Parquet reviving under new ownership

Parquet (Ceylon) Limited, the long troubled wooden flooring manufacturer now under the Ceylon Theatres umbrella, is reviving and has posted a profit in December when it exported four container loads of products, the company’s Managing Director/CEO, Mr. Mahendra Jayasekera said.

"In October and November we ran at a loss with one container load exported in October and three in November. We expect to export five container loads this month," he said.

The company which used mainly rubber wood for its product is now also looking at Australian pine with initial production runs with this timber giving good results, Jayasekera said indicating that they planned to have a mix of both timbers.

Asked whether timber supplies were adequate, he said:

"We have to pay higher prices but at those prices the flow of supplies is satisfactory."

Parquet has made several board changes following the new ownership structure within the Ceylon Theatres Group with Lanka Tiles (30%) and Lanka Walltile (16%) – both Ceylon Theatres companies, holding the major equity.

Mr. Richard Rosenfeld, a US national with a long relationship with the ceramic tile manufacturing companies of the Ceylon Theatres group, taking 10% of the Parquet’s equity, has joined the board of that company with effect from January 6.

"We invited him to invest in Parquet," Jayasekera said. "We are hopeful that he would help us to win export markets in the US for our wooden flooring too."

Three former directors of Parquet, Mr. Dayal de Silva, Mrs. Surani Sepalika Ruberu and Mrs. Wajira Nanayakkara have resigned from the board in accordance with the agreement reached for the change of ownership, the CSE has been informed.

Mr. Anthony Page, the Ceylon Theatres chief, is Parquet’s new Chairman and Jayasekera, CEO/MD. He has himself acquired a personal stake of 8% Parquet.

Dr. S. Selliayah who also has a 10% stake in the company is a member of the new board while Mr. Nigel Gibbs of Western Cork, a British company which has been a major buyer of Parquet products and had invested in the company’s equity and assisted it financially continues on the board.

The Colombo Stock Exchange has also been informed that Page has taken over as Chairman of both Lanka Walltile Limited and Lanka Tiles Limited following the resignation from both boards of Mr. Baku Mahadeva who long served the companies as their chairman. Mahadeva’s resignations are effective from December 31 last year while Page assumed the chairmanship with effect from January 1.