Sri Lanka sugar firm reports losses

July 31, 2007 (LBO) – Pelwatte Sugar group has reported a loss of 75.6 million rupees for the June quarter while sales also fell 53 percent to 161 million rupees, the firm’s results released to the Stock Exchange showed. Last year it reported 341 million rupees in sales and 109 million in profits.

International sugar prices have been falling this year. The imported price for a tonne of white sugar fell to 37,519 rupees in April 2007 from 45,913 in April 2006.

Sri Lanka charges a five-rupee per kilo tax on imports to protect domestic production.

Pelwatte Sugar is located in the Moneragala district where poverty is 37 percent.

The firm now has a spirit plant and is also proposing to build a bio-mass power plant.

But its unsolicited proposal is among a raft of such proposals now bogged down after Ceylon Electricity Board engineers refused to work on projects which have not been put on competitive bidding. Pelwatte shares traded down 75 cents at 27.75 Tuesday.