Sri Lanka’s John Keells Holdings profits up 7-pct in 3Q

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Jan 31, 2019 (LBO) – Profits attributable to equity holders of the diversified John Keells Holdings group rose 7 percent to 4.8 billion rupees in the December 2018 quarter with revenues increasing 17 percent to 36.5 billion, its interim accounts showed.

The Group profit before tax at 5.63 billion rupees in the third quarter is a decrease of 3 percent over the 5.83 billion rupees recorded in the corresponding period of the previous financial year.

The company profit before tax for the third quarter at 3.76 billion rupees is an increase of 59 percent over the 2.36 billion rupees recorded in the corresponding period.

The company said the increase in profit before tax is mainly attributable to the higher exchange gains recorded at the Company on its foreign currency denominated cash holdings compared to the corresponding quarter.

The Transportation industry group PBT of 1.10 billion in the third quarter is an increase of 16 percent over the third quarter of the previous financial year.

The increase in profitability is mainly on account of the performance of the Group’s Ports and Shipping business, South Asia Gateway Terminals (SAGT).

SAGT recorded a growth in throughput of 8 percent, with transshipment volumes contributing to approximately 77 percent of total volume.

“The overall capacity utilisation of the Port of Colombo is now in excess of 85 percent, demonstrating the strong potential for continued capacity led growth,” Chairman of JKH, Krishan Balendra said.

“In this context, timely development of the deep-draft East Container Terminal (ECT) is critical to ensure that capacity continues to be enhanced towards attracting further volumes and to sustain continued growth at the Port.”

Financial Services industry group PBT in the third quarter is a decrease of 39 percent over the previous
financial year.

“Whilst Union Assurance recorded an encouraging growth of 12 per cent in gross written premiums, profitability was impacted by marked to market losses on its portfolio of equity investments,” Balendra said.

“Whilst Nations Trust Bank recorded an improvement in net interest income and steady loan growth, profitability during the quarter under review was impacted by the introduction of the debt repayment levy.”

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