Sri Lanka Watawala December quarter profit up marginally

Jan 31, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lanka Watawala Plantations December 2010 quarter profit rose three percent to 189 million rupees from a year ago with group sales stagnant at 1.7 billion rupees, a stock exchange filing said. Earnings per share for the company, a unit of India’s Tata Tea group, were 0.80 rupees compared with 7.71 rupees the previous year, before a one into ten share split in September 2010.

Watawala group’s nine months profit rose 82 percent to 418 million rupees on high prices for tea and rubber with an eight percent rise in sales to 4.5 billion rupees.

“The performance of tea was encouraging which bettered the performance of the previous period by improving on the bottom line by 44 percent,” managing director Vish Govindasamy said in a note accompanying the results.

“Increased production coupled with better agricultural practices and better prices in comparison with the market elevation averages were the main contributory factors.”

Govindasamy said “exceptionally high” rubber prices have significantly increased the profitability of the group’s rubber business, which contributed 80 million rupees profit compared to a loss of 7.5 million in the same period the previous year.

“The av