Aug 17, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Maskeliya Plantations said June 2009 quarter net profit was marginally higher than a year ago despite lower sales and sharply higher finance costs. The company said in a stock exchange filing that net profit for the June quarter went up two percent to 53 million rupees from a year ago but sales fell eight percent to 716 million rupees.
The firm, part of the Richard Pieris & Company group, made a loss of 126 million rupees in the year to March 2009.
It suffered from the twin effects of a collapse in tea prices last year followed by a severe drought which sharply reduced the crop earlier this year.
Crops and auction prices have since recovered and tea prices are expected to remain buoyant this year owing to a global shortfall in production, most of which is from Sri Lanka.
Maskeliya Plantations said finance costs shop up 151 percent to 44 million rupees in the June 2009 quarter from the previous year.
Earnings per share for the June quarter were 1.96 rupees compared with 1.92 the previous year.