“Despite economic headwinds, we remain optimistic about the immediate future”
Access Engineering PLC, the multi-billion rupee construction company which is by far the country’s biggest quoted engineering firm, recently concluded its annual general meeting covering the year ended Mar. 31, 2020, in which it suffered both a revenue and profit decline as a result of what its chairman, Mr. Sumal Perera, called “one of its most turbulent years” they had faced He attributed the downturn to external pressures including the Easter bomb, political uncertainty ahead of the presidential election and the Covid-related pandemic.
“Despite challenges stemming from the operating context, we remain optimistic about facing the ‘new normal’,” Perera said. “I am proud to say that (we) have faced these unprecedented challenges admirably and remain resilient as a leader in the industry due to our resourcefulness….”
Access remained profitable, both at group and company level, during the year though group revenue was down 25.56% to Rs. 24.03 billion and company revenue down 7.43% to Rs. 17.92 billion. The after tax profit too was down 54.47% and 1.78% for the group and company respectively with earnings of Rs. 979 million (group) and Rs. 1,93 billion (company) posted.
The previous year’s dividend level of 50 cents per share has been maintained on earnings per share of Rs. 0.98 (group) and Rs. 1.93 (company).
Perera said that every year since their listing, they had increased the net value of the company with the year under review being no different with Access’ net asset value running at 21.83 billion at company and Rs. 20.53 billion at group level.
Access which calls itself the most preferred partner in its industry had completed infrastructure projects of national importance and large scale projects both independently and in partnership with international companies. They have also taken steps to expand their core business while diversifying into automobiles and real estate.
He said they had taken tangible steps to build their future as a diversified vertically integrated corporate citizen and will follow strategies to become the most innovative construction company in its sector with a diversified customer proposition and portfolio.
“Thus, despite economic headwinds, we remain optimistic about the immediate future,” Perera declared.
Access MD Christopher Joshua and COO Rohana Fernando said in a joint statement that the future outlook for their business was secure with a full order book, They reported that the construction sector had from Jan. 1, 2020, returned to a preferential corporate tax rate of 14% from the previous 28%. This was expected to have a positive impact on their business.
Their overseas contracts for construction of substructures and related work for five bridges in Kenya, delayed because of Covid, is due to commence in the third quarter of this year, they said.
Mr. Sumal Perera with 25% of the company is its biggest shareholder. He is followed by Mr. J.C. Joshua (10.1%) and Mrs. RMN Joshua (7%), Mr. Shamal Perera (5.08%) and Mrs. DRS Malalasekera (4.5%) who are Mr. Sumal Perera’s children and Mr. RJS Gomez (a founder of the company along with Messrs. Sumal Perera and JC Joshua) who has been reducing his holding.
The directors of the company are Messrs. Sumal Perera (chairman), JC Joshua (MD), DAR Fernando (COO) SHS Mendis (executive), SD Munasinghe (executive), RJS Gomez (non-executive), Prof. Malik Ranasinghe, ND Gunaratne, SD Perera and DS Weerakkody who are non-executive independent directors.
Next Meats, Purveyor of the World’s First Plant-based Yakiniku Meats, Is Now in Singapore
The Tokyo-based startup makes its debut in the alt-protein hotspot of Singapore Next Meats has collaborated with Aburi-EN to deliver two new meal sets Made with soybean proteins, the Kalbi contains no chemical additives or animal ingredients
Media OutReach – 14 April 2021 – Next Meats, a purveyor of the world’s first plant-based yakiniku meats, is making its debut in the alternative protein hotspot, Singapore! The Japanese alternative meat company has collaborated this time with popular Japanese restaurant Aburi-EN, which will offer two types of set meals using the NEXT Kalbi (boneless short rib) for the very first time. Made largely from soy proteins, the NEXT Kalbi contains double the amount of protein and half the fats than that of regular meat and even more, it does not contain any chemical additives or cholesterol due to its lack of animal ingredients. Now, Singaporeans can enjoy yakiniku without the guilt!
The two new menus available at Aburi-EN are the Kalbi Don Set (S$13.80) and the Stamina Teishoku (S$15.80) — which are available for a limited time only. Next Meats has specifically chosen to work with Aburi-EN as they are a Japanese grilled-meat specialist. The two menus are the culmination of many months of research and development, and they will also be Aburi-EN’s first-ever plant-based dishes.
For the Kalbi Don Set, Next Meat’s Kalbi is grilled and served atop a bowl of fragrant Japanese steamed rice. Equally indulgent, the Stamina Teishoku features the Kalbi stir-fried with cabbage along with egg imported from Okinawa. The meat is then served with fragrant Japanese steamed rice, salad, pickles and miso soup. For both dishes, the meats are glazed with a special homemade sauce that packs an irresistible umami punch.
Both the Kalbi Don Set and Stamina Teishoku will be available at all Aburi-EN stores from April to July 2021.
An advocate of sustainable food production and better food security
The NEXT Kalbi is one of Next Meats’ innovative offerings, which includes other plant-based delicacies such as the NEXT burger and NEXT gyudon (beef bowl). The company champions the importance of saving the planet and humanity through reducing the emission of greenhouse gases (which is produced from meat consumption and animal agriculture) and utilizing biotechnology to combat protein deficiency.
Through extensive research and development, Next Meats has culminated the knowhow on using molecular binding to mould vegetable proteins from powder. Buoyed by state-of-the-art, proprietary technologies, the company has successfully created vegan substitutes that replicate the texture of real meat.
Lanka Hospitals tops healthcare sector in LMD’s Most Awarded Entities
Lanka hospitals, the internationally accredited multiple award-winning healthcare provider, topped the healthcare sector in the Most Awarded list compiled by LMD magazine for 2019/20.
Designed to rank the most awarded entities in Sri Lanka, LMD conducted the research, the first of its kind in Sri Lanka, involving 204 corporate entities, based on the cumulative tally of awards received from 52 awarding bodies between January 2019 to September 2020.
With a total of five awards, securing the overall rank of 67, Lanka Hospitals came first in the healthcare sector.
Deepthi Lokuarachchi, Group CEO, Lanka Hospitals, said three factors contributed towards Lanka Hospitals’ award winning process; profound commitment to quality, service standard in healthcare and the accreditation of Joint Commission International (JCI).
“Our stringent standards for quality have earned accolades and accreditations from numerous national and international agencies. Lanka Hospitals has been in the forefront of healthcare providers since 2009 and, particularly, between 2019 and 2020, we were able to win seven national and international awards including one for environmental management systems”, he said.
As a result of superior facilities, customer care and quality of service Lanka Hospitals offers, a growth was experienced in terms of medical tourists during the Covid-19 pandemic even though the inbound international population was restricted. JCI, a US-based accreditation agency, rates healthcare services based on several criteria related to medical as well as non medical services”, he noted.
In terms of corporate responsibility, Lanka Hospitals focuses on skills development, medical care and donations. Every year, Lanka Hospitals’ nursing school enrolls batches from outside the Western province and upon the successful completion of the course they are offered employment, he added.
Sino Lanka Power Gen to install 2MW solar power at Taprobane Seafood Dankotuwa plant
Sino Lanka Power Gen announced its partnership with Taprobane Seafood to supply and install a one-megawatt solar photovoltaic (PV) system at their plant in Dankotuwa. This is the first of a two-phased project with the second megawatt to be installed in two years. The collaboration will result in a 19,000 tonne reduction in Taprobane’s carbon footprint over 20 years, a company news release said.
“Combating climate change has become critical and we are delighted to team up with Taprobane Seafood to be a part of their solar expansion strategy,” said Dhiren Kundanmal, Director of Sino Lanka Power Gen. “We are honoured that Taprobane Seafood, being a conscientious brand aiming to reduce its carbon footprint, is looking towards us as a working partner in this area. Our approach is fivefold i.e., improve yields and plant performance, reduce downtime, holistic monitoring, skill transfer, and finally minimising their liability and risk.”
Commenting on the partnership, Taprobane’s Managing Director Timothy O’Reilly said Taprobane Seafood has always been at the forefront of ethical labour practices, sustainable development, and earth friendly practices. “Shifting to solar energy is an important step in our sustainability journey and we believe Sino Lanka is the right partner for us given their expertise in the renewable energy industry,” he said.
Established in 2010, the Taprobane Seafood Group is Sri Lanka’s leading seafood company with over 1,500 direct employees in 11 processing facilities throughout the north-western and northern province. With high quality standards, social responsibility, and sustainability values, Taprobane’s vision is to be the global leader in sustainable and socially responsible seafood.
Sino Lanka Power Gen provides state-of-the-art equipment, capable of withstanding harsh tropical environments, utilising the latest technology from Canadian Solar and SunPower, alongside Tier 1 purpose-built inverters. The company adopts the latest industry trends -namely IoT, big data, and AI- to ensure their systems perform optimally for well over 20 years.
Sino Lanka Power Gen’s vision is to support the government’s initiatives on the “Soorya Bala Sangramaya” policy statement that sets a target of meeting 70% of the country’s total electricity demand from renewable energy sources by 2030.
Sino Lanka Power Gen is a joint venture between the Sino Lanka Group – an Asian enterprise with investments in real estate, hospitality, chemicals, healthcare, financial services, and rooftop solar, among others-, and the Atman Group, an investment holding company with investments in renewable energy, hospitality, real estate, and agriculture.
Sino Lanka Power Gen provides reliable and modern renewable and sustainable sources of energy for businesses, with a dedicated engineering and operations team that counts over 25 years of collective experience in implementing rooftop solar projects across Sri Lanka.
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