John Keells bolsters market share | Sunday Observer

John Keells bolsters market share

The John Keells Group has invested to expand capacity and capability with local and foreign expertise and seize the growth opportunity in all its verticals.

The new JKH Chairman Krishan Balendra told the Business Observer that the company is building new hotels and refurbishing some properties in Sri Lanka and the Maldives.

He said the Group is aggressively expanding its supermarket chain along with many expansionary moves, such as launching the Tri-Zen apartment project, completing a new ice cream plant and building a distribution centre for the logistics business.

“The scale of the investment that the John Keells Group is making across our verticals would surpass any other business organisation in the country.

This is a reflection of our confidence in the growth opportunity for our businesses,” Balendra said while adding, that the Group has developed medium to long term plans for its business verticals.

John Keels Holdings PLC is the largest listed conglomerate in the Colombo Stock Exchange with businesses abroad as well. The Group operates three hotels in the Maldives.

“The country will continue to see reasonable economic growth despite political volatility. This augurs well for business. There are negative sentiments, but if you look at the economic growth and improvements in social indicators that the country has achieved over many years, despite the war against terrorism and other issues, there is good reason to be positive about the future,” Balendra said.

He said the demand for hotel rooms in Colombo continues to grow.

“We believe the supply side will improve over time. Some new developments such as the Cinnamon Life project will introduce big malls and large conferencing and banqueting spaces which are absent in Colombo.

“This will create a new regional market for the city. While the number of new rooms may seem high compared to what we had, it is small compared to regional cities. While in the short term there is an oversupply, we are confident that this will change with time,” he said.

From managing hotels to providing port, marine fuel and logistics services to IT solutions, manufacturing of food and beverages to running supermarkets, tea brokering to stock brokering, life insurance and banking to real estate, the Group has its presence in all major sectors of the economy.

The Group, since its beginning in the early 1870s as a producer and exchange broker, is known for re-inventing and repositioning itself in new avenues for growth.