Capital gains from the sale of subsidiaries and a stronger focus on debt recovery in 2009 have enabled Seylan Merchant Bank PLC (SMB) to end the year on a positive note and well positioned to implement significant structural changes in 2010, the merchant bank said.
According to the company’s Annual Report, SMB converted a net loss of Rs 618.7 million in 2008 to a net profit of Rs 158.3 million in 2009, an improvement of Rs 777 million. Gross income for the year grew 17 % to Rs 391.5 million.
Helped by the sale of an 81 % stake in Seylan Merchant Leasing PLC to Peoples Leasing Company for Rs 445 million in mid 2009 and other disposals, SMB was able to settle its maturing liabilities, it said. Simultaneously, the company’s debt recovery initiatives resulted in the collection of Rs 82 million out of a provision of Rs 338 million made in the previous year for Bad and Doubtful Debts, the report discloses.
An interest rebate granted by Seylan Bank PLC on the banking facilities provided to SMB also facilitated the recovery, SMB Deputy Chairman Rohan Senanayake was quoted as saying.
“Despite scaling down operations in 2009 and with no new products introduced to the market, we were able to maintain staff retrenchments to a bare minimum,” Mr. Senanayake reported.
The Board of Directors of SMB PLC are R. S. W. Senanayake, M. S. I. Peiris, R. Renganathan, P. A. Jayawardena and E. T. L. Ranasinghe. G. C. B. Ranasinghe and A. N. Bahaudeen were appointed independent directors with effect from March 1, 2010.