Sri Lanka consumer durables group profits plunge in December

Mar 04, 2014 (LBO) – Profits at Singer Sri Lanka Plc, a consumer durables retailer, fell 71 percent to 93 million rupees in the December 2013 quarter from a year earlier, but sales are no longer shrinking, the firm said. The group reported earnings of 74 cents per share. For the full year to December it reported earnings of 3.67 rupees, on total profits of 454 million rupees which were down 64 percent.

The stock closed at 88 rupees up 90 cents Monday.

Chief executive Asoka Pieris told shareholders that revenue picked up 3.1 percent in the December quarter following three quarters of declines.

Sri Lanka is recovering from a balance of payments crisis primarily triggered by heavy state bank debt taken to subsidize energy sold by state-run energy companies which were ultimately accommodated by the Central Bank through printed money.

It was corrected by a hike in energy prices and higher interest rates.

The crisis saw the rupee falling to 130 to the US dollar from 110 slashing the real purchasing power of the people and their savings.

“The business environment continued to be difficult in 2013 – a trend that we saw from second half of 2012, with low demand by the customers and difficulty in