Group Managing Director and CEO Murali Prakash stated, “The best performing sectors were agriculture, general trading, consumer, retail, plantation support services and power systems, all of which grew by 40% year on year. The company continued to dominate the market in several business segments holding either first or second place by market share.
These include batteries at 72% market share, power tools at 37%, generators at 30%, franking machines at 90%, four-wheel tractors at 60%, two-wheel tractors at 33%, radiators at 42%, marine engines at 32%, pet food at 29%, veterinary pharmaceuticals at 30%, plantation machinery at 50%, grinding wheels at 54% and office automation at 24%. The company also harnessed the benefits of continued investment over the past five years in maintaining market leadership position in several of its products.”
The company adopted a three-pronged strategy of consolidation, restructuring and strategic investment in emerging business areas or sunshine industries during the year. The company strengthened its brand portfolio, its distribution channels and invested in new markets such as the North and East of Sri Lanka in order to consolidate its market share and leadership position in several business segments. Browns also implemented the first phase of an enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution, which will integrate the different functions of the group.
“Marketing is a hybrid function at Browns. Brand teams from both the corporate division of Browns and the strategic business units work together to align the different divisional brands with the parent brand. The company undertakes constant research to stay relevant to customers and meet their changing needs both through product expansion and by aligning existing products and services accordingly.”
“All manufacturing operations are being relocated to a central hub in Pannala called Browns Industrial Park which allows the company to achieve greater synergies in terms of resource use and logistics, between the various manufacturing and assembly operations at Browns.” said Prakash.
The company laid the groundwork for its foray into the healthcare sector with the acquisition of land in Kandy for secondary care general hospital. Several other key investments were made during the year through Browns Investments PLC, including the acquisition of Excel Global Holdings Ltd. and Ajax Engineering Ltd. and the construction of several new hotel projects.
Speaking on the future of the company Prakash stated, “Browns will focus on expanding its presence in healthcare, leisure and real estate. With Sri Lankas’ rapidly aging population and increased incidence of non-communicable deceases brought about by affluence and lifestyle changes, the demand for private healthcare is expected to rise therefore Browns will further explore opportunities in the healthcare sector.
The Browns Group has also invested in several hotel properties that will become operational in the medium term. Real Estate is another important growth area and the company will leverage on its existing assets as it has a relatively large bank of prime locations in the city and the suburbs. Development plans are being considered for these locations ranging from entertainment complexes to mixed development and housing projects.”
Browns is a diversified conglomerate with market leadership in seven key industry sectors and has over 200 service touch points Island-wide. Using their deep understanding of Sri Lankan consumer needs derived from over 135 years in business, Browns have grown quietly yet exponentially into the active and valuable company they are today – simply and unobtrusively by greatly expanding their portfolio and delivering excellence in products, services and value to Sri Lankans everywhere. – Browns A Heritage of Trust.
The Brown & Company Board consist of Chairperson/Non-Executive Director R. L. Nanayakkara, Deputy Chairman/Non-Executive Director A. L. Devasurendra, Group Managing Director/CEO N. M. Prakash, Independent Non-Executive Director H. P. J. de Silva, Non-Executive Director I. C. Nanayakkara, Non-Executive Director S. V. Somasunderam, Non-Executive Director W. D. K. Jayawardena and Non-Ehttp://www.ft.lk/2012/09/26/browns-group-fy12-revenue-tops-rs-14-b/xecutive Director K. U. Amarasinghe.