John Keells Port, Bunkering Shows Positive Growth!

The port and bunkering sectors of John Keells Holdings (JKH) has shown a positive growth potential, both in South Asia Gateway Terminals (SAGT) and Lanka Marine Services (LMS), Chairman Susantha Ratnayake said.

The improved prospects for greater private sector participation in both these industries, going forward, are likely to create additional avenues for growth through the expansion of operations in the Group’s Port and Bunkering businesses, he said in the annual report in JKH.

Despite a 14 per cent growth in container volumes recorded over the entire Port of Colombo for the calendar year 2014, SAGT recorded a marginal decline in volumes towards the latter part of the year under review, Ratnayake said.

The decline was a direct result of the formation of a new alliance between two leading shipping consortiums and their subsequent decision to deploy larger vessels requiring a deeper draft which resulted in a re-alignment of services away from SAGT.

The performance of the Bunkering business was negatively impacted by the significant decline in oil prices which lowered the overall value of sales, whilst the increasingly fragmented operating environment continued to exert pressure on margins, he added .

Notwithstanding the above LMS restructured its cost base and supplier relationships towards improving both its operational efficiency and profitability.

In the year under review, DHL Keells focussed on upgrading the quality and security of its operations in Sri Lanka, facilitating an increase in its active customer base and its overall market share, Ratnayake said.

The Port of Colombo, located in the West coast of Sri Lanka is rated amongst the Top Container ports in the world. South Asia Gateway Terminals (Pvt) Ltd., as SAGT is owned by a consortium of local and international establishments of repute.

The terminal is located in the Port of Colombo at the renowned and historic Queen Elizabeth Quay. The port’s natural geographic location is strategically positioned on the main East-West shipping route, linking the Far East with Africa, Europe, and the East Coast of the US, providing ideal connections to the trade in the Indian sub-continent. This makes the Port of Colombo a superb strategic hub.

SAGT is owned by a consortium of local and global industry leaders in shipping, Commerce and finance. It is comprised of John Keells Holdings, Sri Lanka’s premier blue chip conglomerate, and the next major partner being A.P. Moller Group. Other shareholders include the Sri Lanka Ports Authority and Evergreen.