Royal Ceramics in sanitaryware venture
Royal Ceramics Ltd. (RCL), controlled by the investor Dhammika Perera, is putting up a new sanitary ware plant at a cost of around Rs 500 million to complement its existing tile business with production expected to start in May-June 2006.

“We’ve got Board of Investment approval for the project as well as the land in the Panagoda industrial park,” Nimal Perera, Dhammika Perera’s investment advisor told The Sunday Times FT. “We’ve also signed agreements with suppliers for machinery.”

The sanitary ware products will be marketed under RCL’s ‘Rocell’ brand for which the company has earned recognition in the ceramic tiles sector. Currently, demand for sanitary ware is met mainly by imports and Perera, who is also joint managing director of Royal Ceramics, said the RCL plant will be able to ensure local supplies and save foreign exchange.

“We will soon set up Letters of Credit to get down the machinery.” The kiln for the plant and technical know how is being supplied by the well-known Italian manufacturer Sacmi while other equipment will come from Turkey, Perera said.
Dhammika Perera, the high-net-worth investor who came to prominence with his forays in the stock market, recently widened his interest in the ceramic sector by buying six million shares or a 20.18 percent stake in Lanka Ceramics Ltd., part of the Ceylon Theatres group, along with connected parties. Lanka Ceramics controls clay mines which supplies raw material to ceramic manufacturers.

Nimal Perera also said they have almost finished building The Fortress resort in Koggala which will have 50 luxury rooms with the average room rate being around $450 and going up to $1,500 for one of the two presidential suites.
It will have 20 swimming pools – one full-size pool and the others plunge pools in different kinds of rooms.

“We spent about Rs 1 billion on The Fortess,” said Perera.
“We’re now doing the interior and hopefully the hotel should be ready by April-May 2006.”

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