Sri Lanka value-added tea exports boost Finlay profits

Aug 12, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s James Finlay group said June 2009 quarter net profit shot up 75 percent to 80 million rupees from a year ago as exports of value-added teas with better profit margins grew. The company, part of the Swire group of the UK, said in a stock exchange filing of provisional results that June quarter group revenue went up eight percent to 1.2 billion rupees.

It reported earnings per share of 2.29 rupees in the June 2009 quarter compared with 1.30 rupees the year before.

Finlays Colombo chairman Kumar Jayasuriya said in a statement that the group’s Beverage Packing Division exported 3.7 million kilos of tea in the first six months of the year.

“While the overall volume remained more or less unchanged from last year, focus on margin expansion through exports of high-value-added teas and productivity gains continued,” Jayasuriya said.

“Exports in the form of packets and teabags represented about 87 percent of the total volume and 90 percent of total value shipped.

“Market expansion was also continued successfully through a strategy of differentiating ourselves as a supplier capable of offering a wide range of value added teas in consumer packs that conform