Sales Drive

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena (L) and Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe gesture as Sri Lankan Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake (unseen) presents a supplementary budget to parliament, marking the first economic policy statement of the new government which came to power earlier in the month in Colombo on January 29, 2015. Sri Lanka's new government announced hefty taxes on top companies in a bid to raise revenue, accusing the previous regime of fudging the figures and leaving the economy in a "sad state". AFP PHOTO / Ishara S. KODIKARA (Photo credit should read Ishara S.KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

May 16, 2014 (LBO) – Singer (Sri Lanka) Plc, a consumer durables retailer said there was a pick-up in demand in the March 2014 quarter thought economic conditions were still sluggish and installment collections were difficult. “This leaves us with optimism that there will be a double digit growth in the 2nd quarter of 2014 and onwards.”

Net finance costs fell to 275 million rupees from 316 million a year earlier.

Pieris said collections were difficult and the firm was using it call centre and text messages to remind customers to keep arrears under control.

Group net profits fell 26 percent from a year earlier to 129 million rupees in the March 2014 quarter as revenues rose. The group reported earnings of 1.04 rupees for the quarter.

Group revenues rose 7.9 percent to 6.7 billion rupees and expenses rose 8.7 percent to 4.2 billion rupees. Direct interest costs rose 25 percent to 185 million rupees. Gross profits grew 5.2 percent to 2.3 billion rupees.

“Despite the fact that the current business environment is sluggish there is a reason for optimism when we look at the growth of revenue over the last one year,” group chief executive Asoka Pieris told shareholders in an interim statement.

“In the 2n