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FINANCIAL CHRONICLE™ » DAILY CHRONICLE™ » CIC demonstrates results of scientific agriculture

CIC demonstrates results of scientific agriculture

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CSE.SAS

CSE.SAS
Global Moderator
Agri-business embraces rice, fruit & veg., milk and eggs

CIC Holdings PLC had grown group revenue 6.8% to Rs.22.48 billion in the year ended March 31, 2012, and posted a group profit of Rs.1.1 billion, down 5.38% from a year earlier according to figures published in the company’s recently released annual report.

The profit attributable to equity holders of the company was down 1.09% to Rs.916.5 million but the company was paying out dividends totaling Rs.303.3 million, up 16.4% from the pay out the previous year.

CIC Chairman B.R.L. Fernando said in the company’s annual report that the performance during the year under review had to be seen in the context of stability and tranquility that prevailed in the country with the end of the war.

Favourable weather had resulted in good harvests benefiting agricultural producers and rural communities country wide. The economy had continued to grow contributing volume increases in the full spectrum of business in which CIC participates.

He said that while growth in the construction sector was largely on account of capital works on roads and bridges and ports and airports undertaken by the government, private construction activity was at a low ebb as property prices were depressed from the previous year.

However, upward movement of property prices discernible from the first quarter of this year had propelled new construction activity which will boost their paints business currently profiting from hotel refurbishing.

Discussing their agri-business, Fernando reported that they have expanded their dairy sector via the Mahaweli livestock farms and have continued to invest in additional livestock although land allocation had not been resolved.

"We are now obtaining milk yields comparable to international standards which could be further increased with the implementation of our plans," he said.

"As a parallel comparison, our rice yields now exceed 8 tons per hectare which is double the national average and certainly the highest in the region."

A major thrust in the agri-business included big onion seed production at Pelwehera, fruit cultivation and getting the product to market with focus on banana, mango, pineapple and papaya.

"Overall our agriculture business continues on a growth trajectory which augurs well for us and the farming community. We continue to nurture the farming community and rural population in the belief that their prosperity will be our growth," he said.

Their feed and poultry business had continued to record improvement year-on-year and they have earned the trust and respect of their many customers. Given the projected increase in per capita consumption of chicken, their feed and poultry business was now targeting substantial investment doubling capacities all round.

"On an optimistic note we will double our revenue and profits over the next five years. The feed mill, hatchery, breeder farms and the poultry farms are now being got ready to benefit from the opportunity available with our current level of investment," he said.

CIC"s MD/CEO S.P.S. Ranatunga said that CIC today was predominantly an agriculture focused company that had over the years grown a sizeable "seed to shelf" enterprise.

The best news from an agricultural perspective after the end of the war was the gradual return to full cultivation of nearly 100,000 ha of prime agricultural land in the North and East.

CIC which entered the dairy sector in the Eastern Province on a small scale two years ago with a small manufacturing plant in Siddhapura collecting milk in the area and producing yoghurt had invested Rs.650 million during the year under review to upgrade the scope of their dairy enterprise.

"Our milk collection capacity has gone up to 5,000 litres a day and we expect to double that in the next year and a half. We are looking at a collection capacity of 15,000 litres a day in years to come," he said.

The company now runs a herd of nearly 1,800 buffalos operating predominantly in the dry zone. Buffalos were much more drought tolerant compared to cattle and produce milk with twice the fat content of that of a normal cow, he explained.

The company is a dominant egg producer looking to double output in the coming year.

He reported that they have set up a cold storage facility in Kilinochchi where they are collecting fruit and vegetables and bringing them to markets in the South. They had also acquired a farm in Vellankulam near Mannar, in proximity to the "Northern Rice Bowl" and are working with farmers facilitating technology transfer which will significantly improve their livelihoods.

Paints and General Industries Limited, the country’s biggest paint manufacturer, is the controlling shareholder of CIC’s voting shares with 53.31% of the company followed by the Life Fund of the Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation (6.54%) and the EPF (3.77%). The EPF holds 10.07% of the non-voting shares and is the top shareholder in that category followed by Paints and General Industries with 3.32%.

The directors of the company are: Messrs. B.R.L. Fernando (Chairman), S.P.S. Ranatunga (MD/CEO), S.H. Amarasekera, E.F.G. Amerasinghe, R.N. Asirwatham, R.S. Captain, M.P. Jayawardena and Prof. P.W.M.B.B. Marambe..
http://www.island.lk/index.php?page_cat=article-details&page=article-details&code_title=55180

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