"I am pleased to report that the company has notched an important milestone by crossing the Rs.2.3 billion in profit after tax with shareholders’ funds of Rs.11.6 billion during the period under review," the company’s Chairman, Mr. J.D., Bandaranayake has said in the recently released annual report.
He reported that overall there was an impressive increase in the demand for credit, stimulated by reduced interest rates and intensified focus on retail lending by banks, leasing and licensed finance companies.
"However, with the depreciation of the rupee since January 2012, restricted liquidity and higher interest rates, credit expansion is showing signs of moderation as of the date of this review," he said.
Bandaranayake reported that notwithstanding the record increase in advances, prudent portfolio management had enabled CF to reduce the gross non-performing loan ratio on the core business to 1.65%.
At the last annual general meeting of the company, a sub-division of every one share into five and a bonus issue had been announced. This had increased the company’s stated capital to Rs.568 million from Rs.203 million.
"Notwithstanding this increase CF continues with its policy of regular distribution of dividends, amounting to Rs.2.50 per share this year as well and a dividend payout of Rs.262.2 million, reflecting an increase of Rs.49.1 million over the previous year,"he said.
Bandaranayake assessed that the economic and business confidence that appeared on the horizon after emerging from three decades of war still remains. He was hopeful that if the Middle East oil and Iranian crises are contained, Sri Lanka’s growth momentum can be maintained.
While projected economic growth is at a lower trajectory during the current year, CF expects to maintain profitability through selectively growing its assets, focusing on asset quality and cost management, Bandaranayake said.
The company’s Managing Director, Mr. E. Wijenaike said that CF had under favourable conditions been able to grow asset book by 31% to reach Rs.51.2 billion and achieve an operating profit before financial VAT and income tax of Rs.3.4 billion, up 18.4% from the previous year.
"Although cash flows from core operations remained strong, the focus was on maintaining liquidity to meet market opportunities," he said.
On the cost side, despite the expansion in business and delivery network, operating expenses were well managed with an increase of only Rs.214 million against the previous year’s Rs.258 million.
He said that among their subsidiaries, Central Industries had done well. Mark Marine Services, engaged in hydro power generation, had been affected by the drought with a 40% drop in total revenue pushing down the pre-tax profit to Rs.70.3 million from Rs.144.5 million the previous year. However the after-tax profit improved to Rs.74.9 million due to the tax saving resulting from the lower tax rate and the reversal of a deferred tax liability.
CF Insurance Brokers which transacts mainly General Insurance had increased premium turnover 10% to Rs.1.35 billion as well as commission income. The company’s operating profit pre-tax was up 67% and the after-tax profit of Rs.57.8 million was up from the previous year’s Rs.30.1 million after reversal of provision of Rs.9.1 million made the previous year.
Dehigama Hotels where the company’s registered office is located had operated profitably as did Kandy Private Hospitals Limited. Hedges Court Residencies owning a condominium building in Colombo had completed the sale of its 88 units during the year under review with revenue from sales utilized to reduce borrowings. The net loss after-tax of this troubled subsidiary had been contained to Rs.7.7 million from a loss of Rs.47.6 million the previous year.
Among other quoted associates, Nations Trust Bank had posted its best ever year in 2011 while Tea Smallholder Factories saw its pre-tax profit dropping 96% to Rs.7.4 million during the year and posting a small after-tax loss of Rs.1.3 million against the previous year’s profit of Rs.121 million. However, the company has declared a dividend of Re.1 per share for the year ended March 31, 2012.
Central Finance has a stated capital of Rs.568.4 million, a capital reserve of Rs.1.38 billion, a reserve fund of Rs.800 million, an investment fund of Rs.223.5 million and revenue reserves of Rs.10.37 billion in its books.
Total assets ran at Rs.53.56 billion and total liabilities at Rs.39.62 billion.
CF’s deposit base has grown to Rs.21.4 million during the year from Rs.18.8 million a year earlier and net assets per share were up to Rs.127.25 from the previous year’s Rs.103.90.
Corporate Services Limited controlling an Employees Share Trust is the biggest shareholder of the company with 17.44% followed by Mr. E.H. Wijenaike (15.41%), Perpetual Capital Ltd (9.40%) and the EPF (5.91%).
The directors of the company are: Messrs. J.D. Bandaranayake (Chairman), E.H. Wijenaike (MD), G.S.N. Peiris, R.E. Rambukwelle, A.K. Gunaratne, T.K. Bandaranayake, D.P. de Silva, C.L.K.P. Jayasuriya, S.C.S. Wickramasinghe and F. Mohideen.