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Minister of Industry and Commerce, Rishad Bathiudeen

The state-owned entity Lanka Sugar, which previously reported heavy losses, has now emerged with commendable financial performance as a result of Industry and Commerce Ministry’s initiatives.

“I am pleased to inform the House that for the first time, Lanka Sugar Company (Private) Limited under my ministry earned Rs  one billion profit,” stated Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen last week.

Bathiudeen was tabling his Committee Stage (budget) speech last week. The speech summarised the performance of various institutions under his ministry.

“I am pleased to inform the House that for the first time, Lanka Sugar Company (Private) Limited under my Ministry earned Rs one billion profit. The profits came this year, and it’s even more important to inform that last year, the Company made a Rs one billion loss,” said Bathiudeen and added: “As a result of latest profits, I believe that this is a great success story among state-owned business enterprises. I praise Finance Minister’s Proposals  for sugar industry development in this budget such as imposing a minimum price of Rs. 5,000 per   metric tonne for sugarcane  with effect from 1st January 2017, calling local  and foreign investors to invest in Sugar Mills in Monaragala, Batticaloa, Kilinochchi and Ampara Districts with a minimum plant size of 2,000 tonnes, etc.  Lanka Sugar reported a profit of Rs. one billion by third quarter of 2016 in comparison to the loss Rs. one billion in 2015. It plans to establish sugar cane juice extractor factory and 2,000 Hectare sugar cane plantation in Vavuniya district, Settikulam Division. The Company also intends to produce a sugar pricing  formula based on incentive to be competitive with any commercial crop in Sri Lanka.”

Up to third quarter (3Q) of 2016, Lanka Sugar’s Pelwatte and Sevanagala facilities cultivated 13,164 hectares of sugar canes (an increase of 7.6% compared to the entire 2015), harvesting 561,067 MT of cane resulting in 44059 MT of sugar output (an increase of 2.5% from Y2015). According to Company financials, the Company reported a net loss before tax of Rs 1,030 Million in FY 2015 but reported a stunning turn-around “net profit before tax” of Rs 1018 million, as of third quarter of FY 2016.