May 28, 2019 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s John Keells Group’s revenue increased by 12 percent to 135.46 billion rupees while recurring earnings before interest expense, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) decreased by 11 percent to 25.67 billion rupees, for the financial year 2018/19.
Company’s Chairman, Krishan Balendra said in his review, “The decline in recurring EBITDA was on account of the performance of the leisure, financial services, property and retail industry groups, where we witnessed some one-off impacts in addition to the downturn in the performance of the City Hotels sector due to a significant increase in the room supply within a short period of time.”
The recurring Group profit before tax (PBT) decreased by 24 percent to 18.40 billion rupees for the financial year ended March 31, 2019.
South Asia Gateway Terminals (SAGT), the Group’s Ports and Shipping business, maintained its growth momentum with a volume growth of 11 percent.
The Frozen Confectionery business recorded a volume growth of 10 per cent, despite difficult market conditions, driven by the Impulse segment and the expansion of its product portfolio, post the commissioning of the new factory.
The City Hotels sector maintained its fair share in the five-star hotel category despite a sharp increase in room supply and political volatility during the latter part of 2018.
The newly reconstructed “Cinnamon Hakuraa Huraa Maldives” and “Cinnamon Bentota Beach” will commence operations in December 2019.
The “Tri-Zen” residential development project is witnessing strong momentum in sales with 200 units sold. Financial Services was impacted by mark-to-market losses at Union Assurance PLC (UA) due to a decline in the stock market. UA’s profits in 2017/18 included a one-off surplus of 3.38 billion rupees.
Nations Trust Bank (NTB) recorded a double- digit growth in both deposits and advances, although profitability was impacted by introduction of the Debt Repayment Levy and higher impairment charges.
This was due to the elevated credit risk stemming from subdued economic performance and the implementation of SLFRS 9.
As announced to the Colombo Stock Exchange, the repurchase offer for 69,376,433 ordinary shares, (being 5 per cent of its issued shares) concluded in January 2019, with acceptance of 46 per cent of the offer (32,189,118 ordinary shares) and the balance (37,187,315 ordinary shares) being accepted proportionately based on applications for additional shares to be repurchased. Accordingly, a total amounting to Rs.11.10 billion was paid out on 25 January 2019.
The company declared a third and final dividend of 1 rupee per share to be paid on June 14, 2019.
The total dividend payout for 2018/19 including the share repurchase amounted to 17.83 billion rupees.