Falling int’l LPG prices push Laugfs Gas 4Q net up

25 May 2015 03:43 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The diversified conglomerate, Laugfs Gas PLC group (Laugfs) posted a net profit of Rs.369 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2015 (4Q’15) against a net profit of Rs.39.8 million posted during the corresponding period last year. 
The Earnings per Share (EPS) rose to 95 cents from 10 cents, a year ago. 
The 827 percent growth in net profits on a year-on-year (yoy) basis was possible largely due to the fall in global Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) prices, Laugfs group Chairman W.K.H Wegapitiya said.
The cost of sales saw a steep decline of 22 percent yoy to Rs.1.92 billion while the top line contracted by 3 percent yoy to Rs.2.75 billion. 
“The top line came down because during this period the government reduced gas prices three times. Even though the volumes grew, the reduction in prices had weighed much on our revenues,” he said. 
As a result, the gross profit rose by as much as 112 percent yoy to Rs. 833.4 million. 
Apart from LPG gas, the group has interest in leisure and hospitality, property development, power, transport and logistics, retailing and education. 
Selling and distribution expenses declined 7 percent yoy to Rs. 152.4 million while administrative expenses rose 15 percent yoy to Rs. 307.6 million. Notably the group made a foreign exchange loss of Rs.2.4 million against a gain of Rs.22.3 million a year ago.  
Meanwhile for the year ended March 31, 2015 the group made a net profit of Rs.1.45 billion, up 11 percent. 
The EPS rose to Rs.3.74 from Rs.3.38 a year ago. 
The top line narrowed by 1 percent to Rs. 11.52 billion while the cost of sales fell 10 percent to Rs. 8.22 billion resulting in a gross profit of Rs.3.29 billion, up 32 percent. 
However trade receivables have increased by as much as Rs.487 million during the year to Rs.  1.79 billion. 
The selling and distribution expenses rose 17 percent to Rs. 582.4 million while administrative expenses rose by 42 percent to Rs. 1.14 billion. 
Most notably, the finance cost soared by 537 percent to Rs. 125.7 million. This is due to both long and short term borrowings increasing by over Rs.1.5 billion to Rs.2.96 billion. 
Meanwhile the cash reserves have also come down by Rs. 668 million to Rs. 960.1 million. 
The segmental results show the energy segment leading the pack with a net profit of Rs.1.58 billion, increasing from Rs.1.39 billion while the power segment turning a net profit of Rs. 10.9 million from a loss of Rs.965 million. 
The property development segment narrowed its losses to Rs. 997,378 from Rs.3.9 million last year. 
The leisure and hospitality segment however increased their losses to Rs. 162.2 million from Rs.37.2 million due to the carrying cost of the new hotel built in Chilaw.  The construction of the group’s next hotel in Pasikudah is currently in the final stages and Wegapitiya said it would be opened before December 2015. 
The transportation and logistics segment made Rs.33.5 million net profit in its first year of operations. 
As of March 31, 2015 Laugfs Holdings Limited held 72.66 percent stake in the group while the state-controlled private sector pension fund, Employees Provident Fund (EPF) had 17.28 percent stake being the second largest shareholder. 
EPF further holds 34.69 percent in non-voting ordinary shares of the company.
 
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