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Sri Lanka Orient Garments helped by children's wear
12 Sep, 2012 19:17:59
Sept 12, 2012 (LBO) - Sri Lanka's Orient Garments Ltd, a listed apparel exporter said a strategy of focusing on children's had helped it survive a downturn in key Western markets, though both profits and revenues fell.
In the year to March 2012, revenues of Orient Garment group fell 4.7 percent to 3.41 billion rupees and profits fell 23.9 percent to 85.1 million rupees.

Chief executive Ramli Ghaffoor told shareholders the firm was the largest children's wear supplier to Tommy Hilfiger worldwide, the only children's wear supplier to Burbery in Sri Lanka and the largest woven vendor for Tesco in Sri Lanka.

"Our strategy of being a leading children's wear supplier has worked well, as we find parents continuing to buy clothing for their children even during hard times," he said.

"Being specialized outer wear manufacturer making technically superior garments has enabled use to maintain high levels of skill in all our manufacturing facilities."

He said the firm's marketing team worked hard to establish strategic relationships and the firm offered wide product range with design capabilities, shorter lead times and a skilled workforce.

The firm's 3,600 strong workforce was provided transport, free and subsidized meals and medical centres in the factories.

Chairman Harsha de Silva said the firm expected to maintain the same pricing level despite higher energy costs due to the depreciation of the rupee.

Currency depreciation usually helps exporters by cutting real wages of workers.

Sri Lanka's apparel exports have fallen 3.6 percent to 2.31 billion US dollars in the seven months to July 2012, which the central bank said was partly due to lower cotton prices.

While revenues fell 4.7 percent to 3.58 billion rupees, cost of sales fell at a faster 6 percent to 2.99 billion rupees allowing gross profit to grow six percent to 423 million rupees.

Corrected - para 4/5

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