The Sundaytimes Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka becoming a fashion supplier to the world: Report


Sri Lanka’s garment industry has emerged as a viable alternative to traditional fast fashion suppliers such as Turkey, a local manufacturer said this week. “Sri Lanka is not as yet competitive purely on price, but the industry continues to be attractive to brands focused on fast, reliable supply that is accompanied by an assurance of social and environmental accountability,” Textured Jersey Lanka (TJL) said in its year-end 2011/2011 report.

The company posted a turnover of Rs. 12.2 billion for the year under review, up 31.8% from the previous year while net profit for the year including unrealized exchange losses stood at Rs. 628 million, down 8% over the previous financial year.Declaring a total dividend payout to shareholders of Rs. 314.4 million which is 50% of TJL’s net profit, company chairman Ashroff Omar said the company is actively pursuing its policy of inorganically expanding within the region through the acquisition of an existing facility.

“Acquisition of operational facilities, which may be now available at a reasonable price following last year’s industry upheavals, should provide a faster return than organic expansion, thereby optimizing yields on the IPO funds,” he said. A joint venture between Hong Kong’s Pacific Textured Jersey Holdings Ltd and Sri Lanka’s Brandix Lanka Ltd, the company raised Rs 1.2 billion from an IPO in June 2011.

Discussing regional trends, Mr Omar said South Asia continues to ‘prove its mettle’ as a growth region with total apparel exports of US$41 billion in 2011 from $34 billion in 2010. Knit apparel exports in the region kept pace increasing from $17 billion in 2010 to $21 billion in 2011.

“Sri Lanka is enacting necessary legislation and developing the infrastructure to facilitate its positioning as a hub for the region, enabling the industry to harness the benefits of regional growth,” he noted. The report said that a gradual recovery in the US economy enabled the company to increase volumes to that market. US GDP grew by 3.8% in 2011 and personal consumption of goods and services improved by 4.4%. In addition, unemployment declined to 8.5%. “These encouraging numbers were reflected in TJL’s performance with growth in revenue from a number of US brands including Victoria’s Secret,” it said.

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