First Capital Holdings has reported record net profit of Rs.660.7 million for the year ending 31 March 2010 according to figures released to the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) this week. In a press release, the company stated that the profit attributable to equity holders of the parent company at Rs.587.7 million reflected a growth of 344% in the period under review compared to the previous year while Group turnover was up 18% to Rs. 2,761.6 million.
Much of this growth, attributed to investments in government securities, came in the first three quarters of the year, the company stated. Profit for the final quarter from January to March 2010 was Rs.103 million before a deduction of Rs.62.9 million on account of withholding tax on inter-company dividends.
Earlier this month the company received approval from its shareholders to proceed with a sub-division of its shares by splitting every existing share into three shares. The company’s share price has risen to Rs 58 earlier this month from Rs.4.90 on 1st April 2009. A company spokesman explained that the sub-division is aimed at increasing the liquidity and marketability of the share particularly for smaller shareholders.
Commenting on the Group’s performance, the spokesman said First Capital has had an excellent year primarily due to a favourable bond market which resulted in exceptional profits by the Group’s primary dealer arm. In the year ahead, the Group proposes to extend the range of its corporate finance activities and products with special focus on debt capital markets. With prospects of higher economic growth and greater liquidity, strong opportunities exist for market development as well as for wider participation in structured products.
According to the statement, opportunities have also been identified in the provision of professional investment management services, and the Group will exercise its strong resource base to serve customers in this area.