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BCC recuperates to a money-spinning venture

PRODUCTION: BCC (British Ceylon Corporation) Lanka Ltd, a company that was on cards to be privatised will soon commence production once again.

Chairman, BCC, S. A. R. Maddumabandara said that they have now shelved its plans for privatisation as BCC can be converted to a profit making venture once again.

The company is now in the process of repairing machines which have been out of operation for over four years. "President in his election manifesto promised that State ventures would not be privatised and this is also a fulfilment of one of these pledges," he said.

He said that the company established in 1838 by the British, has earned a name for their products sold under the BCC brand. "We will first manufacture soap and then look towards producing coconut oil," he said.

The soap manufacturing machines according to engineers can be repaired with local resources. The company's soap products range include Night & Day, Suvendra, Snow Flakes, Sovereign Bar soaps and Pynol disinfectant.

"We are planning to introduce these products to the market from next month. BCC hopes to capture 25 per cent of local market share in one year," he said.

He said subsequently they would be looking at reproducing coconut oil based products. Cook's Joy had been one of the flagship products of BCC and the company is also a specialist in coconut oil refining.

However, the company will have to invest to modernise machinery used for coconut oil production. "We hope to obtain funds for this from the Treasury," he said.

When the machines are in operation, they would purchase coconut oil from local manufacturers. "Presently imported palm oil is being sold in the local market and foreign exchange is spent largely," he said.

Maddumabandara said that the company was in bad state with regular trade union action and the institution was also heavily overstaffed.

The company offered a voluntary retirement scheme for nearly 200 employees. "This cost us Rs. 257 million," he said.

This has resulted in the shelving of company overheads and bringing to an end trade union action. "When both the soap and oil manufacturing are in full operation BCC would once again be a high profit making company," he said.

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Produced by Lake House Copyright 2006 The Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd.

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