Business Times

Watawala Plantations says 'remarkable growth in profit ' last year

Watawala Plantations PLC has reported what it calls 'an excellent nine months ended December 2010 ' with group net profit of Rs. 418 million, up 85% increase over the same period previous year , and increased post-tax profit of Rs. 332 million.

The performance of tea was encouraging improving the performance of the previous period . Increased production coupled with better agricultural practices and better prices in comparison with the market elevation averages were the main contributory factors, according to a company statement. Waltrim Estate in the Lindula region, which now has a state of the art factory, re-established its mark in the region by fetching high prices , after recovering from a fire that destroyed the old factory in April 2008.

High rubber prices have significantly increased the profitability of this segment, with rubber contributing Rs. 80 million profit when compared to a loss of Rs. 7.5 million in the same period previous year. The average prices during the nine months improved by 80%. The company will be in a position to capitalise on this situation and report a better performance in the next quarter subject to good weather conditions, the company said .

The oil palm segment has once again delivered excellent results recording a Rs. 168 million profit. This is marginally lower when compared to the previous period as production declined due to unfavourable weather conditions but with improving prices due to global supply shortages, profitability was maintained. However, it is envisaged that this trend would ease towards the end of the financial year.

" The company continues to benefit from its partnership with Tata Global Beverages Ltd (formerly Tata Tea Ltd) with increasing support for exports of bulk and value added tea to them and their clients. Exports to Australia are now handled by Watawala Marketing Ltd. which is a fully owned subsidiary. Therefore these results are reflected in the subsidiary’s accounts ," it said.



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