Business Times

Sunshine says had 'solid' performance in 2009-10

Sunshine Holdings PLC’s pre-tax profit growth by its plantation sector business was supported by a solid performance from the healthcare segment, contribution to characteristically bright results for the year, the company said. The Group which includes Watawala Plantations PLC and Swiss Biogenics Limited, has reported that turnover increased by 27.4% to Rs.9.4 billion over last year with healthcare accounting for Rs.3.6 billion. Profit before tax exceeded Rs.834 million, an increase of 88% over the previous year with pre-tax profit from plantations growing 408% while healthcare was up by 26%.

The press release stated that profit after tax grew by 115% for the period under review to Rs.678 million while profit attributable to shareholders of the parent company grew by a 103% to Rs.348 million for the year. Commenting on the results, Chairman Rienzie T. Wijetilleke said the conclusions of the long standing conflict in Sri Lanka in May 2009 brought with it a sense of optimism and confidence to the country and the Sri Lankan economy thus recorded a turnaround. He added that the negative sentiment that was prevalent in most global economies was overridden by strong positive domestic factors in Sri Lanka.

Elaborating on segmental performances, he said healthcare achieved significant growth through gross margin improvement, tight cost control and effective management of working capital. “Our presence in all major segments in healthcare products, pharmaceuticals, surgical and medical devices, diagnostics and nutraceuticals, enabled us to hold our overall market share along with the introduction of new products in all segments,” Mr. Wijetilleke said.

According to the press release, the overall performance in the plantations segment was exceptional with significant improvements from the third quarter to year end. Mr. Wijetilleke commented that profits came mainly from the palm oil and retail marketing segment.

The tea segment reduced its losses for the 2010 financial year to Rs.112.7 million from Rs.262 million the previous year. Of the Group’s other core businesses, metal packaging incurred a loss of Rs.2 million, while the travel sector improved significantly, increasing turnover by 11% and achieving a profit of Rs.1.3 million.

Mr. Wijetilleke also noted that the Group’s renewed focus on operational efficiencies in all group companies had delivered impressive results with group expenses having increased by only 11.7% in the year reviewed. Looking ahead, Mr. Wijetilleke said it plans to continue building market share in the healthcare sector and hopes to add new agencies to increase volumes. In the plantation sector, he said investments in agricultural productivity and the FMCG segment will help to maintain profitability.
The Group is also exploring opportunities in the energy, tourism and health sectors to further diversify the business and enhance value addition to shareholders.

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