One of the oldest Central Bank Registered Finance Companies to direct operations and head quartered outside Colombo, Sinhaputhra Finance PLC, posted a profit of Rs. 73 million before tax and continues to adopt a cautious lending strategy.
Director Operations Saliya De Alwis said the company continued to meet its fixed deposit targets, despite low key advertising while lending was cautious.
"Sinhaputhra believes in caution and also works on a conservative assumption that however good your credit practices may be, at least 1 out of 10 Sri Lankan borrowers would either try to abscond payment, or find difficulty in making regular payments. The former due to the blessing of the delays in the court system and the latter due to genuine economic misfortunes of the borrowers. This delaying structure that is now inherent in our legal system is a silent yet powerful factor which if not addressed by the Justice Ministry will retard economic growth," he said.
Director Finance, Nandana Abeykoon said the company made provision for a large deferred tax liability to post a healthy profit of Rs. 54 million. The Board of Directors recommended a dividend of Rs. 2 per share. The Net Book Value per share increased to Rs. 119 at close of FYE 31st March 2012.
Located in Kandy where the company commenced operations in 1979 it has now spread its wings Island wide to strategic locations, but grows cautiously backed by its 33 year experience in the field of finance and leasing, the company said in a statement yesterday.
Managing Director, Ravana Wijeyeratne admits that in size most new comers have surpassed Sinhaputhra Finance PLC which was one time the 5th largest Registered Finance Company in the country. "At that time when we were one of the largest, there were 48 players in the industry. However, such haphazard expansions, the total dwindled to about 23 companies with disastrous impacts to the depositors and economy. Presently, it has grown back beyond the 40s," he said adding that it was essential for the industry that none of these companies failed.
The Board of Directors consisting of Nihal Ratnayake (Chairman), K.R.B. Wijeyeratne (Managing Director), Saliya De Alwis, Nandana Abeykoon, Lal Ekanayake and Dr. Amal Karunaratna are strengthened by the following members who are Senior Consultants K.H.K. Wijayadasa, Ms. Chintha Balalle, Mohan Weerakoon and Sarath Imbuldeniya.
Fitch recently upgraded the company’s rating outlook from negative to stable.
"The outlook revision and affirmation reflect improvements in SFL’s credit risk management practices and the subsequent stabilisation and enhancement in its asset quality, although the latter still remains weaker than its peers’ average. The affirmation also reflects SFL’s weak net non-performing loans (NPLs)/equity ratio and low profitability relative to peers in its rating category, the ratings agency said in a statement," Fitch said. The company is rated ‘B(lka)’.