Sri Lanka consumer durables retailer March net up

May 17, 2012 (LBO) – Singer (Sri Lanka) Plc, a top consumer durables retailer said sales were strong despite currency depreciation in the first quarter as harvests were good in rural areas, thought television sales fell. In the March 2012 quarter profits grew 35 percent to 337 million rupees. The firm reported earnings of 2.70 for the quarter. The stock closed at 90 rupees, up 1.90 rupees Thursday.

Singer said revenues rose 21 percent to 6.1 billion rupees, and cost of sales rose at a faster 24.9 percent to 3.9 billion rupees and gross profits rose at a slower 16 percent to 2.23 billion rupees.

Though margins narrowed, after tax profits were partly helped by tax add backs, group chief executive Asoka Pieris told shareholders. The income tax change fell 188 million rupees in the quarter from a year earlier.

Sri Lanka’s rupee fell from 110 to 130 to the US dollar in the first quarter as the Central Bank printed money to keep interest rates low and credit spiked partly due to state manipulation of energy prices.

But interest rates have since rise, and the rupee is expected to strengthen towards the second half to the year.

Asoka Pieris, group chief executive officer said sales were up despite risin