Sri Lanka Finlay unit tea exports slow down

Aug 10, 2010 (LBO) – Tea exports by Finlays Colombo have been slowed down by high prices in the first half of the financial year, a stock exchanging filing said.

“In response, we shifted strategy towards including bulk storage of commodities requiring refrigeration, to off-set the drop in volumes in the storage of packaged products. Occupancy levels have since improved.”

The company, part of the Swire group of the UK, said net profit fell 37 percent to 50 million rupees in the three months ended July 4, 2010 from a year ago with sales down eight percent to a billion rupees.

Earnings per share fell 1.44 rupees in the quarter from 2.29 rupees the year before.

The first two quarters of 2010 comprises a period commencing from January 1, 2010 and ending on July 4, 2010 in line with the practice followed internationally by other Finlays group companies.

Finlays Colombo chairman Kumar Jayasuriya said in a statement six-month net profit and sales were stagnant at 190 million rupees and 2.3 billion rupees from a year ago.

Group profit included a profit of 81 million rupees earned on disposal of equity shareholding in BASF-Finlay which was n