Sri Lanka Nestle unit net up 56-pct

Mar 02, 2013 (LBO) – Nestle Lanka Plc, a unit of a Swiss-based food group said profits rose 56 percent to 949 million rupees in the December 2012 quarter from a year earlier, and payments to local farmers topped 4.
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0 billion rupees. Total payments to dairy and coconut farmers topped 4.0 billion rupees.

The firm reported earnings of 17.68 rupees per share for the quarter. Nestle reported earnings of 55.73 rupees per share for the year to December 2012 on profits of 2.99 billion rupees which rose 13.6 percent.

The firm was hit by a 283 million rupee exchange loss on a forex denominated loan as the rupee fell during the year. But in the December quarter it had a forex gain as the rupee appreciated, reporting no-operating income of 25 million rupees.

“Volatile market conditions, currency depreciation and a significant increase in fuel, energy and input costs posed massive challenges for Nestlé Lanka in 2012,” Ganesan Ampalavanar, managing director for Nestlé Lanka Plc said in a statement.

“However we’re pleased that we were able to deliver a double digit growth under difficult circumstances. Despite the many challenges we foresee, we remain cautiously optimistic for 2013.”

The firm said in had invested over 3.0 billion rupees in its factory complex in Kurunegala. The firm said fresh milk collections grew 20 percent from a year earlier, making it the largest collector of milk.

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