Strong Push

Strong demand for fuel and high global oil prices will give fuel retailer Lanka IOC Ltd.’s net profit a boost for the nine months ended Dec. 31 Strong demand for fuel and high global oil prices will give fuel retailer Lanka IOC Ltd.’s net profit a boost for the nine months ended Dec. 31 The company is expected to post a net profit of 1.8 billion Sri Lankan rupees ($18 million) for the April-December period, according to the average estimate of analysts surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires.

Lanka IOC is slated to release nine-month results sometime next week. This will be its first earnings announcement since listing in December 2004.

For the full fiscal year ending March 31, analysts forecast for the company a net profit of around Rs. 2.5 billion, up sharply from Rs. 578 million the previous year, as its business continues to grow.

Lanka IOC, which imports and markets petroleum and lubricants, moved into the local retail fuel market in February 2003 after the Sri Lankan government opened up the petroleum sector – which was monopolized by state-owned Ceylon Petroleum Corp. – to competition.

Since then, Lanka IOC