Sri Lanka Kelani Valley almost out of the red

Aug 03, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Kelani Valley Plantations (KVPL) said it made a net profit of 41 million rupees in the June 2009 quarter, down 37 percent from a year ago, enabling it to almost erase losses in the previous quarter. Sales in the June 2009 quarter fell 18 percent to 674 million rupees from a year ago, the company, part of the Hayleys group, said in a stock exchange filing.

The June quarter profit enabled the firm to reduce the loss in the first half of 2009 to five million rupees compared with a profit of 223 million rupees the year before.

“However, we are encouraged that the company has broken even despite adverse weather, low crops and poor rubber prices,” KVPL Managing Director Kavi Seneviratne said in a statement.

Unusually bad weather led to sharp drops in both tea and rubber production, with declining rubber prices compounding the impact on the firm’s turnover and profit.

“The weather patterns in the plantation areas have been extremely erratic,” Seneviratne said.

“This resulted in a sharp reduction in projected tea crops, as well as a significant loss of tapping days in May and June in the rubber sector.”

KVPL™s tea production volume fell by 28 percent in the six months under