Cold Comfort

May 26, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Ceylon Cold Stores said net profit for the financial year ending March 2011 fell 13 percent to 200 million rupees from a year ago with its ‘Keells Super’ supermarket chain still in the red. Annual group sales rose 16 percent to 16.6 billion rupees, the company said in a stock exchange filing.

The firm, a unit of the John Keells Holdings conglomerate, sells beverages and ice cream under the Elephant House brand name and operates one of the two big supermarket chains in the island.

Losses in the retail trade business of Ceylon Cold Stores, under which comes the Keells supermarket chain, rose to 65.7 million rupees from 46.3 million the year before although sales rose to 10.3 billion rupees from 9.2 billion rupees.

In the March 2011 quarter Ceylon Cold Stores said net profit fell 74 percent to 38 million rupees from a year ago although sales rose 18 percent to 4.3 billion rupees.