Economic Pulse

Aug 21, 2013 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Cargills (Ceylon) Plc, which has interests in retailing, foods and restaurants said profits fell 49 percent to 121 million rupees in the June 2013 quarter amid narrower margins, but said the business environment was improving. Cargills also runs Sri Lanka’s KFC restaurant franchise.

The company said prices have been kept stable helping boost revenues 24 percent but operating profits fell 15 percent with input costs and electricity rates up.

Corrected gross profits Rs1.5bn The group reported earnings of 54 cents per share for the quarter, in accounts filed with the Colombo Stock Exchange.

“Group results were impacted by a sharp increase in operating and finance costs following an aggressive capex program over the past three years,” the company told shareholders.

“Although the overall results of the Group are below expectation, management has put in place steps to adapt to the changing business environment.”

Revenues grew 4.3 percent to 14.7 billion rupees and direct costs rose 4.2 percent to 13.1 billion rupees, but the firm grew gross profits 5.38 percent to 1.5 billion rupees.

Other income rose 21 percent to 283 million rupees. Distribution expenses rose 35 percent to 500 million rupee