From left: Chairman Mohan Pandithage, Co-Chairman Dhammika Perera, and Mahesh Wijewardene
The Singer Group reported revenue amounting to Rs 58.5 billion for the twelve-month period 2018/19, compared to Rs. 53.1 billion for the same period in the prior year with a growth of 10% whilst compared to Rs 65.1 billion revenue during the fifteen month period of 2017/2018, as appears in the published Financial Statements.
For the 2018/19 financial year, the Group encountered multiple challenges including a prolonged drought and sluggish market conditions which lasted throughout the year. Additional adverse impacts such as rupee devaluation, increased borrowings due to import restrictions and imposition of 100% LC margins, higher impairment costs arising from new accounting standards and new levies on Financial Sector hampered growth potential and profit earnings.
The Group recorded an operating profit of Rs. 3,997million for the twelve months ending 31 March and a profit of Rs. 672 million before tax and Rs.386 million after tax for the twelve month period.
Fourth quarter Group revenue increasing by a marginal 3%, Group operating profit for the same period decreased 29% to Rs. 754 million from Rs. 1,057 million when compared to the previous year. Group profit after tax showed similar sentiment, decreasing to Rs. 33 million for the fourth quarter against a net profit of Rs. 212 million during the preceding year.
Net finance cost increased by 20% to Rs. 3,033 million for the twelve-month period ending 31 March2019 compared to Rs. 2,531 million for the fifteen-month period which ended on 31 March 2018. This was mainly due to the 26% increase in the Group’s total borrowings together with the relatively high cost of funds, currency fluctuations, rupee devaluations and additional borrowing.
Positive sentiments for the year included the company subsidiary Singer Finance (Lanka) PLC reporting a twelve-month profit of Rs. 542 million against a profit of Rs. 523 million in the fifteen-month period in the prior year. However, declines were reported in Singer Industries (Ceylon) PLC which posted a profit of Rs. 21.9 million for the current twelve months versus a profit of Rs. 57.9 million for the prior period and in Regnis (Lanka) PLC Group which posted reduced profits of Rs. 72 million during the twelve months when compared to Rs. 91 million during the prior year.
Commenting on the results, Group Chief Executive Officer Mahesh Wijewardene said, “A volatile twelve months impacted our market-sensitive businesses, including challenging economic conditions which resulted in a sluggish consumer durables market. However, we managed our costs admirably during this difficult period and have also taken strategically important steps to align certain key operations aiming future.”
Group Chairman Mohan Pandithage said, “Despite the events during the year having negatively impacted our business we will continue to build the pipeline towards future growth.”
Singer (Sri Lanka) Group is the largest retailer, financier and manufacturer of consumer durables in Sri Lanka. The company has 437 retail stores as well as a fast growing e-commerce platform. The company also serves over 2800 dealers/sub retailers. It is also renowned for its after-sales service network with 14 regional service centres and over 300 service agents. Apart from its household brands, the company is exclusive distributor for many well-known international consumer durable brands.
Singer commenced business in Sri Lanka in 1877 and shares of the company are publicly traded on the Colombo Stock Exchange.
The Board of Directors of Singer (Sri Lanka) PLC comprises Chairman Mohan Pandithage, Co-Chairman Dhammika Perera, Group Chief Executive Officer Mahesh Wijewardene, Stephen Goodman, Deepal Sooriyaarachchi, Dumith Fernando, M.H. Jamaldeen, Sarath Ganegoda, Dilip de Silva Wijeyeratne and Otara Gunewardene.