Double Celebrations

Lanka IOC Ltd., a Sri Lankan fuel retailer, Thursday said its net profit for the nine months to December more than doubled after the company opened more filling stations on the island during that period. Lanka IOC Ltd., a Sri Lankan fuel retailer, Thursday said its net profit for the nine months to December more than doubled after the company opened more filling stations on the island during that period. Lanka IOC’s nine-month net profit jumped to Rs. 1.84 billion from Rs. 673 million in the previous year.

The company, which is 75% owned by Indian Oil Corp., said sales doubled to Rs. 20 billion during the same period.

Lanka IOC’s sales rose “along with an increase in franchise outlets,” M. Nagesweran, the company’s managing director, said.

Lanka IOC, which imports and markets petroleum and lubricants, entered the local retail fuel market in February 2003 after the Sri Lankan government liberalized the local petroleum sector. State-owned Ceylon Petroleum Corp. previously monopolized the sector.

Lanka IOC acquired 100 retail outlets from Ceylon Petroleum in 2003 and signed franchise agreements with another 70 outlets last year.

Analysts said the company’s result