Royal Ceramics Lanka has reported net profit for the third quarter ending December 31, 2007 increased by 58 percent year-on-year to 168 million rupees. Revenue for the quarter rose to just over a billion rupees from 795 million rupees the year before, according to performance figures filed with the Colombo Stock Exchange, the third result to be released for the quarter.

Finance expenses almost doubled to 97 million rupees during the period.

Net profit for the nine months was up 42 percent year-on-year to 363 million rupees.

The company's earnings per share for the December quarter were 3.04 rupees compared with 1.92 rupees the year before.

Royal Ceramics operates two tile plants in Eheliyagoda and Horana, and has also invested in a new porcelain tile factory in Homagama to meet rising demand, as well as a sanitaryware plant.

Most of the firm's tiles are sold in the local market where demand has soared owing to the construction boom in recent years.

Royal Ceramics has a 40 percent share of the domestic market for tiles and operates an islandwide network of 35 showrooms.

Royal Ceramic's new sanitaryware unit, under its subsidiary called Rocell Bathware, makes it the sole local manufacturer to supply the booming construction market.

The new sanitaryware plant, which cost 1.4 billion rupees, was set under Royal Ceramics' diversification strategy and to meet rising demand from the rapidly growing property market.

(SOURCE: 27 Jan, 2008, LBO)