Retail Focus

June 02, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Richard Pieris and Company said it plans to expand its network of ‘Arpico’ shopping malls in its retail business which is considered the group’s main engine of growth. Chairman and chief executive Sena Yaddehige said the retail sector has been one of the most “growth-oriented” arms of the group during the past few years.

The sector’s sales rose to 9,043 million rupees in the financial year ending March 31, 2010 from 8,681 million the year before and operating profits increased by nine percent to 515 million rupees.

“While the turnover increase was marginal, continued emphasis on the management of working capital, stocks in particular, and overheads resulted in improved profitability,” Yaddehige told shareholders in his annual report.

“An aggressive and accelerated expansion of its chain of outlets in targeted areas of the country is planned in order to capitalize on the post-war economic boom that is expected in the ensuring years.”

The island’s 30-year ethnic war ended last May resulting in an economic revival.

The Richard Pieris group retuned to profitability last year, making a net profit of 580 million rupees compared with a loss of 329 mi