Sri Lankan listed oil palm firm mulls expansion; warns of drought impact on crop

May 28, 2007 (LBO) – A subsidiary of Sri Lanka’s Carsons group with
oil palm estates in south east Asia is considering expansion and
downstream ventures but warns that recent drought could affect future
crop. “Here again, planting was delayed owing to drought conditions,”
Selvanathan said.

The Shalimar (Malay) Estate Company Ltd., a unit of the Carsons
conglomerate listed on the Colombo bourse, said group profit after tax
fell to 78.7 million rupees in the year ended March 31, 2007 from
222.4 million rupees the year before.
Group turnover was 48.3 million rupees compared with 57.8 million
rupees the previous year.

At company level, it made a net profit after tax of 34 million rupees
compared with 178 million rupees the previous year.

This included a 168 million profit on the disposal of the firm’s
investment in group companies, The Shalimar (Malay) Estate Company’s
chairman Hari Selvanathan said in his annual report.

The company had a turnover of 49 million rupees compared with 32
million the year before.

The financial performance was affected by the drop in the crop mainly
because of prolonged drought seen during the year, although this was
partly off-set by increasing c