Despite a strong top line performance, the bottom line of Sri Lanka’s diversified blue chip Hayleys PLC fell victim to significantly higher finance costs stemming from recent acquisitions and the exchange rate fluctuations.
Hayleys, which celebrated its 140th anniversary this year, saw its revenue for the September quarter (2Q19) rising 58 percent year-on-year (YoY) to Rs.52.4 billion.
The group operating profits also rose impressive 82 percent YoY to Rs.3.6 billion.
However, the group recorded negative earnings of Rs.1.91 per share or a loss of Rs.143.4 million for the quarter under review, against earnings of Rs.2.24 per share or Rs.168.3 million reported for the corresponding period of the previous year. The group bottom line was impacted by a net finance cost to the tune of Rs.2.6 billion stemming from the group’s acquisition of Singer (Sri Lanka) group largely on bank borrowings.
Meanwhile, for the six months ended September 30, 2018, the group revenue topped Rs.103 billion, up 65 percent YoY. However, the group recorded negative earnings of Rs.5.39 per share or a loss of Rs.404.6 million for the first half of FY19, compared to earnings of 25 cents a share or Rs.18.6 million reported for the first half of FY18.
All segments except for plantations contributed to the healthy expansion in turnover for the group during the first half of FY19.
Revenue within the consumer and retail segment expanded substantially from Rs.2.7 billion to Rs.31.5 billion during the six months, bolstered by the contribution of Singer (Sri Lanka group), which was acquired by Hayleys at end-2Q18, generating Rs.2.4 billion in operating profits.
“The group was able to achieve significant growth driven by the investments we have made towards the acquisition of Singer (Sri Lanka), where the consumer and retail sector has spearheaded the improvement of the top line during 1H19,” Hayleys PLC Chairman/MD Mohan Pandithage said in an earnings release.
During the first half, the group’s transportation and logistics segment, supported by its recent acquisitions, posted a turnover of Rs.22.7 billion, as compared with Rs.16.4 billion in the previous period, leading to an operating profit of Rs.1.4 billion, from a previous Rs.1.1 billion.
The turnover in the group’s eco solutions segment rose from Rs.2.1 billion to Rs.3.4 billion, while the operating profits of the sector rose significantly from Rs.70 million to Rs.193 million.
Meanwhile, the turnover in the group’s purification products segment expanded from Rs.7.1 billion to Rs.9 billion, while the operating profits increased from Rs.358 million to Rs.614 million.
Similarly, the group’s hand protection segment posted revenues of Rs.8.4 billion, against a previous Rs.8 billion and operating profits rising significantly to Rs.521million, as compared with Rs.98 million in the first half of FY18.
The agriculture sector’s turnover expanded to Rs.5.8 billion, as compared with Rs.5.5 billion, while the operating profits improving to Rs.462 million, from Rs.234 million in the corresponding period.
Following a series of climate-impacted yields, Sri Lanka’s agricultural sector is forecast to rebound in the Maha season with the timely rains experienced in the past few weeks which augurs well for the Hayleys agriculture sector.
Poor weather conditions and world market prices have hampered the plantations sector, resulting in reduced turnover and operating profits, which ended the first half at Rs.6.4 billion and Rs.29 million, respectively.
Hayleys Global Beverages (Pvt.) Ltd (HGBL), a unit of the diversified conglomerate Hayleys PLC, announced a joint venture partnership with Germany’s botanicals giant Martin Bauer Group (BMG).
With the demand for tea and herbal ingredients forecasted to grow, this collaboration is expected to harness the immense potential of HGBL for the group.
As at September 30, 2018, billionaire businessman and Hayleys PLC Co-Chairman Dhammika Perera held 50.44 percent of the company.