James Finlays sees export revenues fall on low value added tea sales

September 01, 2006 (LBO) – James Finalys & Company says its export revenues fell for the six months to June as the firm shipped more low value added bulk tea to overseas buyers.

Finlays, one of Sri Lanka’s top tea exporters, also felt the pinch of rising prices at weekly tea auctions, as its island’s key export rival Kenya, was suffering from a drought spell.

However, net profits from Jan-June rose 187 percent to 413.18 million rupees over the corresponding period 2005, boosted by a one-off deal where it sold off shares held in Eagle Insurance.

Finlay’s said they made a tidy 256.9 million rupees profit on the Eagle deal.

Total sales for the group gained 13 percent to 1.75 billion rupees during the six months period, the firm said in a statement.

During the period, Finlays also changed its product mix, shipping more bulk tea over profitable streams like packet and tea bags.

“The beverage packing division exported 4.6 million kilos of tea, as against 4.0 million kilos exported in the first six months”.mainly driven by higher volume of bulk tea exports, Finlays said giving an explanation to how the product mix changed.

Besides tea, James Finlays has diversified interest in healthcare, insurance, aviation, warehousing and also represents several global packaging companies.