Sri Lanka Kelani Valley profit down

Feb 21, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Kelani Valley Plantations said net profit fell 33.5 percent to 276 million rupees in the 2008 financial year mainly owing to the collapse of tea and rubber prices in the final quarter. Sales grew 10 percent to 3,109 million rupees in the year ending December 31, 2008, the company, part of the Hayleys conglomerate, said in a Colombo Stock Exchange filing.

Hayleys Group chairman N G Wickremeratne said KVPL would have ended 2008 with a far more attractive bottom line if not for the highly detrimental impact of the global financial collapse on commodity trading.

“The year under review commenced on a promising note and, apart from minor seasonal fluctuations, tea prices maintained healthy levels with prices overall being considerably higher than 2007, till the end of the third quarter,” he said.

“October saw a complete reversal with sale averages declining to a two-year low and an accumulation of a large proportion of unsold catalogued volumes by end-November.

“This coupled with a similar downturn in rubber prices severely eroded profit margins,” Wickremeratne said.

Sales growth was derived from both tea and rubber, which recorded increases of 13 percent and three