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Feb 27, 2008 (LBO) – Chevron Lubricants Lanka said net profit for the year to December 2007 increased 34 percent to top a billion rupees, with premium brands bringing in better margins. Chevron Lubricants Lanka, formerly known as Caltex, once had a monopoly of the local market but its dominance has been challenged by new players, especially by Lanka Indian Oil Corp which has a blending plant in Trincomalee. The Sri Lankan unit of Chevron Texaco said sales went up 12 percent to 8.7 billion rupees from 7.7 billion rupees the year before.

“Profits were up mainly because of the change in the sales mix – we sold more premium brands in 2007 compared with 2006,” Anura Perera, Chevron Lubricants Lanka’s head of finance told LBO.

He said the company managed to increase profits although sales growth slowed down compared with 2006.

“There was no tremendous growth in the industry so volume growth was not so fantastic.”

The firm has over 80 percent of the local lubricants market.

It blends and imports lubricants for sale locally and also exports to Bangladesh and the Maldives.

Perera said both overseas markets delivered double digit growth although the growth in th