MD's Message

Written by Super User. Posted in Uncategorised.

MD's Message

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It is indeed a pleasure to place before you the performance of the Company and its subsidiaries for the financial year ending 31 March 2015, a year in which the Group's mettle was tested by a challenging industry landscape. The Group demonstrated strong resilience to achieve a top line growth of 10.8% whereas total pre-tax profit for the year was LKR 161.70 million, translating to Earnings Per Share of LKR 0.42. ASC and its subsidiaries achieved broad-based expansion in all its key business lines, as we pursued a focussed and strategic approach towards growth.

Industry landscape in 2014/15…

Sri Lanka's tea production levels remained largely unchanged over the previous year, upheld by increased production of Low and High-grown varieties during the latter part of the year. The prevalent external market conditions however, posed multiple challenges for the industry, as several major consuming markets experienced geopolitical and economic turmoil. Demand from Middle East and North Africa, Sri Lanka's largest export region, dwindled during the year, attributed mainly to the sharp drop in oil prices and international political factors. Meanwhile, declining oil revenue, depreciation of the Russian Ruble amid economic sanctions affected demand from Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States. Resultantly, tea prices started to decline from the third quarter of 2014 continuing its downward spiral for the first half of 2015. Meanwhile, the country's rubber industry also experienced a difficult year, as production fell due to unfavourable weather conditions whilst global demand contracted due to stock piling in key rubber consuming economies. The coconut industry rebounded during the year with increased production in most related products such as desiccated coconut, coconut cream and milk whilst prices moved upwards in line with increased export demand amidst global supply shortages. Meanwhile, production of minor export crops (including pepper, nutmeg and cloves) recorded a downturn during the year due to non-conducive climatic conditions.

Creating Value to our Stakeholders…

We consistently strive to improve the readability of our Annual report, and this year we have enhanced the quality of our report by adopting a value creation approach when presenting the relevant information. We believe this method of reporting is more appropriate to our operations, since ASC has strived to differentiate itself from competitive pressures through value addition to our customers and other stakeholders.

From a customer perspective, we endeavour to provide support to our customers throughout the entire production and sales process. These value added services include providing research and advisory on a range of aspects, modern warehousing facilities and financial support. During the year under review, we further widened the scope of our research capabilities in order to provide more in-depth, timely and comprehensive information to our customers, enabling factories to modify their production to manufacture teas that are, and will be in demand. Having long-since recognised the importance of ensuring quality across the entire value chain, we obtained ISO HACCP certification for the tea sampling room.

Apart from our customers, the Group plays a pertinent role in actively engaging industry stakeholders and contributing towards ensuring the long-term sustainability of the Sri Lankan tea industry. Our employees actively contributed time and effort to several promotional initiatives of the Tea Board of Sri Lanka and Colombo Tea Traders Association. The Group's dynamic workforce is the key driving factor behind our success, and our value proposition to them includes investment in skill development and training, opportunities for career progression, attractive financial and non-financial incentives as well as year-round work-life balance initiatives which build fellowship and motivation.

Resilient Performance in 2014/15

Despite both tea and rubber industries experiencing a difficult year, the Group was able to successfully withstand challenges presented to grow its top line by 10.8% to LKR 607.40 million during the year. Performance was upheld primarily due to the diversity in the Group's earnings profile, which enables it to mitigate its exposure to the relatively volatile tea and commodity sectors. Revenue expansion was broad-based with all key sectors of broking (+7.2%), warehousing (+11.0%) and financial services (+13.5%) recording commendable growth. Operating expenses increased 18.6% during the year, as the Group invested in capacity building initiatives, primarily in the warehousing business line and the tea sampling centre. Meanwhile, supported by tight treasury management we successfully optimised finance cost. Overall, the Group's pre-tax profits remained relatively unchanged over the previous year at LKR 161.70 million (2013/14: LKR 164.15 million).

Forward Outlook

Over the short-to-medium term we will seek to increase the diversity of our earnings profile whilst maintaining focus on our key competencies. Accordingly plans are underway to embark on the construction of a second warehousing facility which is expected to double the Group's warehousing capacity and significantly boost the bottom line. Construction will commence in September 2015 and the facility is expected to be operational during the next financial year.

Acknowledgements

I would like to extend my utmost gratitude to the Chairman, Dr. Anura Ekanayake and my colleagues on the Board for their valuable counsel, unstinted support, and continued confidence in me. I sincerely appreciate all efforts of our Siyaka Workforce who have always been a source of inspiration. My gratitude also goes out to all our customers, buyers, regulatory authorities, government and all other stakeholders for their continued support.

Chairman's Message

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It is with great pleasure that I present the Annual Report of Asia Siyaka Commodities PLC ("ASC" or the "Company") for the financial year ended 31 March 2015. The Company, together with its subsidiaries, Asia Siyaka Warehousing (Pvt) Ltd and Siyaka Produce Brokers (Pvt) Ltd (collectively referred to as the "Group") turned in a year of commendable performance despite multiple challenges presented by the external environment. Building on core strengths of the Group and unparalleled industry insights of our leadership, the Group continued to focus increasingly on higher value addition to its stakeholders. Noteworthy achievements during the year under review include growth in all the Group's key business lines, retaining market share and market position as one of the country's leading tea and commodity brokers and embarking on our second warehousing project. Overall, the country's economic environment during the year was conducive to businesses, with interest rates at historical lows and the benign inflationary environment leading to increased consumer behaviour. The tea industry however, experienced multiple challenges due to geo political and economic turmoil in key buying countries; Syria, Iran, Libya and the Middle Eastern region experienced sharp economic downturn due to numerous reasons ranging from drop in oil prices to social unrest and trade restrictions among others. As a result, demand from Sri Lanka's key destination markets decelerated, particularly during the last 2 quarters of the financial year, leading to a sharp decline in global tea prices. Accordingly, average prices at the Colombo Tea Auction decreased 12% during the year under review. Meanwhile, adverse weather conditions during the major part of the year led to a sharp drop in the country's rubber production whilst prices persistently declined against the backdrop of dwindling global demand. On the other hand, the coconut industry experienced a good year upheld by higher production levels and increased prices amidst a shortfall in global supply. Production of minor export crops was negatively impacted by adverse weather conditions during the year.

During the year, our strategic imperatives were centred on enhancing the value proposition to our key stakeholders. We focussed on further expanding the range and depth of services offered to our customers, through strengthening our research capabilities and increasing our engagement with tea factories as well as plantation companies, smallholders and millers. This focus allowed the Group to retain its market position as the fourth leading tea broker in the country whilst market share was maintained at around 14%. The Group's revenue expanded by 10.8% to LKR 607.40 million during the year, supported by growth in all its key business lines. Broking continued to be the Group's mainstay and a strategic approach towards value creation to all our stakeholders' ensured sustenance of our position as an industry leader and innovator in this business line. Despite non-conducive external market conditions both in the tea and rubber industries, our broking income increased by 7.2% during the year.

Meanwhile, building on our position as the industry's pioneer in value-added warehousing we were able to successfully increase our capacity utilisation levels during the year, leading to an 11.0% growth in this business line. Furthermore, the Group's financial services business line, a crucial component of our customer value addition process recorded a healthy 13.5% growth. Overall, the Group's pre-tax profit was largely unchanged from last year at LKR 161.70 million as overhead expenses escalated in line with increases in employee remuneration and capacity building initiatives. During the next financial year, we will focus on building upon our core competencies to achieve operational growth and business expansion. Accordingly, the key focus area for the next financial year will be the construction of our second state-of-the-art warehousing facility which is expected to double our storage capacity. With the commissioning of this facility, the Group will grow as the largest warehouse operator at the Colombo Tea Auction whereas earning contributions from the new initiative are also expected to be significant. On the other hand, challenges in the industry are expected to prevail at least for the first half of the year, as the industry grapples with waning external demand, falling prices, the impending wage hike for plantation sector workers as well as low labour productivity and poor soil conditions. Notwithstanding the above, we remain confident of the Group's ability to weather these challenges, supported by the strength of our leadership and focussed approach to value creation. Acknowledgements I would like to take this opportunity to thank my colleagues on the Board for their continued support and valuable input extended to the Group. I also appreciate the efforts of the Management team and all staff whose commitment, loyalty and dedication is our most valuable asset and look forward to their support as we look to further fortify our position. In addition I am grateful to our customers, regulators, the Government and all other stakeholders for their continued support. Dr. Anura Ekanayake Chairman 22 July 2015 Asia Siyaka CommoditiesPLC Annual Report 2015 11 It is with great pleasure that I present the Annual Report of Asia Siyaka Commodities PLC ("ASC" or the "Company") for the financial year ended 31 March 2015. The Company, together with its subsidiaries, Asia Siyaka Warehousing (Pvt) Ltd and Siyaka Produce Brokers (Pvt) Ltd (collectively referred to as the "Group") turned in a year of commendable performance despite multiple challenges presented by the external environment. Building on core strengths of the Group and unparalleled industry insights of our leadership, the Group continued to focus increasingly on higher value addition to its stakeholders. Noteworthy achievements during the year under review include growth in all the Group's key business lines, retaining market share and market position as one of the country's leading tea and commodity brokers and embarking on our second warehousing project. Overall, the country's economic environment during the year was conducive to businesses, with interest rates at historical lows and the benign inflationary environment leading to increased consumer behaviour. The tea industry however, experienced multiple challenges due to geo political and economic turmoil in key buying countries; Syria, Iran, Libya and the Middle Eastern region experienced sharp economic downturn due to numerous reasons ranging from drop in oil prices to social unrest and trade restrictions among others. As a result, demand from Sri Lanka's key destination markets decelerated, particularly during the last 2 quarters of the financial year, leading to a sharp decline in global tea prices. Accordingly, average prices at the Colombo Tea Auction decreased 12% during the year under review. Meanwhile, adverse weather conditions during the major part of the year led to a sharp drop in the country's rubber production whilst prices persistently declined against the backdrop of dwindling global demand. On the other hand, the coconut industry experienced a good year upheld by higher production levels and increased prices amidst a shortfall in global supply. Production of minor export crops was negatively impacted by adverse weather conditions during the year. During the year, our strategic imperatives were centred on enhancing the value proposition to our key stakeholders. We focussed on further expanding the range and depth of services offered to our customers, through strengthening our research capabilities and increasing our engagement with tea factories as well as plantation companies, smallholders and millers. This focus allowed the Group to retain its market position as the fourth leading tea broker in the country whilst market share was maintained at around 14%. The Group's revenue expanded by 10.8% to LKR 607.40 million during the year, supported by growth in all its key business lines. Broking continued to be the Group's mainstay and a strategic approach towards value creation to all our stakeholders' ensured sustenance of our position as an industry leader and innovator in this business line. Despite non-conducive external market conditions both in the tea and rubber industries, our broking income increased by 7.2% during the year. Meanwhile, building on our position as the industry's pioneer in value-added warehousing we were able to successfully increase our capacity utilisation levels during the year, leading to an 11.0% growth in this business line. Furthermore, the Group's financial services business line, a crucial component of our customer value addition process recorded a healthy 13.5% growth. Overall, the Group's pre-tax profit was largely unchanged from last year at LKR 161.70 million as overhead expenses escalated in line with increases in employee remuneration and capacity building initiatives. During the next financial year, we will focus on building upon our core competencies to achieve operational growth and business expansion. Accordingly, the key focus area for the next financial year will be the construction of our second state-of-the-art warehousing facility which is expected to double our storage capacity. With the commissioning of this facility, the Group will grow as the largest warehouse operator at the Colombo Tea Auction whereas earning contributions from the new initiative are also expected to be significant. On the other hand, challenges in the industry are expected to prevail at least for the first half of the year, as the industry grapples with waning external demand, falling prices, the impending wage hike for plantation sector workers as well as low labour productivity and poor soil conditions. Notwithstanding the above, we remain confident of the Group's ability to weather these challenges, supported by the strength of our leadership and focussed approach to value creation. Acknowledgements I would like to take this opportunity to thank my colleagues on the Board for their continued support and valuable input extended to the Group. I also appreciate the efforts of the Management team and all staff whose commitment, loyalty and dedication is our most valuable asset and look forward to their support as we look to further fortify our position. In addition I am grateful to our customers, regulators, the Government and all other stakeholders for their continued support.

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MyBrand has custom bars which can be set from 1 to 100%. You can use it as a skill or statistic bars, just label your bars and choose the colors you like!

Skill Bars Example:

Photoshop

92%

PHP

78%

CSS

73%

Creative Ideas

99%

Cooking

12%

Statistic Bars Example:

Sales November 2012

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Sales December 2012

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Sales January 2013

75 sales

Sales Feburary 2013

25 sales

Sales March 2013

84 sales