as online platform charges, security deposits, annual renewal charges, logistics, operation and promotion fees depend on occasions and cases.

Special credentials of the agreement

• Starchina International Trade Company Limited offers to List Sri Lankan brands on a “PURE CEYLON TEA DEDICATED” O or O online.

• All these teas are marketed with “Original Sri Lankan Brand Names” to market not only in China but also cross border trading.

• All import being done following prevailing rules and regulations. Sri Lankan tea will be shipped tea complying with Sri Lanka rules and regulations to warehouse in Starchina International Trade Company Limited in Fuzhou, Fujian, China

• Starchina International Trade Company Limited will be buying teas from Sri Lankan tea companies under the supervision of Sri Lanka Tea Board on a pre agreed price to ensuring the present trading system.

• Payment will be done every month to the Sri Lankan tea suppliers. Star china International Trade Company Limited will settle all the dues as per the agreement made between the Sri Lankan suppliers. All sales information can be viewed by the respective Sri Lankan tea supplier to secure the transparency and high standards of business ethics, under the supervision of Sri Lanka Tea Board.

• Starchina International Trade Company Limited is responsible and accountable for all their purchases since all requirement parameters will be checked and purchased from the Sri Lankan suppliers and confirmed according to the Starchina International Trade Company Limited requirements.

• Starchina International Trade Company Limited will hold a variety of Ceylon tea promotion activities in China; participate in exhibitions in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and other places to help promote dedicated space to Pure Ceylon Tea and Sri Lankan Tea brands.

• Starchina International Trade Company Limited will be participating in the promotional campaigns conducted by Sri Lanka Tea Board and provides fullest support.

• Support on Sri Lanka Tea Factory modernization with technology transfer in aspects of tea plantations systems and tea value addition.

• Business diversification on “TEA TOURISM” involving in services sector by investing a hotel to promote tea culture to the tourist sector.

This is the first occasion that the Sri Lanka Tea Board in getting into signing for an agency (not an exclusive agency ship) agreement with any other country or a private company to increase Ceylon Tea exports. The said MOU and agreement will be uplifted to promote and increase of marketing of Ceylon tea in China in a greater way.

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SLT Group posts stable revenue growth amidst adverse socioeconomic environment in first half 2022



-Showcases resilience in business model-

Sri Lanka Telecom Group (SLT Group), the National ICT Solutions Provider, posted stable growth for the first half of 2022, with revenues increasing by 6% to Rs 52.9 Bn and a 19.8% increase in profit before tax (PBT) at Rs. 7.2 Bn against the same period last year, showcasing resilience in its business model amidst complex socioeconomic challenges facing the country.

Demonstrating operational efficiency, SLT Group’s EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortisation) went up to Rs. 20.9 Bn for the first half of 2022, recording a growth of 7.8% compared to the corresponding period of the previous year. The EBITDA Margin stood at 39.7% for the period under review.

Building on the success of the previous quarter, the SLT Group was able to maintain a positive momentum for Q2 2022 recording gains of 4% in operating profit when compared to the previous quarter. The Group recorded a foreign exchange gain of Rs. 135 Mn during the quarter due to the prudent foreign exchange strategies of the Group. However, profit after tax (PAT) declined by 26.5% in Q2 compared to the previous quarter, mainly owing to the increase in income tax expenses during the period.

The SLT Group continued its strategic plan implemented at the beginning of the year, consolidating its performance throughout Q2 as well. However, during the period from April to June, the Group faced several business growth challenges including an unprecedented economic crisis, import restrictions, inflationary pressures etc. Furthermore, ongoing investments were affected; new projects were also impacted due to the increase of operational costs and the energy and fuel crisis resulted in operational challenges. Overcoming uncertainties, the Group with resilience made headway in strategic investments, undertaking appropriate management controls, in addition to managing the revenue portfolio in multiple segments.

The Operating Cash Flows of the Group grew to Rs. 23.5 Bn, up by 21.2% year-on-year. The Group recorded a favourable cash and cash equivalents position of Rs. 27 Bn as at the end of the reporting period. SLT Group’s contribution to the Government of Sri Lanka during the first half of 2022 amounted to Rs. 14 Bn. in direct and indirect taxes including levies and dividends.

SLT Group Chairman, Rohan Fernando said, “The period under review has been one of the most challenging periods that SLT-MOBITEL has faced in recent times exacerbated by a tough operating environment. However, due to the agility in our business model to deliver growth and a motivated team effort, we have been able to successfully generate positive results.”

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Chevron Lubricants, Aitken Spence and Lanka IOC drive share market; turnover exceeds Rs. 5 billion



By Hiran H.Senewiratne

The CSE gained over 1 per cent in mid-day trade yesterday pushed by Chevron Lubricants, Aitken Spence and Lanka IOC. The market remained extremely bullish yesterday too with mixed reactions in indices while the turnover exceeded the Rs 5 billion level. However, profit- takings were noted in certain blue-chip companies due to witnessing some down trend in certain companies, market analysts said.

Investors continue to focus on Lanka IOC stocks; which company dominated the country’s energy sector over the last two months. Consequently, its profitability also increased in leaps and bounds due to the heavy demand for fuel. Lanka IOC is to set up 50 filling stations and the approval has been granted by the Energy Ministry, which is also one of the reasons for the company’s share market to move up, stock market analysts said.

However, there was selling in most of the main counters of the CSE due to fears of unprecedented tax increases in the interim budget, a top market analyst said.

Further, Chevron Lubricants’ share prices also appreciated due to market speculation that the company is planning to enter the energy/fuel business with a Chinese company.

Amid those developments stock market indices reflected mixed reactions. The All- Share Price Index reached the 8500 points mark. It gained 77.03 points (0.91 per cent) to end at 8500 and S and P SL20 declined marginally by 9.49 points (0.34 per cent) to end the day at 2784.66.

Turnover stood at Rs 5.3 billion with four crossings. Those crossings were reported in Watawala Plantations, which crossed 4.6 million shares to the tune of Rs 403 million; its shares traded at Rs 87, Citizens Development Business Finance 1.1 million shares crossed for Rs 217 million, its shares traded at Rs 200, Commercial Bank 2.6 million shares crossed to the tune of Rs 145 million and its shares fetched Rs 54 and Hunas Falls 625,000 shares crossed to the tune of Rs 25 million; its shares traded at Rs 40.

In the retail market, top seven companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were, Lanka IOC Rs 1.9 million (14 million shares traded), Expolanka Holdings Rs 449 million (2.3 million shares traded), JKH Rs 252 million (2.1 million shares traded), LOLC Holdings Rs 135 million (226,000 shares traded), Browns Investments Rs 131 million (16.9 million shares traded), Chevron Lubricants Rs 130 million (one million shares traded) and LOLC Holdings Rs 88.5 million (9.8 million shares traded).

It is said that high net worth and institutional investor participation was noted in Melstacorp and Bairaha Farms. Mixed interest was observed in Lanka IOC, Expolanka Holdings and JKH, while retail interest was noted in Browns Investments, LOLC Finance and Agstar.

Energy sector was the top contributor to market turnover (due to Lanka IOC), while the sector index gained 15.15 per cent. Food, Beverage and Tobacco sector was the second highest contributor to the market turnover (due to Melstacorp).

Expolanka Holdings, JKH and LOLC Holdings were also included among the top turnover contributors. The share price of Expolanka Holdings lost Rs. 1.50 (0.73 per cent) to close at Rs. 203. The share price of JKH closed flat at Rs. 119.

Yesterday the Central Bank- announced US dollar buying rate was Rs 357.29 and its selling rate Rs 368.61.

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Unilever launches all new Surf Excel 2-in-1 laundry detergent with added fragrance of Comfort



Standing as a testament to its commitment to innovation, to meet the changing needs of Sri Lankan consumers, Unilever Sri Lanka’s leading laundry detergent brand, Surf Excel, recently launched its latest 2-in-1 laundry detergent product, fused with the premium fragrance of Comfort Fabric Conditioner.

For the first time in Sri Lanka, consumers can experience Surf Excel’s all-inclusive superior stain removal with the premium fragrance of Comfort Fabric Conditioner, which gets rid of tough stains from deep within fabrics. Comfort’s premium floral fragrance will leave washed laundry smelling fresh and fragrant after every wash. The new formulation is also gentle on hands, making every handwash a pleasant experience.

Speaking on the launch, Sharmila Bandara, Marketing Director – Homecare and Nutrition, Unilever Sri Lanka said, “When children go out and play, they don’t just get their clothes dirty or stained, but experience life, observe, make friends, or learn to share. This helps them get stronger, develop well rounded personalities and brave the world outside.” She further added “For generations, Surf Excel has been taking care of tough stains for mothers around the country. Now, with the addition of the premium fragrance of Comfort, washing and wearing clothes will become a much more memorable experience for all.”

Surf Excel 2-in-1 with the added premium fragrance of Comfort Fabric Conditioner comes in a pink and blue pack and consumers may purchase the product in seven different sizes at retail outlets and supermarkets island wide.

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