Singer Finance (Lanka) PLC which aims to be "the foremost finance company in Sri Lanka’’ has posted many milestones in the year ended March 31, 2012 with revenue topping Rs.1 billion and the net profit surpassing Rs.200 million.
The company has announced a rights issue of 58.66 million new shares at Rs. 11 per share to infuse Rs. 645.26 million zero cost cash into the company for branch expansion (Rs. 50 mn.) and Rs. 595.3 million to expand its leasing business.
Singer Finance Chairman Hemaka Amarasuriya has said in the company’s recently released annual report that "our greatest responsibility is to protect the deposit holders from whom 43% of our total funding is derived."
"They come from the wealthiest in the land to the retired pensioners. They have come to us with overwhelming trust and not for a moment should we consider (betraying) this bounden faith," he said.
The company posted revenue of Rs.1.26 billion, up from Rs.0.97 billion the previous year and a net profit after-tax of Rs.225.6 million, over double the Rs.112 million earned the previous year translating to basic earnings per share of Rs.2.11 against Rs.1.77 a year earlier.
Amarasuriya said that their policy of non-speculation had steered them away from making any speculative investments in the stock market or elsewhere during their short eight-year old history.
He noted that they see many companies falling apart "due to the topsy-turvy nature of the stock market and vagaries of the economy" and urged the regulators to establish an even more stringent policy towards investments made by financial services companies.
This was necessary to protect depositors from whom the financial services industry derives the largest share of funding.
Group CEO Asoka Pieris noted that the second half of the financial year under review saw tightening in the marketplace as well as a steep rise of interest rates. Singer Finance has taken these changes into account in formulating its forward strategies and plans.
Pieris noted that the doubling of their after-tax profit was partly attributable to lower VAT on financial services and lower income taxes.
He said the company balances its risks and controls and as a result continued to have one of the lowest non-performing loan ratios in the industry with the MPL percentage at 0.47% as at March 31, 2012.
"Singer Finance remained unaffected by the decline in the share market prices as it did not have any exposure to the share market," he said.
The company’s CEO Shanthapriya Wijeweera said that the company had continued its growth momentum for the eighth year running delivering excellent results with the expansion of the
lease and hire purchase receivable portfolio being the main contributor to the growth of asset base.
Public deposits standing at Rs.2.65 billion as at March 31, 2012, up from Rs.1.82 billion the previous year, had grown 45.7% during the year under review. This compared with 19.6% growth the previous year. Wijeweera said that the company had "managed to create a niche in the urban deposit market."
Singer Finance has a stated capital of Rs.800 million, a reserve fund of Rs.27.6 million, investment fund of Rs.37.5 million, and retained earnings of Rs.249.4 million in its books.
Total assets ran at Rs.6.78 billion and total liabilities at Rs.1.1 billion.
Singer (Sri Lanka) with 75% of the equity of the company which has over 9,800 shareholders is the dominant shareholder with Associated Electrical Corporation holding 1.42% being the only other shareholder with over one percent of the company’s equity.
Net assets per share were up to Rs.10.45 from Rs.8.73 a year earlier and the share traded at a high of Rs.4.20 and a low of Rs.15.20 during the year under review. This compared to a trading range of Rs.55.70 to Rs.35 the previous year.
The directors of the company are: Messrs. Hemaka Amarasuriya (Chairman),Dr. G.C.B. Wijeyesinghe (Resigned 30.12.2011), Dr. S. Kelegama, J.A. Setukavalar (w.e.f. 22.03.2012), J.J. Hyun, G.J. Walker (Alternate S. Ramanathan), H.A. Pieris (Group CEO), R.S. Wijeweera (CEO and M.P.A. Salgado.