Business Times

Browns buys more property, eyes some more

By Duruthu Edirimuni Chandrasekera

The Browns Group, through its investment arm, Browns Investments (BI) has acquired a large land bank in and around Colombo and is eyeing some more, officials said. “So far Browns has acquired a 100 perch property in Malabe, 250 perch in Moratuwa, 60 perches in Battaramulla and 30 perches in Havelock Town. We also acquired prime beach lands around the country. We are eyeing more lands,” an official told the Business Times.

BI recently disclosed that they acquired Excel Global Holdings, the holding arm of Millennium Development Ltd which is the lessee of the 1000-perch Excel World property at Darley Road. The official added that this land is on a long term lease.

He further stated that Browns’ 225 perches where its head office is housed (near HNB), a 2-acre plot further down in Darley Road near St. Joseph’s College and a 2.5-acre land in Ratmalana are all up for development. “This is still in the infant stages of planning and there are a host of possibilities for a city hotel, apartments, mixed development, etc,” he added.

He said that nearly four years ago Browns decided to get into six ‘sunshine industries’ that were fast becoming the future of the national economy. “These were power, plantations and agriculture, financial and related sectors, retail trading real estate and construction. We got into all the sectors in a big way except the healthcare sector and we are also exploring this business area as well,” he noted.

He said that Browns has quite a bit of land in the outstation which has potential for healthcare, hospitals, etc. “There’s more need for healthcare in the outstation and Browns’ is exploring the possibility of taking it there,” he said, adding that North and East are strategic growth areas for the company, given the region’s emphasis on agriculture and Browns core strengths in this sector. He added that Browns is continuing to identify new opportunities as they arise and are strengthening our position in these markets through new branches and regional offices.

Browns’ first quarter net profit was down 52% year on year to Rs 87 million on account of loss on changes in fair value of short term investments and under performance in its plantation sector.

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