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CEB records Rs. 88.3 billion in profits in 1Q24 amidst govt’s restructuring attempts.

By: Staff Writer

May 19, Colombo (LNW): State run Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) under the hammer of restructuring into six separate entities and registering them under the Companies Act in accordance with the provisions of Sri Lanka Electricity Bill has recorded profits for the first quarter 2024.

The CEB has achieved this profitable status amidst the drop in demand due to high  electricity bills and the disconnection of power of around 1,063,566 customers, the overwhelming majority of these poor households.

Amidst widespread protests by CEB trade unions and social activists against the controversial Sri Lanka Electricity Bill, the government plans to bring down the electricity tariff in July for the benefit of consumers.

The Ceylon Electricity Board has not submitted the relevant proposals to the Public Utilities Commission to approve new tariffs

 In the wake of these issues, state run Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) for the first quarter ended 31 March (1Q24) has recorded a profit of Rs. 88.3 billion, which is a 349.8 percent change when compared with the Rs. 35.3 billion loss recorded in the corresponding period in 2023.

The entity generated revenue of Rs. 179 billion in 1Q14. Having provided no concessions to domestic customers, and witnessing a reduction of 28 percent in cost of sales, and a gross profit of Rs. 69 billion was recorded. In 1Q23, the CEB posted a gross loss of Rs. 17 billion.

With contractions in distribution cost (56 percent YoY), other expenses (32.7 percent YoY), and administrative expenses (14 percent YoY), CEB recorded an operating profit of Rs. 97 billion. This is a 608 percent change when compared to the Rs. 19.2 billion operating loss recorded in 1Q23.

While proceeds of interest bearing loans and borrowings recorded Rs. 4.8 billion, repayments of interest bearing loans and borrowings were Rs. 7.8 billion for the 1Q24 period.

In March, the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) approved an overall tariff reduction of 21.9 percent based on a proposal and cost data submitted by the CEB.

However, the reduction came after having electrocuted consumers by massively increasing the electricity tariff from August 2022, a move to boost revenue of the entity. The charges were raised to be in line with International Monetary Fund (IMF) conditions.

A 75 percent hike was seen in August 2022, 66 percent hike in February 2023, and 18 percent in October 2023.

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