Lube Slip

Oct 25, 2013 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Chevron Lubricants reported higher profits with falling base oil prices but said the lubricant market was contracting. Revenues in the September 2013 quarter fell 7 percent to 2.7 billion rupees from a year earlier, with cost of sales falling at a faster 15 percent to 1.75 billion rupees, allowing the firm to grow gross profits 10 percent to 1.0 billion rupees.

Managing director Kishu Gomes told shareholders the lube market has been contracting for three quarters in a row mainly due to lower demand from thermal power generation sector as rains increased hydro power.

Agricultural and fisheries sector demand was also down, Gomes said.

The overall market was also slowing with extended oil drain intervals with customers moving to higher technology products.

The rate of growth in the North and East of the country has also slowed.

“..[T]his decline has been seen across all consumer segments in almost all geographies which resulted in a reduction in revenue compared to last year,” Gomes said.

“However the consumer shift from low tier to higher tier technology has provided the opportunity to raise