Sri Lanka Horana Plantation profits up 80-pct in Dec

Jan 25, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Horana Plantations, which grows tea and rubber said profits in the December 2010 quarter grew 80 percent to 135 million rupees, while revenues increased only 5.5 percent to 560 million rupees.

The firms produces about 4.0 million kilos of tea a year and 1.6 million kilos of rubber. But rubber production may be about 20 percent lower than usual.

The firm said cost of sales fell 9.8 percent to 385 million rupees in un audited accounts filed with the Colombo Stock Exchange.

The firm reported 5.41 rupees of earnings per share for the quarter. For the nine months ending December 2010 earnings per share was reported as 6.83 rupees on profits of 170 million rupees.

In 2009 cost of sales rose due to a backlog of gratuity payments after a two year wage deal was implemented late in the year, chief executive Rajiv Casie Chitty said.

The two year wage deal ends in April 2011.

The bulk of the revenue of the firm comes from tea and balance from rubber. Tea prices have been around 400 rupees a kilo this year and rubber about 600 rupees.

But in the last quarter the firm had lost rubber output due to rain reducing annual output to below norms.