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Sri Lankan Cargills group net up 49-pct in Dec quarter
02 Feb, 2010 11:29:25
Feb 02, 2010 (LBO) - December quarter profits at Sri Lanka's largest supermarket chain, Cargills (Ceylon) group, rose 49.1 percent from a year ago despite flat sales growth, as finance costs fell interim results showed.
The group made a net profit in the December quarter of 189.8 million rupees despite total revenues staying flat at 8.06 billion rupees, generated mainly from its supermarket business.

Cargills group, which is part of the Ceylon Theatres group controlled by the Page family, also has wholesale distribution, leisure and photo processing businesses that generated revenues of 900 million rupees in the December quarter.

It operates a chain of ‘Food City’ supermarkets and is the local franchise holder for US fast-food chain, KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken).

"Cargills remains the largest retailer in Sri Lanka while its consumer foods sector has maintained its growth momentum with continuous market share growth locally and now internationally," a company statement said.

"The third quarter saw the retail sector embark on an accelerated expansion drive with the opening of its latest store in Rajagiriya (a Colombo suburb) which is the first of the next 100 Food City outlets that would be established within the course of three years."

December quarter cost of sales was flat at 7.34 million rupees, while gross profit was also flat at 718.8 million rupees.

The group’s other income increased 21.6 percent to 130 million rupees.

Distribution costs increased 32.6 percent to 134 million rupees.

Administration costs declined 11 percent to 291 million rupees, while finance costs slid 40 percent 97.4 million rupees.

The Cargills group’s other expenses in the December quarter had increased 1.5 percent to 36 million rupees, while income tax expenses had shot up 51.7 percent to 100.5 million rupees.

"The group’s strong presence in agriculture, particularly in supply chain, value addition and distribution augurs well for the future given that the sector is now set to enjoy substantial growth," the company said.

Group nine months profits jumped 26.1 percent to 491.7 million rupees, despite revenues remaining flat at 22.6 million rupees from a year ago.

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