Durable Sales

Mar 17, 2011 (LBO) – Singer Sri Lanka, a top consumer durables retailer in the island said sales rocketed following a tax cut and a general economic upturn in 2010, though inflationary fears were now creeping in. Singer Sri Lanka, which sells its own brand and several others from Japan, Korea and China said its sales grew 33.8 percent to over 15 billion rupees but volume growth was higher.

“Since selling prices were lower following tariff reductions, our volume growth was more than the value growth,” Singer Sri Lanka chief executive Asoka Pieris told shareholders in the annual report.

He said audio product sales had grown 68 percent, washing machines 68 percent, computers and DVD players 63 percent, refrigerators 35 percent, sewing machines 35 percent and televisions 29 percent.

Sri Lanka cut tariffs on electronic goods imports in mid 2010 and in the budget also announced the end of a ‘luxury’ rate of value added tax.

Critics say Sri Lanka’s rulers have for decades labeled various items which are commonplace goods in many countries as ‘luxury’ taxing them at higher rates to finance a bloated state, and made them inaccessible to ordinary people.

Meanwhile, hiding behind the trade barrier,