Feb 12, 2016 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Carsons Cumberbatch group profits rose 66 percent to 1.2 billion rupees in the December 2015 quarter from a year earlier, interim accounts showed. Carsons revenues were fell 9 percent to 20.6 billion rupees, while sales costs also fell 3 percent to 15.3 billion rupees, resulting in a gross profit of 5.2 billion rupees, down 22 percent from a year ago. Earnings were 6.39 rupees per share for the quarter compared to previous year’s 3.84 rupees per share. At group level, Carson reported revenue of 65.3 billion rupees for the nine months, depicting a marginal improvement of 1 percent against the corresponding period. It was led by growth in Beverage sector turnover, which in turn was fuelled by increased excise duty on the main, the company said. “Contributions to Group Revenue by the Oil Palm Plantations and Portfolio & Asset Management businesses were relatively low this period on account of low average Crude Palm Oil prices and limited market opportunities respectively,” Consolidated gross profit has been contracted by 11 percent over the two comparable periods, to stand at 17.4 billion rupees for the nine months. “The decline in gross profit is attributable towards increased excise duty and low margins yielded by the Oil Palm Plantations segment.” The group recorded 898.6 million rupees cumulative gain from change in fair value of biological assets for the ongoing financial year, marking an improvement of 274 percent against the corresponding nine months, the company said. The group’s Oil Palm Plantations segment has reported revenue of 14.5 billion rupees during the nine months which is a drop of 21 percent Year-on-Year. The group’s leisure business has posted overall net profit of 69.6 million rupees for the nine months which is a year-on-year decrease of 2.9 percent. The Real Estate sector reported revenue of 159.8 million rupees, reflecting an increase of 12.1 percent against the corresponding nine months, driven by growth in rental income.