John Keells commissions state-of-art tea warehousing complex
John Keells Limited, the produce brooking company from which the John Keells Holdings (JKH) conglomerate grew has commissioned one of the country’s largest and most modern tea warehouses in the country last March.
The group posted a 10.7% revenue growth to Rs. 331.8 million during the year ended March 31, 2003 and a profit after-tax of Rs. 48.5 million, up a marginal 0.3% from the previous year.
John Keells which has a vision to be internationally recognized as the world’s best produce broker is the country’s leading tea and rubber broker and is also the owner of JKH’s Glennie Street headquarters building from which it earns substantial rental income.
The company’s Chairman, Mr. V. Lintotawela, reported that John Keells remained the country’s largest tea broker and also said that the performance of rubber brooking had improved significantly after a prolonged rubber price slump.
Their stock brooking subsidiary, John Keells Stockbrokers (Pvt) Limited had become the number one stockbroker in the country on brokerage income terms.
John Keells Managing Director L. D. Ramanayake said that their real estate income had improved during the year with an upward revision of rates. The company had also sold its land at Straatenwyke Estate at Ekala comprising 16.4 acres for a sum of Rs. 45 million.
He said that their warehouse, owned by a 100% subsidiary, John Keells Warehousing (Pvt) Limited, was constructed in a record time of 10 months. The complex consists of a high tech tea warehouse and a modern rubber warehouse on six acres leased for 50 years from the Sri Lanka Land Reclamation and Development Corporation.
"Once fully operational the new warehousing company will contribute in a positive way to your company’s bottom line from next financial year," he said.
He also reported that their associate, Keells Realtors Limited, owning property in and around Colombo had lost Rs. 3.4 million during the year against a profit of Rs. 3.5 million the previous year. This was mainly on account of real estate losses on some land at Hekitta in Wattala.
John Keells has an issued capital of Rs. 76 million, a revaluation reserve of Rs. 292.3 million, other reserves of Rs. 180 million and retained earnings of Rs. 48.4 million in its books.
The company which had a net asset value of Rs. 82.58 per share, up from Rs. 81.15 a year earlier saw its share traded at a high of Rs. 80 and a low of Rs. 56 during the year under review compared to a trading range of Rs. 62 to Rs. 32 a year earlier.
JKH is the biggest shareholder of John Keells with 57.3% followed by Mackinon & Keells Financial Services (18.7%). Ceylon Investments and Ceylon Guardian Investments of the Carsons group owns approximately 11% of the company.
The directors of the company are: Messrs. Vivendra Lintotawela (Chairman), Lalith Ramanayake (MD), Susantha Ratnayake, Ajit Gunewardene, Sriyan Senadhira, Sudath Munasinghe, Ashok Jayewickreme, Anil Perera, Dilani Alagaratnam and Sunil Dharmaratna.
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