The central bank earned 11.5 billion rupees as interest on foreign reserves and another 16.7 billion as capital gains including in gold.
"The Bank’s overall reserve management operations generated a foreign income of US dollars 221 million (approximately Rs. 28 billion) during the year 2012,which is over 4 per cent returns on average reserves," the Central Bank said.
"In the midst of the comparatively low interest market environment, progress was made under challenging circumstances in generating a significant income through foreign currency and gold trading by maximizing the opportunities arising from market fluctuations and capital gains derived on fixed income securities."
Though a central bank makes 'profits' mostly from inflation (profits from gold come from inflation generated by reserve currency central banks) the income from forex reserve do not cause any harm domestically.
There was also a record 25 billion rupees profit from currency depreciation up from 4.7 billion rupees a year earlier and 25.9 billion rupees in interest from Treasury bills bought with printed money which caused the rupee to depreciate.
When a central bank triggers a balance of payments crisis it is also able to make profits from the high yielding domestic Treasuries it buys and the rupees created by their purchase leads to losses in low yielding foreign reserves.
In 2010 when the Central Bank made only 11 billion rupees in profits, Sri Lanka had a stable economy and low inflation.
The cost of sterilizing inflows, which help keep inflation down in stable times, could cause losses from a monetary authority's domestic operations.
By end 2012 the Central Bank had gold reserves of 85 billion rupees. In the past few weeks there had been steep falls in the gold price.
Salaries and wages went up 26 percent from a year earlier to 2.8 billion rupees. There was a 344 million reversal in pension contributions.
In 2012 the Central Bank had paid 27 million rupees as legal fees to lawyers who appeared against a case by Deutsche Bank against Sri Lanka down from 324.37 million rupees a year earlier.
The Central Bank does not have to pay income tax and has been freed from an economic service charge from 2012.
The Central Bank had transferred 33 billion rupees from this year's profits to the Treasury and 10 billion rupees from last year. Gains from rupee currency depreciation is not transferred but kept in a special reserve.