Double Celebration

From left: Dr. Fernando Im, Senior Country Economist for Sri Lanka and the Maldives, The World Bank, Hon. Eran Wickramaratne, State Minister, Ministry of Finance and Mass Media, Dr. W A Wijewardana, Former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Prof. Indralal de Silva, Former (Chair) of Demography, University of Colombo, Prof. Amala de Silva, Department of Economics, University of Colombo at the panel discussion on "Demographic Change in Sri Lanka" moderated by Dr. Ramani Gunatilaka, International Centre for Ethnic Studies.

Rising profits from passenger sales, catering, ground handling and an accounting standards change helped SriLankan Airlines buck the international trend and show a 75 percent profit jump last year. Rising profits from passenger sales, catering, ground handling and an accounting standards change helped SriLankan Airlines buck the international trend and show a 75 percent profit jump last year. SriLankan Airlines, partly owned by Dubai’s Emirates Airlines, said after-tax profits rose to Rs. 5.6 bn in the year to March 2004, compared to Rs. 3.2 bn the previous year.

The national carrier switched to Sri Lanka Accounting Standards 21 this year, for transparency and ease of use. If the airline stuck to original reporting method, its net profits would have been Rs. 4.4 bn.

The airline on its own made a Rs. 4.5 bn net profit, the first time in 25 years, but warned that rising fuel cost could push it back into the red this year, its Chief Executive Peter Hill told reporters on Wednesday.

Jet fuel, which accounts for 22 percent of costs, has seen prices double to US$ 1.35 per gallon. SriLankan needs around 100 gallons a year, its Chief Financial Officer, S A Chandrasekera said.

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