Winning Bets

June 1, 2006 (LBO) – John Keells Holdings Ltd., Sri Lanka’s second-largest quoted company, had a 34 percent rise in its full-year profit as gains from transport and property countered losses in tourism. Revenue rose 27 percent to 29.3 billion rupees, while net profits surged 34 percent to 3.05 billion rupees for the financial year ended March 31, 2006, JKH told shareholders Thursday.

“Profits were boosted by 420 million rupees in non-operating income, which is on account of 227 million in property revaluation and 193 million rupees profits on sale of non current investments,” notes Vajira Premawardhana, Head of Research Lanka Orix Securities. “Their actual bottomline is around 2.6 billion rupees, which is on target.”

Analysts are forecasting the group to make a net profit of 3.5 billion rupees this year.

The transportation unit continued to play an anchor role in the innings, accounting for 63 percent or 2.21 billion rupees of JKH’s post-tax profits.

“The Ports and Shipping businesses continued to perform well, with Lanka Marine Services and our associate, South Asia Gateway Terminals (SAGT), leading the way,” JKH Chairman Susantha Ratnayake said.

The property segment a