SMB Leasing PLC (SMBL) and Lanka Ashok Leyland PLC (LAL) have commenced the importation of luxury tourist coaches to the country to promote tourism, in response to a request by the government.
Leasing facilities have already been provided by SMBL to the buyer of the first three imported luxury LAL tourist coaches. This move to promote tourism is the latest outcome of a partnership entered into by the two companies in August 2010, under which SMBL was appointed as the sole distributor and transport solutions provider for LAL for the Northern and Eastern Provinces.
Umesh Gautam, CEO of Lanka Ashok Leyland said the coaches were imported shortly after he observed the shortage of tourist coaches in the country. The President personally inspected the first consignment of LAL coaches at the Temple Trees after it arrived in Sri Lanka, he added.
“SMBL was able to respond promptly to support LAL with this initiative because of the partnership between the two companies,” said Sumedha Fernando, CEO of SMBL. “We are happy to support a venture that facilitates the growth of the tourist industry in the country.”
“This is only the beginning of our joint efforts,” said Gautam. “Another consignment of luxury tourist coaches is expected to be imported shortly and we are also excited about the potential for further collaboration with SMBL.”
Following the move to support the needs of the tourism sector and public transport sector SMBL expects Rs. 700 million in new business to be generated for the company this year through its partnership with LAL, Fernando disclosed.
Meanwhile, the construction of the SMBL’s service centre and showroom in Jaffna is expected to be completed by February 2011 and will facilitate the company’s operations in the North, he added.
A Public Limited Liability Company incorporated in Sri Lanka on September 3, 1992 under the Companies Act No. 17 of 1982 and re-registered under the provisions of the Companies Act No. 07 of 2007 SMB Leasing is registered as a Finance Leasing establishment under the Finance Leasing Act No 56 of 2000 (as amended). The Company’s Ordinary (voting) shares have been listed on the Colombo Stock Exchange since 1993 and its non-voting shares since 2006.