Sri Lanka Pelwatte Sugar losses mount

May 12, 2008 (LBO) – Pelwatte Sugar Industries said its March quarter net loss increased 57 percent pushing annual losses to more than half-a-billion rupees, while revenues fell. . Annual revenuea fell to 1.3 billion from 2.3 billion rupees, with a net loss of 574 million rupees for the year ended March 2008.

The firm’s net loss for the March quarter was 225 million rupees compared with a loss of 143 million rupees in the same period the year before.

Revenue for the March 2008 quarter fell sharply to 69.7 million rupees from 404 million rupees a year ago, according to interim results sent to the Colombo stock exchange.

In Sri Lanka sugar prices are protected by import tariffs.

International sugar prices have been falling in the past two years because of a glut, but prices are turning around when the excess is slowly absorbed and with rising demand for sugar cane-based biofuel reports said.

Sugar is used in the production of ethanol, a more environmentally friendly and cheaper alternative to gasoline (petrol) refined from crude oil.

The International Sugar Organisation (ISO) has forecast of a supply deficit in 2008/09 which is seen restricting a furt