To enter the Renewable Energy space: Laxapana Batteries PLC seeks to invest Rs 1.1B
Laxapana Batteries PLC is entering the Renewable Energy business. Having evaluated prospects in this space, the company has stated its intentions to invest over one Billion rupees in generating renewable energy from rooftop solar projects.
To fund the investment, the company proposes raising Rs 540Mn by way of a Rights Issue and also intends to lock-in in long-term debt to benefit from the prevailing low-interest rate regime.
At an Extraordinary General Meeting held recently, the Shareholders of Laxapana Batteries PLC approved the Rights Issue to offer 36,000,000 ordinary shares, which is in the proportion of 12 new ordinary shares for every 13 existing ordinary shares held at Rs 15/- per share. With an Rs 1.1Bn investment to develop rooftop solar projects, Laxapana is well positioned with a sustainable business model to contribute towards the government’s policy of increasing the share of renewable energy production in the nation’s total energy needs.
Despite the challenging economic environment that began with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Laxapana has delivered a resilient performance in the FY2020/21 period. During these uncertain times, the Company witnessed growth in Q3 FY2020/21 with a revenue increase by 14%, over Q3 FY2019/20 and profit before tax growing by Rs. 29.4Mn. The Company recorded revenue of Rs 206.2Mn and Rs 552.7Mn in Q3 FY2020/21 and nine months ended 31December 2020 respectively.
These compare to Rs 180.4Mn and Rs 506.2Mn to corresponding periods in FY2019/20. Cumulative profit before tax of Rs. 100.4Mn for the nine months ended 31 December 2020 is a notable year-on-year increase of 113% over Rs. 47.2Mn recorded last year nine months despite numerous challenges encountered in the business environment.
The new investment initiative further diversifies the company’s business portfolio and is expected to contribute positively to earnings going forward. The management believes that revenues from its trading businesses will continue to remain strong with Laxapana branded products experiencing strong market demand. With this in mind, the present trend of improving profitability is expected to continue.
Laxapana Batteries PLC was the pioneer manufacturer of D size dry cell batteries in Sri Lanka. Elephant Lite Corporation Ltd was incorporated as a Public Limited liability Company in 1956 as one of the first industrial ventures set up in the country and was quoted on the Colombo Stock Exchange in 1982. In August 2005, the name of the company was changed to Laxapana Batteries Limited and subsequently re-registered as Laxapana Batteries PLC.
The company continues to market Laxapana brand Zinc Chloride AA, AAA and 9V batteries, Alkaline AA and AAA batteries, LED bulbs including emergency lamps, LED panel lights, and industrial lights. Over the past 64 years, the name Laxapana has become synonymous with high-quality dry cell batteries all over the country. The company continues to operate a fully equipped laboratory to ensure the quality of dry cell batteries marketed by the company and further has a laboratory testing facility to ensure the quality of LED bulbs.