The Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) yesterday announced impressive financial results despite a slight drop in overall volume.
Minister of Port and Highways (Projects) Roh-itha Abegunawardhane revealed that pre-tax profit in 2012 was Rs. 5.2 billion, as against Rs. 782 million in the previous year whilst profit after tax was Rs. 4.08 billion, up from Rs. 582.5 million.
Operating profit was Rs. 12.2 billion, up 118% from 2011. The improved bottom line was despite Rs. 5.3 billion exchange loss last year. SLPA’s total revenue was Rs. 38.8 billion, as against Rs. 31.2 billion in 2011.
The improved financial health was despite total containers handled dropping by 2% to 4.18 million TEUs whilst transhipment volume was down by an equal percentage to 3.06 million TEUS.
Expressing views at the occasion Minister of Port and Highways (Projects) Rohitha Abegunawardhane said: “Despite false drawbacks as depicted by certain parties, SLPA in its mission has reached several key areas of success financially as well as in its
“The institution is in the right direction to feed the national economy towards bringing a greater socioeconomic prosperity to Sri Lanka according to the clear vision presented in ‘Mahinda Chinthana’ of President Mahinda Rajapaksa," the Minister added.
He also said the SLPA has taken steps to rapidly develop its ports around the island with several major new projects attached to them.
The Minister listed Magam Ruhunupura Mahinda Rajapaksa Port in Hambantota and the Colombo Port Expansion Project as the most important infrastructure projects in the recent history of the country.
Besides, Galle Port is being developed as a tourism component and Trincomalee as an industrial venture. Meanwhile, rapid developments are also taking place at Oluvil and KKS ports, aiming for a major socioeconomic boom in the regions, the Minister added.
He said that the efficient manoeuvring of loan facilities obtained by the present Government for these developments had resulted in converting them into assets that drive the development process of Sri Lanka.
Commenting on the latest financial status and improvements at the SLPA, Chairman Dr. Priyath B. Wickrama stated that the growing efficiency levels and new methodologies attached to the latest technological implementations had reduced wastage and raised productivity levels at the institution.
“According to the financial report of SLPA for 2012, our revenue has increased from Rs. 23 billion in 2009 to Rs. 38 billion in 2012. In addition, the operating profit of SLPA, which was about Rs. 1.9 billion in 2009, has increased up to Rs. 12.2 billion during the last four years. This shows a clear improvement of our operating profit. Accordingly, we have achieved a recording profit that amounts to Rs. 4,086 million,” he said.
Speaking further, the SLPA Chairman said that the performance of container handling at SLPA had also considerably improved. “Our average crane productivity has increased from 18 moves per hour to 23 moves per hour. Our aim is to reach 25 moves per hour during this year and to reach 30 moves per hour as an average in 2014,” he added.
He added that the ongoing mega development projects would see their timely accomplishments in the near future. The 6.4km new breakwater constructed at the Colombo Port Expansion Project (CPEP) has already been completed, enabling possibilities for a smoother opening of the new port in April this year. A part of the two terminals being built at present under CPEP will also be opened by the end this year.
Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Ports and Highways (Ports) Anuradha Wijekoon and Private Secretary to the Minister of Port and Highways (Projects) Sarath Kumara were also present at this briefing.