Talawakelle Tea Estates PLC (TTE) and its subsidiaries have reported consolidated turnover of Rs 2.79 billion and a net loss of Rs 73.8 million for the year ending 31st December 2011, a period described by the company as ‘most challenging.’
A 28 per cent increase in the cost of wages from April 2011, which translated to an additional cost of Rs 244.8 million for wages and related gratuity provisions combined with unsettled conditions in key international tea markets contributed to these results.
At company level, net profit declined from Rs 135 million in 2010 to a loss of Rs 99.2 million, according to TTE’s income statement filed with the Colombo Stock Exchange.
The Hydro Power sector generated a net profit of Rs 25.4 million for the Group, enabling it to reduce consolidated loss after tax.
The company incurred capital expenditure of Rs 170.2 million including Rs 11.1 million on worker welfare, housing, water and sanitation in the year reviewed.
Talawakelle Tea Estates was ranked No.1 at the Colombo Tea Auctions for prices amongst the Regional Plantation Companies for the eighth and fifth year in succession for high and low grown elevations respectively. The average tea price registered by the Company was well above the national averages.
The company’s tea production in the year was 6.89 million kg compared with 6.82 million kg in 2010. Estates that recorded a healthy profit in the first quarter were adversely impacted when the increase in wages came in to effect from beginning of the second quarter. The situation was further compounded with prices at the Colombo Tea Auctions declining from mid-year. The depressed prices continued to the end of 2011, mainly because of softer demand from countries in the Middle East such as Syria, Iran and Libya.
Talawakelle Tea Estates PLC produces high-quality tea in 17 tea gardens situated in the best tea country of the land, and is considered one of the leading plantation companies in Sri Lanka. Twelve of these estates, nestled in the Dimbula region manufacture high-grown teas while the rest, situated on the verdant planes of the South bring forth the low-growns that satisfy tea connoisseurs around the world.
The Board of Directors of Talawakelle Tea Estates PLC comprises of Messrs A. M. Pandithage (Chairman), Merrill J Fernando, Malik J Fernando, S. T. Gunatilleke, Prof. Uditha Liyanage, Dr. S. S. S. B. D. G. Jayawardena, L. N. De S Wijeyeratne, J. A.G. Anandarajah, G. K. Seneviratne, Dr. K. I. M. Ranasoma, W. D. N. H. Perera and Ms M. D. A. Perera.