Friday, 22 May 2020 12:56

JKH revenue rise by 3% to Rs. 140 billion marred 150th year

Premier blue chip conglomerate John Keells Holdings (JKH) has ended what could be described as its most challenging year with positive top line growth but sharp decline in profit on account of the double blow of the Easter Sunday terror attacks and the COVID-19 pandemic, both within the 2019/20 Financial Year

Group revenue rose by 3% to Rs. 140 billion for the one-year period ended on 30 March while recurring group EBITDA decreased by 14% to Rs. 22.06 billion. The Financial Year also marked the 150th anniversary of JKH.

In the company’s 2019/20 Annual Report, JKH Chairman Krishan Balendra said the decline in the recurring EBITDA was mainly on account of the downturn in the group’s Sri Lankan Leisure business.

This was due to the Easter Sunday terror attacks, decrease in interest income on account of lower cash and cash equivalents at the holding company due to the planned equity infusions to fund the ‘Cinnamon Life’ project, and lower exchange gains on the company’s foreign currency denominated cash holding as against the previous year.

The recurring group Profit Before Tax (PBT) decreased by 28% to Rs. 12.28 billion while the recurring profit attributable to equity holders of the parent decreased by 26% to Rs. 9.33 billion in FY20.

The Consumer Foods, Retail and Property industry groups recorded a growth in profits, both during the year and fourth quarter. “

From a macroeconomic perspective, he said heightened domestic vulnerabilities, such as lower earnings from tourism on the back of the Easter Sunday terror attacks and moderation of worker remittances, exerted pressure on the economy.

As a result, consumer discretionary spending remained subdued in the first three quarters of the financial year due to the lacklustre performance of the economy and dampened consumer and investor confidence.

“However, discretionary spending witnessed a rebound from the fourth quarter of the year under review, where the performance of our consumer businesses showed strong momentum while bookings in the Leisure business had recovered close to the levels seen prior to the Easter Sunday attacks,” he said.


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