Damro purchased the controlling stake of both Pussellawa Plantations Ltd & Agalawatte Plantations PLC in March 2017.
Pussellawa Plantations was a company that had been well managed by an efficient team of executives and staff and the company had no bank borrowings either and thus it was not required for Damro to provide any financial support to this company.
In contrast, Agalawatte Plantations was on the brink of bankruptcy, owing to which Damro had to infuse capital to the tune of over Rs. 4,000 million to settle statutory dues of employees, such as EPF, ETF, Gratuity and the government lease rental, which had remained outstanding for a period of around 3-4 years. It was however disappointing that Agalawatte Plantations failed to show substantial improvements despite Damro having spent large sums in developing factories, improving cultivation practices and large scale replanting and therefore, as a last resort had to engage capable Executives and Staff of Pussellawa Plantations and Damro to manage some of the properties . It is heartening to state that as at present, most of these estates are in a much improved position, agricultural wise and financially.
Five years back, the annual losses recorded by Agalawatte Plantations amounted to over Rs. 500 million, whereas during the last quarter of 2019, Damro is pleased that the company was successful in operating as a profitable entity. The bank borrowings of Agalawatte Plantations too are now at minimum levels, reflecting great improvement and sustainability, after a long period of time. However, owing to the downward trend in world Rubber prices, they are now in the midst of initiating a strategy in controlling costs to mitigate the anticipated impact on revenues.
Since Damro took over the management of Agalawatte Plantations, it has ensured that the wages of the employees were paid on schedule, whereas there had been frequent delays in the payment of wages prior to the takeover.
Damro was founded during the turbulent times of the late 1980’s and since then have successfully endured numerous crisis situations. Therefore, as in the past, they are absolutely confident of coping with the current global pandemic too and emerging even stronger than before.
Damro is also of the view that the current global crisis that has been created by the pandemic is a temporary setback and thus will not deter them in forging ahead with future plans, such as the construction of a 700 room hotel in Colpetty adjoining Hotel Marino Beach and in this aspect the Damro engineers & consultants are now in the midst of completing the structural design and M&E of the project.