Sri Lanka Watawala tea net up 50-pct in year to March

May 24, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s listed Watawala Plantations said profits rose 49.6 percent to 642 million rupees in the year to March 2011 with revenues growing 9.0 percent amid higher commodity prices and profits from its retail unit. Managing director Vish Govindasamy said higher rubber prices pushed profits from the division to 140 million rupees from two million rupees a year earlier. The net sale average price had gone up by 80 percent.

Cost of production in tea had fallen from a year earlier due to better agricultural practices and a factory with new technology at Waltrim estate in the Lindula region had brought in better prices. The tea division had lost 35 million rupees.

Exports have brought in profits of 48.7 million rupees.

Palm oil had brought in a profit of 165 million rupees. But the crop was lower due to a drought in the previous year which is estimated to have lowered profits by 100 million rupees, Govindasamy told shareholders.

The firm’s fully owned marketing arm, Watawala Marketing Ltd, which markets its Zesta, Watawala Kahata and Ran Tea, Zest Mineral Water and Olifate branded vegetable oils had turned in a profit of 232 million rupees.

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