Richard Pieris records 6-months revenue of Rs. 18 b

Tuesday, 18 November 2014 00:21 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The Richard Pieris Group in a statement said yesterday it has ended its first half-year with a strong performance. The Group reported a profit before tax of Rs. 1.2 b on revenue of Rs. 18 b for the six months ended 30 September 2014. The period under review evidenced a steady performance in all its major sectors where the reported profits represent business profits, and do not include any gains of a capital nature. Retail Sector: The Retail Sector of the Group comprises Arpico Super centres and the network of Arpico outlets scattered island wide. The sector had a dynamic first six months with many activities. During the quarter under consideration it commenced operations of five Arpico Daily outlets, which are outlets of a smaller scale and which line of business is being expanded. The company continued its focus on marketing activities with the very popular ‘Privilege family beach holiday’ campaign for the fifth consecutive year. The novel ‘Top tips’ campaign created a lot of excitement in the market, showing the true commitment to its valued customers. The ‘Top tips’ campaign was very well received by all, as evidenced by the enthusiasm shown at the super centres. Plastics and Distribution Sector: The Plastics and Distribution Sector performed well during the first six months of 2014/15 where most of the business units performed better when compared with the corresponding period of the previous year. The sales of water tanks continued to thrive with the newly introduced hybrid tanks being well accepted in the market place. The prolonged drought in the southern part of the country also contributed to boost sales. The sector also conducted an aggressive sales promotion of its mattresses which enabled a revenue growth of 15% over last year. Plantation Sector: The Plantation Sector of the Group experienced a quiet first half year which was hampered by adverse weather conditions and low prices. The Richard Pieris Group possesses three of the largest plantation companies in the country with diverse crops which includes high grown, mid grown and low grown tea, rubber, oil palm, coconut, cinnamon, cardamom, rambutan and other crops contributing to more than 20% of Group turnover. The Plantation Sector was adversely affected by low rubber prices and production volumes. There was an increase in the prices of oil palm but a drop in production volumes. Even tea production decreased during the period under consideration when compared with the previous year. Adverse weather conditions which prevailed affected crops and production volumes. Tyre Sector: During the period under review the tyre sector continued to benefit from favourable raw material prices and savings in energy sources which were introduced last year resulting in an overall increase in terms of profitability. The sector is exploring new business opportunities in overseas markets for its retreading business and initial efforts have been successful. Rubber Manufacturing Sector: The sector continued to thrive during the six months ended on 30 September 2014 in the back drop of a very successful 2013/14. Its excellence was well recognised with the winning of two Gold awards at the National Chamber of Commerce Export Awards Ceremony which was held recently. There was an overall improvement in the performance of the sector with most business units achieving the set goals. The latex foam business continued to maintain its high standards and there was an increase in the demand for latex mattresses and pillows especially in the local market. Richard Pieris Exports continued its success story from the previous quarter and was benefited by changes in its product mix with increased sales orders from high margin products. This was in addition to continuous improvements made in reducing wastage, energy and overheads. Financial Services Sector: Though the Group is focused in its traditional businesses, diversification into financial services was successfully ventured over the past few years. At present Richard Pieris Group consists of its own insurance, stock broking, fund management and a finance company. The sector, though at an infant stage reported a positive bottom line when compared to a marginal loss which was recorded last year. Richard Pieris Finance Ltd. (RPFL), a subsidiary company of Richard Pieris and Company PLC, acquired 81.77% of shareholding of Chilaw Finance PLC (CF) consequent to the memorandum of understanding entered into between the parties (RPFL and CF) on 15 August. This is in order to facilitate the financial sector consolidation process initiated by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. With a strong overall performance during the first six months of 2014/15, the Group is set to perform well in the upcoming quarter which is usually a very busy period for the Richard Pieris Group with the seasonal activities, a company spokesman said.