Sri Lanka’s Lion beer exports more than double by topping Rs. 2 billion mark.
Daily FT: The popular beer brand Lion has managed to garner more sips globally as its exports have more than doubled in the past two years to cross the Rs. 2 billion mark.
Carson Cumberbatch PLC Group subsidiary Ceylon Beverage Holdings PLC announced that FY22 was a successful year for exports with a 45% volume growth, higher than the 15% increase achieved in FY21 over FY20. Now exports account for little over 10% of our volume. Ceylon Beverage Holdings exports revenue in FY22 amounted to Rs. 2.13 billion, up from Rs. 1.3 billion in FY21 and Rs. 1 b in FY20. A decade ago it was only Rs. 227 million. The Group exports to over 26 countries whilst Lion beer remains a leader in the Maldives market with its availability in over 160 premium resorts and yachts. Lion also enjoys high volume contributions from Africa and the Middle East. Carson Group said the Ceylon Beverage Holdings’ export function is being transformed with added resources and management focus as it becomes a key growth pillar of the business. “Annual execution plans are now aligned to the defined strategic purpose,” it added.
In FY21 the Group said Lion’s brands have to face and overcome stiff challenges from over 20,000 competing local and international brands spread across its markets. It is therefore important that world class marketing strategies are adopted to compete against well entrenched brands. Sadly, bureaucratic and procedural delays take away management’s focus from marketing to resolving local operational issues.
It said the cumbersome procedures to obtain excise duty refunds resulting in unsettled dues of over two months compared to three to five days for such refunds in other countries is just one example. Such unnecessary delays and inefficiencies erode already thin margins required to compete in international markets.
“At a time when growing exports is critical to the country, it is vital that the bureaucracy helps the cause by improving the ease of doing export business,” the Group said in FY21 Annual Report.
The significant increase in locally manufactured beer exports is indicative of the growing business potential in Sri Lanka’s manufacturing and exports sectors. Local authorities are also focused on further uplifting and expanding the manufacturing and exports sectors in the country. With Sri Lanka’s overall economic activities and the strong trade ties that include trade agreements and concessions, foreign businesses/investors could explore the growing opportunities in Sri Lanka, especially in the manufacturing and export sectors. Sri Lanka, supported by the country’s geographical positioning in the Indian Ocean and the strong trade ties, is working towards becoming an emerging business destination in the South Asian region. All these have further expanded the business/investment opportunities in Sri Lanka. Given the growing business potential in the country, foreign businesses/investors could explore the expanding opportunities in Sri Lanka, especially in the apparel industry.
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