Business Times

Lankem to expand in leisure, reposition existing properties

By Duruthu Edirimuni Chandrasekera

Lankem Ceylon PLC (LCP) is gearing to reposition its existing hotel properties, while also considering leisure projects in lands they own in Kandy and Trincomalee, officials said. “We recently concluded rights issues in two of the hotels - Club Palm Bay in Marawila and Sigiriya Village in order to raise monies to refurbish them. We will be considering building properties in the lands we have in Kandy and Trincomalee,” Anushman Rajaratnam, Managing Director LCP told the Business Times. He said the company ‘definitely’ has no plans to acquire hotels, adding that it’s ‘too costly’.

When asked about the land they own in D.R. Wijewardena Mawatha (the C.W. Mackie premises which they acquired a year ago), Mr. Rajaratnam said that over the medium term the company will consider developing this land. “There’re no concrete plans as yet,” he added. He said that LCP saw growth in all three areas of business lines the company engages in, namely Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG), rubber based export and trading and also construction products. “This trend should continue this year as well,” he added. He said that LCP will eye more synergies with listed food distribution and trading firm C.W. Mackie and explore more business lines, now that their range of FMCGs has done well.

Looking to the future, Mr. Rajaratnam said that expanding more in the detergent market is on the cards. “We also foresee a growth in the market for laundry soaps. In keeping with this, we plan to open production facilities to expand our product portfolio to include this product,” he said.

He said the company put in a lot of effort in Research & Development (R&D) last year. “We spent Rs 150 million for setting up an agrochemical factory last year in Pannala and it has managed to get international certification,” he said. Mr. Rajaratnam said that all LCP’s agrochemical operations were shifted to this factory last year. He said that LCP, through the Lankem brand is also a major supplier of industrial chemicals and bituminous products to the Sri Lankan market.

“These operations also did well last year,” he said. Kotagala Plantations Ltd., Agarapatana Plantations Ltd., Lankem Developments Ltd., Sigiriya Village Hotels Ltd., and Colombo Fort Hotels Ltd., are the main subsidiaries in the group’s diversified operations.

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