03

MANAGEMENT
DISCUSSION & ANALYSIS

Our corporate strengths, business model and team spirit will further streamline every operation to deliver sustainable value.

Operating Environment

However in 2020 renewed interest was observed once again, owing to the low borrowing rates that made it significantly more affordable to invest in apartment units. Accordingly the demand for condominium units which re-emerged in mid-2020 steadily gathered thereafter and continued into 2021 as well.

SRI LANKAN ECONOMIC CONTEXT

Overview

The COVID-19 pandemic had a severe impact on Sri Lanka’s economic performance in 2020. As per the provisional national accounts estimates of the Department of Census and Statistics (DCS), the Sri Lankan economy contracted by 3.6% in 2020, compared to the 2.3% growth recorded in 2019.

The economic contraction for 2020 was driven by widespread de-growth in all key sectors – agriculture by 2.4%, industry by 6.9% and services by 1.5%. Within the industrial sector, notable contractions were observed in manufacturing and construction activity.

On an overall basis, domestic expenditure at current prices dropped sharply on the back of a notable decline in household consumption expenditure during the pandemic related island-wide lockdown from March – May 2020 and followed by muted spending for the remainder of the year.

Effects of the pandemic were observed in the unemployment rate which increased to 5.5% in 2020 from 4.8%in the previous year. Meanwhile, with the mobility restrictions imposed to curtail the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak, the labour force participation rate declined to 50.6% in 2020 from 52.3% recorded in the preceding year.

Inflation

Subdued demand conditions together with well-anchored inflation expectations and downward revisions to administered prices ensured inflation was contained within the desired range of 4-6% throughout 2020.

External Sector

The Country’s external sector demonstrated greatest resilience in 2020, mainly as a result of the government decision to curtail non- essential imports in order to relieve the pressure in the wake of the pandemic induced economic downturn. Exports on the other hand stayed on par with the previous year. The combined effect of consistent export revenue and lower import expenditure saw Sri Lanka’s trade deficit decline by US dollars 1,989 Mn in 2020.

Exchange Rate

The Rupee remained relatively stable throughout 2020, except for some volatility at the latter part of the year, which was driven primarily by speculative market behaviour following the sovereign rating downgrades in November 2020. The low levels of liquidity in the domestic foreign exchange market in the final quarter of 2020 was also partly responsible for the exchange rate volatility seen towards the end of 2020.

Monetary Sector Developments

The central bank adopted an accommodative monetary policy stance throughout 2020 in an effort to fuel an economic recovery amidst the pandemic related challenges. As part of this approach, key policy interest rates were reduced on five occasions accounting which led to a reduction of 250 basis points each, which saw the Standing Deposit Facility Rate (SDFR) and the Standing Lending Facility Rate (SLFR) at historically lows of 4.50% and 5.50% respectively.
Source: CBSL AR 2020

RESIDENTIAL CONDOMINIUM MARKET IN SRI LANKA

Overview

Sri Lanka’s residential condominium market is broadly segmented into three categories – the affordable luxury segment which caters to the mainstream market in all key cities around the Country and the luxury and super luxury offerings which are restricted largely to the Colombo district.

With each segment made up largely of condominium developers specialising in that respective space, stiff competition exists within each segment. However a few select developers who have established their presence in all segments, enjoy a considerable advantage in terms of market positioning and overall market share.

The demand for residential apartments in 2020 was seemingly driven entirely by the local market in comparison to the recent past, where demand has been fuelled by Sri Lankan expatriates and local residents alike.

Demand Trends

In general, the demand for residential condominiums which after growing steadily in the recent past experienced a decline in 2019 following the Easter Sunday terror attacks. However in 2020 renewed interest was observed once again, owing to the low borrowing rates that made it significantly more affordable to invest in apartment units. Accordingly the demand for condominium units which re-emerged in mid-2020 steadily gathered thereafter and continued into 2021 as well. The demand for residential apartments in 2020 was seemingly driven entirely by the local market in comparison to the recent past, where demand has been fuelled by Sri Lankan expatriates and local residents alike.

As per the data released by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, it appears that the most preferred condominium units were in the single condominium project category and below Rs.25 Mn. Moreover among the residential condominium projects, nearly 96% of completed units were sold while 51% of the ongoing units had been reserved. Available data also suggests that a majority of the condominium units purchased were predominantly for immediate living purposes.

Source: CBSL Condominium Market Survey
Report 4Q2020 and 1Q2021

Review of
Business Operations

Responding immediately to the pandemic related challenges, PLR leveraged on digital technology to reach out to potential clients, both locally and overseas. While aggressively following up on existing leads, sales teams worked in parallel to reach out to existing customers in a bid to generate repeat business.

OVERVIEW

Having pioneered the concept of “affordable luxury” as far back as 2013, Prime Lands Residencies PLC (PLR) is today recognized as one of the main architects responsible for changing the way Sri Lankans think about condominium-style living. Over the past 8 years PLR has built a diverse portfolio of condominiums ranging from Affordable Luxury/Lifestyle Apartments and resort- style condos to luxury and ultra luxury condominiums. With a collective footprint of 40 residential condominiums PLR dominates the market with a significant market share.

CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES

Like many businesses in the Country and around the world, PLR too faced several challenges following the 2-month island-wide lockdown declared by the Sri Lankan Government in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, working systematically to convert challenges into potential opportunities, PLR succeeded in effecting a turnaround in turn enabling the Company to deliver an exceptional performance in the year under review.

PLR also benefited from some clear opportunities that arose as a result of the pandemic, among them the positive change in policy interest rates, which proved to be a major incentive for potential condominium buyers. In yet another positive, the government’s decision to abolish NBT Act and grant exemption from VAT for the condominium sector provided the impetus for buyers to invest in condominiums without any additional sales tax as it became considerably more affordable for customers to purchase condominium units.

Furthermore the reduction of VAT rate from 15% to 8% and the abolition of NBT Act across all the construction related payouts also contributed positively to manage unexpected cost over-run in terms of construction work and maintain selling price still at affordable levels.

Meanwhile, the competitive environment too changed notably due to COVID-19, with the pre-pandemic trend of mushrooming small players gradually fading over the course of the year.

MARKETING STRATEGY

Responding immediately to the pandemic related challenges, PLR leveraged on digital technology to reach out
to potential clients, both locally and overseas. While aggressively following up on existing leads, sales teams worked in parallel to reach out to existing customers in a bid to generate repeat business. This was followed up with a broad based social media campaign to promote existing projects as well as PLR’s latest ventures, along with a webinar series to build further awareness among interested buyers and reinforce the Company’s “affordable luxury” concept. Moreover, the chat room facility was activated on the corporate website to provide real time feedback to inquiries, while the virtual tour was introduced to allow existing customers to view the progress of the project. New customers too could use the virtual tour facility prior to finalizing their investments decisions.

To further complement these efforts, a range of flexible payment plans were rolled out for new customers, while the tripartite agreement between PLR, local commercial banks and the customer was revisited in a bid to provide relief to existing customers by allowing them to differ or reschedule their payment plans .

PROGRESS ON EXISTING PROJECTS

All ongoing projects made good headway in the year under review, notwithstanding construction delays and other challenges owing to pandemic related restrictions.

Now in its 5th year of construction, PLR’s largest project to date – “The Grand”- Ward Place (Colombo 07) encountered some challenges due to import restrictions at the onset of the pandemic. However with these issues quickly resolved, the project moved ahead swiftly from mid-2020 onwards aiming for set completion goals. The Java 25 and the Prime Desire, both which commenced in 2018 also reached the final stages of construction in the year under review and remain on track to meet their targeted completion dates by end 2021.

Solid progress was made on the The Beachfront Uswetakeiyawa (UK II) as well.

The latest project added to PLR’s development portfolio in the FY 2020/21 was The Palace – Gampaha. A massive II-phase development project, The Palace – Gampaha seeks to expand PLR’s concept of “affordable luxury” to a wider urban demographic.

ProjectLocationConstruction Completion %Targeted Completion DateInitiation of the Project
Prime BellaRajagiriya99%April - 2021June - 2018
Java 25Kassapa Rd65%Nov - 2021Sep - 2018
Prime DesireKassapa Rd65%Nov - 2021Dec - 2018
The Beachfront (UK II)Uswetakeiyawa18%Feb - 2023July - 2020
The GrandWard Place (Colombo - 07)70%June - 2022Dec - 2016
The PalaceGampaha3%Mar - 2024Dec - 2020

The following projects were fully completed and handed over in the year under review:

  • The Beachfront Uswetakeiyawa (UK I) – handed over in July 2020
  • Prime Residencies – Edmonton Road (II) – handed over in December 2020.
  • Prime Residencies – Castle Street – handed over in April 2020.

 

Meanwhile in conformity with the Apartment Ownership Law Act, a total of 21 Management Corporations (MC) were established during the year.

FUTURE PROJECT PIPELINE

While future projects will continue to be anchored to PLR’s trademark “affordable luxury” model, the Company expects to widen its reach to a larger geographical audience across the Country. Several areas including Negombo, Matara, Kurunegala and Nuwara Eliya have been earmarked for this purpose.

Capital Management Review

Financial Capital

MATERIAL TOPICS

Profitability   |   Financial Stability

MANAGEMENT APPROACH

PLR takes a prudent approach towards managing its financial resources, to ensure adequate resources are reinvested in the business, while fully honouring stakeholder obligations.

KEY CONCEPTS

  • Revenue Recognition Policy
  • Tax Framework

VALUE CREATION FOR STAKEHOLDERS

Direct Economic Value
Generated
2020/21
Rs. (Mn)
2019/20
Rs. (Mn)
Employee wages and
benefit
132 165
Payments to providers of
equity capital
375 NIL
Payments to providers of
loan capital
412 626
Payments to Government 315 60
Economic Value Retained 449 89

Contribution to the SDG’s

OUTPUTS FOR PLR

  • Potentially improved outcomes from IPO
  • "[SL] A- (Stable)" Credit Rating by ICRA Lanka

IMPACT ON OTHER CAPITALS

  • The ability to consistently grow the asset base and build MANUFACTURED CAPITAL
  • A strong financial position enhances the credibility of the brand and strengthens INTELLECTUAL CAPITAL

REVENUE

 For the
year ended
31.03.2021
For the
year ended
31.03.2020
Variance

%
Revenue (Rs. Mn)7,7325,71635%

The increase in PLR’s Revenue in the current financial year was primarily due to the Rs. 4.2 Bn Revenue recognized from “The Grand” – Ward Place (Colombo 07).

Based on the Company’s Revenue Recognition criteria, Revenue from “The Grand” – Ward Place (Colombo 07), was eligible to be recognized from the FY 2019/20 as the project reached the 25% construction threshold in Dec 2019.

PLR’S REVENUE RECOGNITION POLICY

The policy takes a prudent approach towards revenue recognition. Revenue is recognized using the percentage of completion method as construction progresses. Accordingly the lower of the percentage of project completion or percentage of advances received subject to the completion of both the criteria of

I. The minimum construction to be completed should be 25%

II. Advances received from the customer should be 20%

As per the policy, only actual cash receipts are recognized in a particular year and no trade debtors shown in the balance sheet.

OPERATING PROFIT

 For the
year ended
31.03.2021
For the
year ended
31.03.2020
Variance

%
Operating Profit (Rs. Mn)1,585794100%
Bolstered by strong operating results and lower finance costs, PLR recorded a six-fold increase in Net Profit Before Tax. Finance costs declined by 35.5% year on year in 2020/21 amidst the steady decline in interest rates throughout the current financial year.

REVENUE

Rs. 7,732 Mn

(2020: Rs. 5,716 Mn)

OPERATING PROFIT

Rs. 1,585 Mn

(2020: Rs. 794 Mn)

PLR’s Operating Profit doubled in the current financial year owing to several reasons; The main being the higher average GP margin of “The Grand” – Ward Place (Colombo 07). As a result of passing down the reduction in the VAT rate from 15% to 8% and the abolition of NBT Act on construction cost and VAT exemption granted on sale of condominium apartments, resulted in a growth trend in sales. Similarly The VAT reduction and the removal of NBT also benefited PLR in managing unforeseen cost overruns in many of our ongoing projects.

A culmination of these factors saw PLR’s GP Margin shoot up to 24.5% in the current financial year compared to 18.8% in 2019/20. No significant variation was seen in the Company’s operating expenses.

NET PROFIT

Bolstered by strong operating results and lower finance costs, PLR recorded a six-fold increase in Net Profit Before Tax. Finance costs declined by 35.5% year on year in 2020/21 amidst the steady decline in interest rates throughout the current financial year.

The strong PAT translated into healthy bottom line results as well, with profit after tax recording a similar six-fold increase compared to the previous year. The corporate tax rate applicable to PLR for the FY 2020/21 was 24%. At this rate, the Company is liable for a total of Rs. 289 Mn in corporate tax for the year ended 31st March 2021.

Financial Capital

 For the
year ended
31.03.2021
Rs. (Mn)
For the
year ended
31.03.2020
Rs. (Mn)
Variance


%
Profit before taxation1,277182603%
Profit After Tax989131656%
Net Profit Margin13%2%

TAX FRAMEWORK

Having obtained CSE approval to list, PLR will be eligible to benefit from income tax concessions for the next 4 years. The aggregate income tax payable by the Company (other than on gains from the realization of investment assets) will be reduced by 50% for the year of assessment commencing from April 01, 2021 (2021/2022). Further gains and profits declared by the Company (other than gains from the realization of investment assets) will be taxed at the rate of 14% for the three years of assessment commencing from April 1, 2022. (2022/2023 to 2024/2025.)

ASSET BASE

 For the
year ended
31.03.2021
Rs. (Mn)
For the
year ended
31.03.2020
Rs. (Mn)
Variance


%
Asset Base13,00013,583-4%

The decline in PLR’s Asset Base is principally due to the transfer of the proportion of the cost attributed to “The Grand” – Ward Place (Colombo – 07). Based on the Company’s Revenue Recognition rationale, the cost of projects are shown as part of the asset base in the balance sheet, until such time the revenue recognition criteria is fulfilled and thereafter matched against revenue receipts for the year and included as part of cost of sales for the period.

EQUITY AND BORROWINGS

 For the
year ended
31.03.2021
Rs. (Mn)
For the
year ended
31.03.2020
Rs. (Mn)
Variance


%
Stated capital1,5001,500
Retained earnings1,933943105%
Total equity3,4332,44341%
Total Borrowing4,2483,24131%

Bolstered by strong bottom line results, PLR’s retained earnings doubled, in turn driving up total equity by a solid 41%.

Meanwhile borrowing also increased as the Company leveraged on the low interest rate environment to secure new borrowings of Rs. 2.5 Bn. A total
of Rs. 1.5 Bn capital repayment was made during the year. Consequently, net borrowings as at 31st March 2021 stood at Rs. 1 Bn.

RETURN ON ASSETS (ROA)

As at
31.03.2021
As at
31.03.2020
Stated capital 8% 1%
Driven by the significantly higher profits, PLR’s registered a strong improvement in ROA.

RETURN ON ASSETS (ROA)

PLR’s Initial Public Offering (IPO) launched in June-2021 aims to raise a total of Rs. 1.95 Bn in 2 tranches. The first through the issuance of 100 Mn shares at Rs. 10.40 to raise Rs. 1 Bn, with an option to issue a further 87.5 Mn at the same price bringing the total to Rs. 1.95 Bn. The total 187.5 Mn shares amounts to a 20% stake in the Company.

Within a few months of the listing, the company also intends to make a dividend payout of as much as 40% of the Rs. 989 Mn profit after tax, recorded by PLR in the FY 2020/21 (The first interim dividend amount of Rs. 375 Mn was paid to shareholders by 2nd August 2021.

Manufactured Capital

MATERIAL TOPICS

Land Bank   |   Project Execution

MANAGEMENT APPROACH

Our approach to developing Manufactured Capital is anchored to PLR’s brand promise to redefine condominium life style in Sri Lanka based on the principle of “affordable luxury”.

KEY CONCEPTS

  • Investment Strategy
  • Project Lifecycle Management

VALUE CREATION FOR STAKEHOLDERS

  • Total Condominium projects completed to date - 34 (equivalent to 1,443 condominium units)
  • Total number of new condominium units handed over to customers in FY 2020/21 - 172 (330 - 2019/20)
  • New projects undertaken in FY 2020/21 - 02 The Beachfront Uswetekeiyawa (UK II) & The Palace - Gampaha equivalent to 588 condominium units)

Contribution to the SDG’s

OUTPUTS FOR PLR

  • Strong competitive edge over peers
  • Increased Market Share

IMPACT ON OTHER CAPITALS

  • The ability to consistently grow the asset base demonstrates the Company’s financial stability and capacity to deliver sustainable returns over time FINANCIAL CAPITAL
  • The collective strength of the asset base builds trust and confidence among key stakeholders and enhances SOCIAL AND RELATIONSHIP CAPITAL
  • A solid portfolio of condominium assets, enhances PLR’s brand ranking and adds to the Company’s INTELLECTUALCAPITAL

MATERIAL TOPICS

Ongoing Projects No. of Units
Prime Bella - Rajagiriya 60
Prime Residencies Java 25 - Kassapa Road 25
Prime Desire - Kassapa Road 35
Prime Residencies - The Beachfront Uswetakeiyawa (UK II) 108
The Grand - Ward Place (Colombo 07) 333
The Palace - Gampaha 480
Projects (Fully completed and handed over) No. of Units
Prime Residencies - Athurugiriya Stage I & 2 103
Prime Residencies - Battaramulla 1 20
Prime Residencies - Kottawa 57
Prime Residencies - Rajagiriya 29
Prime Residencies - Battaramulla 2 26
Prime Residencies - Nawala 25
Prime Residencies - Ethul Kotte 38
Prime Residencies - Nugegoda 306 52
Prime Residencies - Pagoda 40
Prime Residencies - Pelawatta 15
Prime Residencies - Nugegoda 298 37
Prime Residencies - Sieble Avenue (Colombo 05) 31
Prime Residencies - Pallekele 39
Prime Residencies - Panadura 40
Prime Residencies - Bauddhaloka Mawatha 1 14
Prime Residencies - Thalawathugoda Fierro 60
Prime Aqua - Nawala 60
Prime Residencies - Ethul Kotte - 616 35
Prime Residencies - Battaramulla Libra 60
Prime Residencies - Malabe 60
Prime Residencies - Nugegoda 194 40
Prime Residencies - Edmonton Road (Colombo 05) 32
Prime Residencies - K100 100
Prime Residencies - Wattala 84
Prime Residencies - Barnes Place 15
Prime Residencies - Kynsey Road 17
Prime Wrendale - Rajagiriya 54
Prime Splendour - Rajagiriya 68
Prime Residencies - Bauddhaloka Mawatha 2 14
Prime Residencies - Jawatte 14
Prime Residencies - Kandewatta Terrace 24
Prime Residencies - Castle Street 40
Prime Residencies - The Beachfront Uswetakeiyawa (UK I) 72
Prime Residencies - Edmonton Road II 28

INVESTMENT STRATEGY

Since its inception in 2013, PLR’s investment strategy has largely been directed towards making condominium living more accessible to the mainstream market. Our decision to invest begins at the point of land acquisition, where we work with an average 30% CAPEX allocation for land in line with our established risk/return parameters and our benchmark square foot rate per salable unit.

The Areas that we use to address in making a decision to purchase land for our future projects would include the following in addition to what we are already considering such as,

    1. Proximity to the newly developed expressway
    2. Price escalation of land in the present market scenario.
    3. Availability of land for sale in the present financial environment in the country


As well as not limiting to location advantages, access roads, history of the land and topography, as well as the legalities involved. A comprehensive feasibility is undertaken by PLR’s QS and legal teams in collaboration with expertise from the Real Estate Division of Prime Group, as well as third party specialists (Structural & MEP Consultants, Architects, Surveyors etc.) where after a project proposal encapsulating these findings are prepared and presented to the Executive Committee (EXCO) for review and approval.

PROJECT LIFECYCLE MANAGEMENT

Managing the lifecycle of a project is a key component of PLR’s overall approach to developing its Manufactured Capital. Once the land acquisition is completed, the project lifecycle management begins with the preliminary stage which addresses the key fundamental elements of the project, namely feasibility studies and project brief based on the client requirements, which are usually derived from the EXCO. According to the project brief the architect develops the Architectural Concept Design for the project. The concept design is a highly technical-driven process that requires the input of a multitude of experts, including architects, quantity surveyors, structural and Mechanical, Electrical & Plumbing (MEP) engineers to advise on the design and layout as well as the need for structural reinforcements. Accordingly, the architectural concept incorporates strategic engineering requirements and is aligned to the cost plan, project strategies and outline specifications. After the concept design stage is completed, the next step is to obtain the required preliminary approvals from the relevant authorities. Obtaining necessary regulatory approvals and mandatory preliminary project clearances is also part of the preliminary stage, as is cost planning and project scheduling. The project cost plan is prepared to determine the feasibility of the concept designs and total estimated Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) for the project, based on the outline specifications, proposed floor areas, the overall profile of the project and its duration.

The cost plan is then submitted to the EXCO for approval. Upon the budget confirmation, the detail designing of the concept is carried forward to develop the architectural and engineering technical designs. In this regard, we aim to ensure that all our designs are benchmarked against the Euro codes as well as the British Standards for building design and construction. Concurrently, the overall project time plan will be developed including the stage design programme and construction phase plans. Following this, documentation is undertaken to open a tender for the project. Thereafter tenders are called from recognized contractors to undertake the construction of the project based on a selective tendering process. Beyond this, we expect all selected construction partners to be compliant with the construction principles set out under the Euro codes and the British Standards. All bids are evaluated as per a set of pre-determined criteria to assess their credibility and potential. Tender evaluation for all the projects are led by the Chief Quantity Surveyor together with a cross functional team, which includes representatives from project design consultants and the engineering team. Recommendations made by the above parties are then submitted to the EXCO through the Managing Director for the final decision, which shall be then followed by a formal contract signing to confirm the appointment of the selected contractor. A dedicated on-site engineering team is appointed to liaise with the contractor, project architect and consultant Engineers, in order to oversee the progress of the project in adherence to the scheduled timelines. Project progress Reports are updated daily and submitted to the engineering team every week and from thereon escalated to top Management for review on a monthly basis. The launch of the project is also done in parallel with the tender action procedure with the collaboration of sales, marketing and advertising teams. Meanwhile, upon the successful completion of a project, our in-house teams are tasked with obtaining the certificate of conformity and finally the approved condominium plan for the purpose of registering the individual housing units.

Intellectual Capital

MATERIAL TOPICS

Brand Image | Culture and Conduct | Excellence

MANAGEMENT APPROACH

Our focus in developing our Intellectual Capital, is to strengthen the unique attributes that raises our profile and also differentiates PLR from peers.

KEY CONCEPTS

  • Brand Positioning
  • Regulatory Compliance
  • Ethics and Integrity
  • Tacit Knowledge of Employees
  • Standards and Certifications
  • Memberships & Affiliation
  • Quality Control Framework
  • IT Infrastructure and Systems

VALUE CREATION FOR STAKEHOLDERS

  • Guarantee of best in class condominium unit
  • Assurance of legally compliant home ownership
  • Consistent improvement in share price
  • Meeting aspirational customer needs

Contribution to the SDG’s

OUTPUTS FOR PLR

  • Increased public trust in Prime brand
  • [SL]A - (Stable) Credit Rating
  • Responsible Corporate Behavior
  • Best Developer in Sri Lanka for the year 2018 and 2019

IMPACT ON OTHER CAPITALS

  • A solid brand reputation creates a foundation to fuel consistent returns to strengthen FINANCIAL CAPITAL
  • Brand strength, coupled with other intangibles create the foundation to build MANUFACTURED CAPITAL
  • The skills and knowledge of employees help to build strong ties with customers, contractors and suppliers, in turn enhancing SOCIAL AND RELATIONSHIP CAPITAL
  • Brand credibility and good standing in the industry builds loyalty and commitment among employees and helps to retain key staff, in turn adding value to PLR’s HUMAN CAPITAL

BRAND POSITIONING

Widely regarded as a vanguard in redefining Sri Lanka’s residential real estate landscape, the Prime Group has been at the forefront in transforming the way Sri Lankans think about condominium living. As the main residential arm of the Group, Prime Lands Residencies PLC (PLR) continues to play a vital role in driving this paradigm shift. Staying firmly anchored to its core premise of promoting “Affordable Luxury/Lifestyle Apartments”, PLR has built a solid reputation as the leading condominium brand in Sri Lanka’s mainstream residential real estate market.

With a portfolio of 34 fully completed condominium projects spanning Colombo & suburbs, Gampaha and Kandy districts, PLR is seen as a key catalyst in pioneering the concept of apartment living in suburban towns around Sri Lanka. Our condominiums which have become legendary in their representation of “Affordable Luxury/Lifestyle Apartments” have left an indelible mark on the Country’s residential property market, in turn making “Prime Lands Residencies” one of the most recognizable brands in the Country today.

In an effort to further strengthen its position in the local real estate domain, PLR has more recently diversified into the ultra luxury condominium space with the launch of “The Grand”- Ward Place (Colombo 07). Located along Ward Place in the heart of one of the most coveted neighborhoods in Colombo, “The Grand” is set to redefine the Colombo horizon by becoming the only high-rise in Colombo 07. “The Grand”- Ward Place, which is being constructed by the local construction giant, MAGA Engineering, remains on schedule for occupancy.

Further enhancing our credibility and standing in the industry, in 2020, PLR became the first-ever entity in Sri Lanka’s real estate sector to secure an issuer rating of [SL]A – (Stable).

Multiple brand recognitions further testify to the optimal positioning of the Prime brand and serve as a validation of our commitment to excellence in everything we undertake. At the PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards 2019, “Prime” clinched the top award as the ‘Best Developer in Sri Lanka for the 2nd consecutive year. Also at the PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards 2019, :“The Grand”- Ward Place (Colombo 07), PLR’s ultra luxury condominium development was recognised as the Best Luxury Condo Development in Sri Lanka. For the fourth year, the Prime Group was named as one of the most respected entities in Sri Lanka in 2021 by the popular Sri Lankan business magazine LMD.

Further enhancing our credibility and standing in the industry, in 2020, PLR became the first-ever entity in Sri Lanka’s real estate sector to secure an issuer rating of [SL]A – (Stable). The rating was assigned by ICRA Lanka, a subsidiary of Moody’s Investors Service, following a comprehensive review of PLR’s pre-sales and cash collection efficiency as well as our ability to deliver completed apartment projects on time while recording a stronger affordability factor than peers. In awarding the [SL]A – (Stable) rating, ICRA Lanka has also taken into account the role of the management team, which has strategically focused on potential markets in the real-estate sector in Sri Lanka. The [SL]A – (Stable) rating also factors in the susceptibility of the PLR’s financial performance, scalability and debt exposure vis-a-vis Sri Lanka’s macro-economic conditions, such as volatile interest rate, depreciation of the Sri Lanka rupee and the government’s policies on the real-estate industry. The Stable outlook reflects ICRA Lanka’s expectations that the Company would benefit from the recovery of the real-estate sector going forward and the projects in the pipe-line being completed within the scheduled time frames and targeted cost estimates.

REGULATORY COMPLIANCE

We see regulatory compliance as a fundamental business principle that drives PLR’s efforts to build trust and public confidence in the Prime brand. As a real estate company, PLR is subject to a host of laws and regulations. To sustain our commitment we have established clear rules to enforce compliance with the legal frameworks along with governance and oversight mechanisms as well as a rigorous internal control framework to prevent violations of rules.

This unequivocal commitment to comply with all laws and regulations applicable to the Company, including specific legislative requirements pertaining to certain aspects of the business, has ensured that PLR was not subject to any reported incidents of non-compliance in the year under review.

Moreover, PLR’s unblemished track record of 100% compliance throughout its 13-year history projects the Company as a compliance leader in the local real estate industry.

Specific legislative requirements applicable to PLR’s operations

Urban Development Authority
The construction of the relevant buildings should comply with the planning regulations prepared by the Urban Development Authority (UDA) for the relevant local authority .
Central Environment Authority
The Authority regulates the implementation of projects affecting the environment and the construction of sites specifically designated by the Central Environment Authority.
Coastal Conservation Department
If the construction is taking place in a coastal area, the relevant approvals and regulations should be obtained from Coastal Conservation Department (CCD).
Civil Aviation Authority
If the relevant construction is a high rise building, approval should be obtained in accordance with the regulations of this Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
National Building Research Organization
Approval from this Organization is essential if construction is taking place on slopes and hills, and if there is excessive digging for the foundation of the building.
Condominium Management Authority

If the relevant construction is to be developed as a condominium property, the prior approval of this authority and the final approval of the construction must be obtained.

The regulations of this Authority also govern the Management Corporations. In this regard, the authority requires the appointment of a dedicated body for the control, management, maintenance and administration of each condominium.

Sri Lanka Land Reclamation and Development Corporation
If it is necessary to carry out the relevant construction and fill the land at the site and develop it, the approval of this body should be obtained.
Ministry of Defense
If construction is taking place around areas critical for national security, it must first be approved by this Ministry.
Ceylon Electricity Board/ National Water Supply & Drainage Board
Relevant institutions should obtain a confirmation that electricity and water can be provided as infrastructure facilities for the relevant construction.
Fire Service Department
Approvals to be obtained from this department for the manner in which the relevant construction fire prevention activities are carried out.
Road Development Authority
If the construction is facing a road belonging to the Road Development Authority, prior approval should be obtained from this authority.
For more details regarding the laws and regulations applicable to PLR, please refer to the Corporate Governance Report on page 74.

ETHICS AND INTEGRITY

Ethics and integrity is deeply ingrained in our value culture and serves as the guiding philosophy that underpins our every action. The cornerstone of this approach is PLR’s Code of conduct for employees, which dictates the standards of ethical behavior that employees are expected to follow when conducting business on behalf of the company. As the main resource providing guidance to each employee about the attitudes to adopt in relationships within and outside the Company, the code aligns with global best practices with regard to anti-bribery, anti-corruption, non- discrimination and human rights principles. We expect the outsourced security personnel at our office to also conform with PLR’s code of ethics. For this purpose special training is conducted to educate relevant security personnel.

Beyond this, PLR’s Whistleblower process aims to create an environment whereby employees feel confident to reveal and report, without any fear of retaliation, subsequent discrimination and of being disadvantaged in any way, about any fraudulent, immoral, unethical or malicious activity or conduct, which in their opinion may cause financial or reputational loss to PLR.

With the PLR Board leading by example and presiding over the enforcement of ethics and integrity at all levels of the business, the Company’s operations do not present a risk of corruption nor the risk of human rights violations.

Furthermore no incidents of anti- competitive behaviour were reported in the period under review. PLR has not made any direct or indirect political contributions in the FY 2020/21.

TACIT KNOWLEDGE OF EMPLOYEES

The tacit knowledge of our employees are a key competitive advantage for PLR. Although we have a small team, more than 40% of them have been with PLR since the inception and another 60% for more than three years, and their collective knowledge and expertise have been instrumental in fuelling the Company’s growth strategy.

The PLR Board is also an invaluable asset to the Company. The diverse skills and expertise of each Board member enhances the quality of our Board and provides the vision and leadership to ensure effective decision making. Please refer to page 11 for Director Profiles.

In line with global best practices, our condominium designs are benchmarked against the EN Eurocodes, which consists of a series of 10 European Standards for the design of buildings and other civil engineering works and construction products.

STANDARDS AND CERTIFICATIONS

In line with global best practices, our condominium designs are benchmarked against the EN Eurocodes, which consists of a series of 10 European Standards for the design of buildings and other civil engineering works and construction products. We also often refer to the British Construction Standards. Accordingly, the parameters set out under these global standards are used as the basis of developing the overall structural elements, including the concrete, steel, timber, masonry and aluminium structures as well as the geotechnical design aspects, in all our condominiums.

MEMBERSHIPS & AFFILIATION

PLR is a member of the Condominium Developers Association in Sri Lanka.

QUALITY CONTROL FRAMEWORK

Quality control plays a crucial role in supporting efforts to live up to PLR’s brand promise of “Affordable Luxury/Lifestyle Apartments”. This is reflected in our commitment to work only with CIDA certified CS1 contractors who have the proven capability to handle complex structural and design elements that have become the hallmark of our condominiums.

We apply rigorous quality control and testing procedures to confirm that all products used in our projects meet our internal standards. Prior to using any product, contractors are required to submit the product specifications to our internal quality teams for review and approval, while products sourced directly by the Company are subject to a series of simulation tests to determine their performance under extreme stress conditions. For example; Wind tunnel testing is done to assess structural stability of high rises against extreme wind pressure. We also regularly perform reinforcement testing on all concrete used to verify its structural integrity. Meanwhile a series of additional tests were carried out for “The Grand”- Ward Place (Colombo 07) project. The centri-glass panels used were pre-tested under extreme conditions to determine its shatter threshold, while the doors and windows were subject to high performance testing to establish their wind resistance and susceptibility to earthquakes.

IT INFRASTRUCTURE AND SYSTEMS

PLR’s cloud-based ERP software and robust DR architecture have remained key strengths in optimising the Company’s operational capability and business continuity. The functionality of our IT infrastructure was once again proven in the current financial year. At a time when many organisations were compelled to shut down during the 2-month island-wide lockdown, PLR’s teams were able to move seamlessly to continue working from home without a single lost day.

To further enhance our ability to operate remotely, a new workflow system was developed and rolled out to integrate the finance and service departments to the Company’s core ERP system. We have thus been able to streamline the customer receipt generation process and in turn, speed up the customer account updation. As a follow up to this, an automatic customer notification procedure was introduced to enable customers to be notified of their account status via email.

Meanwhile with PLR’s website and CRM systems being hosted on cloud- based architecture, these systems too continued to maintain 100% uptime throughout the past year.

With PLR’s core systems up and running without any disruptions throughout the year, the Company redirected its attention to explore the possibility of using big data, which led to investments in the power BI a data analytics platform to support real time data extraction and further improve in-house analytical capability. The functionality and advanced data capture capability of the Power BI tool, have allowed management teams to dynamically access multiple dashboards that present a host of analytical data at a more granular level.

FOCUS FOR THE FUTURE

Going forward, the main focus would be to further strengthen brand positioning in the local real estate sector. The effort will be led by a broad-based brand revamp that will seek to reflect PLR’s long standing credibility coupled with the promise of a more vibrant future. The new brand architecture which will be anchored to the theme “opening doors for progress”, will be symbolic of PLR’s pride in being a truly Sri Lankan entity that contributes towards inclusive nationwide prosperity, by redefining lifestyles while honouring the cultural pride of home ownership. With the new brand identity PLR expects to extend its value proposition to serve urban audiences in new and emerging cities such as Kurunegala, Nuwara Eliya, Matara, Homagama etc.

To complement these ambitious plans, the Company is also looking at further deepening its investment in technology systems to expand the level of process automation while at the same time increasing digital adoption to re-engineer customer interfaces.

Human Capital

MATERIAL TOPICS

Pay and Benefits | Career Prospects | Health and Wellbeing

MANAGEMENT APPROACH

PLR’s Human Capital management approach is founded on the belief that employees are the key drivers of the Company’s success. Accordingly, we aim to maintain a robust work environment that will help boost employee creativity and productivity in order to pave the way for all employees to achieve their professional and personal growth objectives. Moreover stemming from our family-based management approach, we seek to promote a united, employee centric culture, where our people are considered as members of a close-knit family.

KEY CONCEPTS

  • HR Governance
  • Cadre Planning
  • Recruitment and Selection
  • On-boarding
  • Remuneration and Benefits
  • Training and Development
  • Employee Relations
  • Employee Wellbeing
  • Employee Engagement

VALUE CREATION FOR EMPLOYEES

  • Monetary Benefits Distributed - Rs. 132 Mn (Rs. 165 Mn 2019/20)
  • Ratio of entry level wage between men and women 1:1
  • Incidents of discrimination - None
  • Incidents reported through the Grievance Procedure - None
  • Training and development
  • Career progression
  • Dynamic working-environment
  • Work-life balance

Contribution to the SDG’s

OUTPUTS FOR PLR

  • Increased employee motivation and loyalty
  • Lower employee attrition
  • Improved ranking as an employer of choice

IMPACT ON OTHER CAPITALS

  • Efficient and highly motivated employees drive income growth, thus contributing towards improving FINANCIAL CAPITAL
  • Skilled employees are able to cultivate good relationships with customers, thus strengthening SOCIAL AND RELATIONSHIP CAPITAL
  • The tacit knowledge of employees is a key competitive advantage that enhances INTELLECTUAL CAPITAL

HR GOVERNANCE

HR Governance at PLR is centralised under the purview of the Company’s Human Resource Department (HRD). The HRD plays a vital role in the day- to-day operations of the Company and in supporting the achievement of PLR strategic objectives. A comprehensive procedure manual is in place, outlining the key functions, as well as the duties, responsibilities and reporting lines to be followed by the HRD.

Among the principal responsibilities of the HRD is to ensure the Company remains fully compliant with all applicable laws and regulations pertaining to its employees. The overarching workforce regulations applicable to PLR are the Shop and Office Employees Act of 1954, EPF Act, ETF Act and the Payment of Gratuity Act of Sri Lanka.

Beyond this HRD is responsible for ensuring PLR’s human capital development activities are managed in line with globally accepted best practices. For this purpose, a broad policy framework has been developed and implemented to serve as the foundation for building a competent workforce and for providing the necessary guidance to strengthen organisational discipline. There were no reported incidents of non-compliance of regulations in the year under review.

CADRE PLANNING

Cadre Planning is a formal process that serves as the foundation for the smooth and efficient management of human capital throughout the year. The purpose of the cadre planning exercise is to ensure that the Company possesses adequate and competent human capital to achieve its present and future corporate objectives.

Typically undertaken every December, the cadre planning exercise is carried out jointly by the Head of the HRD and the Executive Committee Members to establish the manpower requirements for the forthcoming financial year, based on the Company’s strategic plan. The results of the Performance Management Process also serves as a key feeder for the cadre planning process.

The finalised cadre plan is submitted for Board approval prior to being operationalized.

RECRUITMENT AND SELECTION

The annual cadre plan is used as the basis of all recruitments done during a particular financial year, in conjunction with PLR’s Recruitment and Selection Policy which provides the primary guidelines for hiring and selecting of new recruits. The policy which is based on the principles of fair and equitable recruitment and selection, is a key enabler in hiring the right people with the right competencies and the best fit for Company.

Our recruitment policy dictates that all vacancies be advertised publicly as well as be notified internally to give existing employees equal opportunity to apply. Similarly the policy sets out strict guidelines for the selection of candidates for each employee category. Among other things, our selection process also includes additional protocols to verify the age of new recruits. This approach aims to safeguard PLR’s operations against the risk for child labour.

All new recruits remain on probation for a period of 9 months, and are only absorbed into the permanent cadre subject to their performance during the probationary period.

In the year under review, despite the pandemic related restrictions, we continued with planned recruitments identified through our cadre planning process. During the 2-month lockdown period, all recruitment and selection processes were moved to online platforms with interviews conducted via video technology. However normal recruitment procedures were recommenced after restrictions were lifted in June 2020.

ONBOARDING

PLR’s on-boarding process plays a vital role in helping new recruits transition to their new work environment. We have a formal on-boarding programme, including a structured induction session designed to give new recruits the opportunity to fully understand and integrate into our close-knit family oriented culture and team-based work ethic.

However in light of the pandemic related physical distancing measures, we were compelled to conduct our on-boarding activities digitally during the lockdown period. Accordingly, of the 22 new recruits for FY 2020/21, 3 were on-boarded digitally.

New Hires for the FY 2020/21Employee Turnover for the FY 2020/21
Age RangeMFTotalMFTotalAttrition Rate
(As a % of the
total cadre)
< 30 years51015641014.29%
31 - 40 Years325651115.71%
41 - 50 years2262811.43%
> 50 years11
Total11122318112941.43%

REMUNERATION AND BENEFITS

As an equal opportunity employer, the entry level salaries offered by PLR to both men and women are the same. Even at a senior level we do not maintain a disparity between the remuneration and benefits offered to men and women performing similar roles. PLR’s remuneration and benefit structures are industry competitive and based solely on the employees capability and skills for a particular role.

Furthermore in compliance with the relevant laws and regulations applicable to the Company and all employees are assured of EPF, ETF and gratuity contributions made on their behalf by the Company. Leave entitlements, including maternity leave, are determined as per the Shop and Office Employees Act.

All PLR employees are also entitled to the following benefits in addition to their basic salary;

  • Medical Insurance Cover for employees and family (for permanent employees)
  • Personal Accidental Cover for all employees from the first day of the work.
  • Accidental and Death Cover for employees from the first day of the work
  • Financial assistance provided by the Company’s welfare for significant events (marriage, childbirth, death of a family member, as well as for scholarship exam achievements and university selection of employees’ children etc.)

The PLR Board along with the Head of the HRD oversees the design and development of the Company’s Remuneration and Benefit structures, while the HRD is charged with the responsibility of ensuring that these Board-approved structures are managed consistently. In the current financial year, the newly formed Remuneration, Nomination and Human Resources Committee was assigned the duty of determining remuneration and benefits for the Board of Directors and for key management personnel.

Increment was granted to all employees across the Company. Notwithstanding the pandemic related challenges, PLR also paid employees their performance based bonus for the 2020/21 financial year.

MATERNITY LEAVE FOR THE
FY 2020/21

02

No. of female employees  who took maternity Leave

02

No. of female employees who returned to work after completing their maternity Leave

PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT

A robust Performance Management System (PMS) complements our efforts to drive a high performance culture that will benefit the Company as well as all our employees. Our PMS begins with the annual goals setting exercise undertaken prior to the financial year. The performance of sales teams is reviewed on an ongoing basis and followed up with quarterly performance discussions, while the performance of employees including the sales teams are formally evaluated via the mid-year review each July, followed by the annual performance appraisal after the conclusion of the financial year. Both the mid-year review and the annual performance appraisal help to identify employee training needs. Decisions regarding increments, promotions etc. are also based on the results of the annual performance appraisal.

While the mid-year review was not held in July 2020 due to pandemic related restrictions, we ensured that all 41 permanent employees of PLR received the final performance appraisal conducted after the conclusion of the 2020/21.

Based on the results of the PMS, a total of 5 employees were promoted in the FY 2020/21, while, up to 10% of increment was granted to all employees across the Company. Notwithstanding the pandemic related challenges, PLR also paid employees their performance based bonus for the 2020/21 financial year.

Meanwhile the performance of probationary employees is reviewed at the end of their probationary period, by their respective HOD and recommended for confirmation as appropriate. The performance of contract employees is reviewed at the end of their contract period, with the renewal of their contract subject to their performance.

There were no reported cases of discrimination in the year under review.

TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT

PLR’s training focus is aimed at delivering high quality learning opportunities to help employees sharpen their skill set. In this regard our training and development policy aims to create a learning environment that encourages employees to continuously enhance their skills. Accordingly, training needs determined by the PMS or through recommendations made by HOD’s are addressed systematically through a process driven approach. The training focus for the current financial year was mainly in the areas of selling skills and customer service, as well as soft skills development. Beyond this, the Company promotes continuous professional development by granting additional leave and sponsorship of exam fees, association memberships etc.
TRAINING HOURS FOR FY 2020/21
Employee CategoryFM
Total Training
Hours
Average
Training hours
per person
Total Training
Hours
Average
Training hours
per person
Senior Manager12.06.029.63.7
GM--2.02.0
Manager9.04.590.09.0
AM45.39.116.33.3
Senior Ex10.35.116.34.1
Executive16.05.3105.88.1
Officer/ Trainee14.02.367.011.2
Total106.65.3327.06.9

EMPLOYEE RELATIONS

Based on the fundamental premise that good employee relations are crucial
for the growth and development of our business, we maintain an open door policy to give all employees the opportunity to reach out to not only to their own superiors but even the senior management if needed to raise any work related matters. Weekly sales meetings and team briefings are a few of the other platforms that we use to foster employee relations. Employees are formally informed of any operational changes via their respective HOD’s, with adequate prior notice being given before implementing such changes. A formal Grievance procedure is also in place for employees to escalate any issues that they may have been unable to resolve through discussion.

Given the strong relations that PLR has built with its employees over the years, the need for collective bargaining has not arisen. Furthermore it has ensured that PLR’s operations are not at risk violating employee rights to the freedom of association.

As a non-discriminatory employer, do not condone forced or compulsory labour and believe that every employee has the right to resign from the organisation, should they so wish. We have implemented a Resignation Policy detailing the procedure to be followed by employees, whenever they decide to leave the Company. At this point we also conduct exit interviews to obtain insights and feedback to help improve our systems.

EMPLOYEE WELLBEING

The physical and mental wellbeing of PLR’s employees is of paramount importance to the Company. To reinforce our commitment we adhere to all national safety regulations in order to create a safe and secure workplace for our employees. PLR employees stationed at project sites are required to comply with the safety management systems implemented by the contractor.

During the 2-month pandemic related lockdown, all employees were instructed to work from home. And even after restrictions were lifted employees were recalled to work on a roster basis, with all recommended health guidelines and COVID-19 sanitation procedures implemented.

In addition wellness exercises and yoga sessions are conducted twice weekly
for the benefit of all employees. A number of virtual sessions were also held during the pandemic. Meanwhile, in line with our family oriented culture, we have created an environment where employees can confidently approach the management to address any personal concerns or issues they may have.

EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT

Employee engagement activities are organised as a means of building team spirit and camaraderie among employees in an informal setting. A wide range of engagement activities are conducted annually, among them;
  • Staff Get-together
  • New year celebration (1st of January)
  • Children’s day celebration
  • Women’s day stress buster night for all ladies

FOCUS FOR THE FUTURE

Adopt a more streamlined strategic approach towards Human Capital Development under the direction of the newly established Remuneration, Nomination and Human Resource Committee, which functions as a sub-committee to the Board. While the sub-committee will focus on several key areas, the immediate priority would be to develop a formalised succession planning programme to facilitate leadership development and manage PLR’s talent pipeline.

In addition, a series of specially designed training and capacity building activities will be initiated to ensure that every employee allocates at least 10% of their daily working hours to engage in training, either directly or by training others.

Also due to be launched in the next financial year is a new employee engagement and welfare system modelled in line with global standards.

Another aspect under consideration is an Occupational Health & Safety (OHS) manual to standardise safety procedures to be followed by employees when at project sites.

Social and Relationship Capital

MATERIAL TOPICS

Customer Experience | Excellence in Quality | Supplier Relations
MANAGEMENT APPROACH

We strive to build good relations with stakeholders to ensure PLR is perceived as the real estate developer most trusted by customers, most preferred by contractors & suppliers and most respected by the community.

KEY CONCEPTS

  • Product Responsibility
  • Transparency of Marketing Information
  • Confidentiality and Customer Privacy
  • Customer Support
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Contribution towards the development of local economies

VALUE CREATION FOR STAKEHOLDERS

  • Best in-class value proposition for customers
  • Consistent growth prospects for contractors & suppliers
  • Greater socioeconomic benefits for suburban communities across Sri Lanka

Contribution to the SDG’s

OUTPUTS FOR PLR

  • Higher NPS (Net Promoter Score) among customers
  • Better terms from contractors & suppliers
  • Good standing in the community

IMPACT ON OTHER CAPITALS

  • A consistently high customer NPS creates the foundation for business expansion, in turn leading to improved FINANCIAL CAPITAL
  • A stable supply chain supports resource efficiency and business continuity, thereby contributing towards building MANUFACTURED CAPITAL
  • Being the real estate developer most trusted by customers, most preferred by contractors & suppliers and most respected by the community boosts PLR’s brand reputation and INTELLECTUAL CAPITAL

PRODUCT RESPONSIBILITY

Our credibility as a condominium developer rests on the safety and quality of our end products – the units that we build and will eventually be someone’s home. This places on us the unmistakable responsibility for ensuring the stability and overall safety of every single unit. Towards this end, PLR only ties up with top-ranked architects, design consultants, contractors and other project partners with a strong track record of handling local and international condominium projects.

As a principle, we comply with all national regulations in relation to the permanent fire safety systems within our condominiums and also obtain full approval for the manner in which fire prevention activities are carried out at our construction sites.

Moreover existing safety practices are reviewed regularly by PLR’s Engineering teams and updated to reflect the latest regulatory developments and global best practices.

PLR’s commitment to safety and product quality is further reflected in the construction material and high quality finishes used in all our projects. For example we demand that our construction partners use only lead-free paints and primers for interior walls and outdoor walls. Furthermore, we use only reputed accessory brands for finishes such as tiling, bathware & accessories, cooling systems etc.

We also take great care and caution to ensure our condominiums are designed for the optimal wellbeing of its occupants, today, tomorrow and for years to come. This means incorporating adequate ventilation and use of natural light as part of the design elements in order to create a conducive ambient environment within each unit. As a policy we also aim to restrict our condominium footprint to 65% of the overall land, with the remainder allocated for green spaces and recreational activities.

PLR’s steadfast commitment to prioritize safety at every level, has allowed the Company to remain free of any incidents of non- compliance of safety regulations in the reporting period.

"THE GRAND" - WARD PLACE (COLOMBO 07)

“The Grand” – Ward Place (Colombo 07), a highly exclusive ultra-luxury residential project at the heart of Colombo’s most sought-after address – Ward Place. Rising spectacularly to a height of over 160m as the tallest high-rise in Colombo 07, “The Grand” is perfectly positioned in the most sophisticated neighbourhood in Colombo surrounded by a host of modern day conveniences, including supermarkets, coffee shops, salons, spas, museums, and many of Sri Lanka’s best private and public schools and hospitals. In addition to its location in one of most coveted addresses in Colombo, “The Grand” – Ward Place (Colombo 07) with its stunning, meticulously appointed interiors, world-class architecture, and ultimate levels of privacy and comfort, stands in a class of its own as the epitome of quintessential luxury that can never be replicated. Bringing together the finest attributes of international architectural structure and design, the building draws inspiration from its natural surroundings using timeless, high-quality materials, captivating color palettes and intentional sustainable design. The ultra-luxury tower includes a tailored collection of two to four bedroom simplex and duplex condominium residences.

REDEFINING LUXURY

The Interiors designed by IIDA International, an award winning design consultancy firm based in Singapore, have a number of unique design features including carefully designed privacy cavities which are placed between every apartment to guarantee a high level of privacy and capture the appeal of living in a detached home – a first in Sri Lankan real estate design. The strategic placement of elevators and restricted visibility of apartments overlooking one another are a few of the other design elements aimed at safeguarding the privacy of occupants. All units are encased with double glaze low emission glassing and fitted with numerous light wells running through the building which maximizes the use of natural light and ventilation, while the VRV air conditioners installed in all units, are considered the most energy-efficient system in the world. “The Grand”- Ward Place (Colombo 07) is also probably the only high-end condominium where bathrooms are naturally ventilated. The carefully crafted interiors of the residences will be fitted with finest designer finishes presented by world renowned brands such as Kohler, Mitsubishi, Caterpillar and Schneider. Another prominent highlight of “The Grand”- Ward Place (Colombo 07) is its 71-meter infinity pool which will be at a height of over 125m on the 32nd floor. This will be the longest elevated infinity pool in Sri Lanka to-date, affording expansive 360-degree city views of the Colombo Horizon, to be enjoyed alongside a Sky Bar and restaurant. Also unique to “The Grand”- Ward Place (Colombo 07), is the fact that all residences are complemented by four stories of double height parking, ensuring each residence is allocated a minimum of two parking spaces along with several charging bays for electric vehicles. In addition, three levels of curated indoor and outdoor amenities spread across 50,000 Sq Ft, on the 5th, 32nd and 37th floors serve as primary leisure and recreational area consisting of a state-of- the-art gym, a second 36 meter pool, a children’s pool and play area, a world class spa, badminton court, a multifunctional hall, mini-mart and a day care center, among others. The most recent addition to the list of amenities is the “The Grand”- Wellness Circle, an initiative that gives residents free access to industry leading yoga gurus, renowned fitness instructors, and meditation experts in the country.

“The Grand”- Ward Place (Colombo 07) designed by renowned architectural agency, The Design Group Five International, is being constructed by one of South Asia’s largest and most credible contractors Maga Engineering.

SHAPING NEIGHBORHOODS

THE PALACE - GAMPAHA

A unique, premium apartment project that embodies the qualities of futuristic living, “The Palace – Gampaha” is set to redefine urban living in Sri Lanka. Located just 2 kilometers away from the central town of Gampaha – one of Sri Lanka’s most sought after cities; “The Palace – Gampaha” is a gated development set on a sprawling 13 acre land just 100m to the Kandy road. Offering an unmatched blend of modesty and elegance, these aesthetically beautiful apartments are stones throw away from the best schools, hospitals, shopping malls, educational institutions, and entertainment centres in the area. It also sits in close proximity to all transport links; five minutes away from one of the main railway stations in the country as well as from the upcoming highway entrances in Gampaha, and just 15 minutes to the Kadawatha highway exit.

The property’s well thought out exclusive features and modern amenities are beautifully complemented by lush green spaces perfect for a relaxed, yet functional and enriching lifestyle. Residents of this premium gated community benefit from stringent 24-hour security with access to over 50+ unparalleled amenities, including a business center, visitors lounge, games room, meeting room, library, TV lounge, café/ coffee shop, mini-mart, bar and bar deck, outdoor dining areas, function kitchen, laundry collection point, staff rest-room, fully-equipped gymnasium, function pavilion, walking & jogging paths, serene reading nooks, medical center, vegetable patch and salon among many others.

The unique addition of a large fully equipped kitchen within the complex gives residents the option of having their meals prepped to dine at the premises or have it delivered to their homes.

The kitchen will be fully managed by residents, and is maintained at the highest hygienic standards coupled with an appropriate pricing structure for daily use. The presence of Montessori and the daycare within the complex offers working residents the rare opportunity of having their children taken care of by qualified professionals.

Phase I of the project comprises 336, affordably priced two to three bedroom apartments, with customers offered multiple flexible financing options with payment plans spread over three years at current value and a projected ROI of 50% upon completion. Phase II will consist of 144 luxury homes of two and three bedrooms.

BEACH FRONT – USWETAKEIYAWA

A luxury condominium located in Uswetakeiyawa along a scenic stretch of panoramic coastline, The Beach Front (UK I) project consists of 72 two-bedroom resort-style apartments with expansive balconies that offer all residents ocean views of the crystal blue waters of the Indian Ocean and direct access to the golden sandy beach.

The fully air-conditioned, two-bedroom apartments are equipped with a modern pantry with stylish quartz tops and high-quality kitchen appliances such as an induction hob, hood, microwave and refrigerator. All apartments are fitted with LED light fittings, high quality “Hans-Grohe” mixer taps, and “American- standard” sanitary ware, and come with a designated laundry area which includes a washing machine. The entire condominium offers 24-hour security and access controlled elevators.

Apartment owners also have access to the spacious sunset terrace and visitors’ lounge, fully-equipped meeting and business centre, extensive fitness centre, a billiards room, large adult’s pool, yoga deck as well as a kiddies’ pool and play area, BBQ terrace, picnic area, and a volleyball court.

Beach Front – Uswetakeiyawa (UK II) of the project will see the construction of spacious 1, 2 & 3 bedroom residencies with direct sea views.

TRANSPARENCY OF MARKETING INFORMATION

PLR’s marketing approach combines a wide range of tools and resources, ranging from personal selling by our sales teams to dedicated promotional campaigns on print, electronic and social media channels. Regardless of the medium used however, our marketing and communication activities are based on two fundamental principles – clarity and transparency.

Premised on this, we aim to be upfront in disclosing our terms and conditions and provide our customers with clear, concise information that they may need to make an informed decision. We comply fully with the laws of the Country in all our marketing and communication activities. Furthermore, we train our sales teams to be proactive in reaching out to customers and providing greater clarity if needed.

PLR’s commitment to adhere to all relevant regulatory disclosure requirements with regard to marketing and customer communications, has ensured that there were no incidents of non-compliance in the reporting period.

CONFIDENTIALITY AND CUSTOMER PRIVACY

We respect our customers’ right to privacy and recognize that safeguarding the personal information entrusted to the Company by its customers, is PLR’s fundamental responsibility. Personal information obtained from customers as per the legislative requirements of the Anti-Money Laundering & Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) are kept strictly confidential and disclosed only at the behest of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. Internally all such information is stored securely with access granted only authorised Company employees. Furthermore PLR does not share such information externally with any third parties, unless mandated by law.

Meanwhile, personal information such as names, postal addresses and email addresses voluntarily provided by customers on the corporate website, to PLR’s sales teams or through social media channels, are used strictly for the purpose of improving customer support and promoting greater customer engagement.

There were no reported incidents of violations of customer privacy, in the current financial year.

CUSTOMER SUPPORT AND ENGAGEMENT

Customer support and engagement is a key component in PLR’s overall customer experience model. Our sales teams leverage our CRM (Customer Relationship Management) platform to continuously reach out to customers to address any queries or concerns they may have. Amidst the pandemic related challenges in the current financial year, increased emphasis was placed on promoting greater customer engagement through social media channels and the corporate website. For this purpose PLR’s digital presence was further strengthened with all social media platforms expanded to include new interactive tools, while the corporate website received a significant upgrade along with a real time chat feature also being added. The virtual tour feature was also activated to give existing customers the opportunity to obtain information regarding the progress of the project in general. The virtual tour also enables the new customers to visit the property online and take the buying decision.

Beyond this we have taken a more holistic approach to support customers to realise their ultimate dream of home ownership. To facilitate this, PLR has tied up with several leading commercial banks to enable customers to access special concessionary loan schemes and flexible payment plans. Meanwhile, to allow our customers to benefit from the best living experience we have also established, as per the Condominium Law of Sri Lanka, dedicated management corporations to handle the routine day to day management of each of our condominiums. A total of 21 condominium Management Corporations were established in the FY 2020/21.

SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT

As a real estate developer, PLR has a wide range of supply chain partners, from architects, surveyors, designers, engineers, contractors and direct suppliers.

Contractors who are charged with the construction of our condominiums, remain the largest component of PLR’s supply chain, accounting for almost 60% of the average project wise spend. PLR’s contractors are mainly local companies who are renowned specialists in their respective field. Contractors are selected through a tender procedure where their performance is evaluated based on a host of financial and non-financial criteria, with special emphasis on their safety record and their overall social and environmental performance.

Next to contractors, direct suppliers of accessory items and finishes, account for the second largest component of PLR’s supply chain. There were no significant changes to PLR’s supply chain in the year under review.

CONTRIBUTION TOWARDS THE DEVELOPMENT OF LOCAL ECONOMIES

Given that our strategy is anchored to suburban real estate, PLR’s developments are not considered a threat to traditional communities in Sri Lanka, including indigenous people.

However, as a real estate developer with a strong island-wide presence, PLR’s condominiums do contribute indirectly towards the growth and development of the areas in which they are located. PLR’s purpose to create new neighbourhoods through suburban-centric residential developments augurs well for the entire region. It greatly enhances visibility as an emerging township and adds a significant boost to the potential of the area, by encouraging the inflow of new investments in terms of road networks, transport and telecommunication infrastructure as well as health, education and financial services, in turn leading to job creation opportunities. The allied benefits of these investments serve not only the suburban populations, but also flow through to a larger demographic
of peripheral communities living in and around the surrounding area, thus promoting greater social inclusion and reducing inequalities which pave the way for the regional economy to make more consistent progress over time.

FOCUS FOR THE FUTURE

Going forward, PLR expects to leverage on digital technology to build greater customer intimacy, while increasing the use of data analytics to drive greater innovation and customisation. Training and development to strengthen the customer centric culture among our teams also remains critical to our overall approach to enhance customer satisfaction.

We also plan to develop a structured community investment programme that would deliver sustained long term benefits for underserved communities around Sri Lanka.

Natural Capital

MATERIAL TOPICS

Environmental Stewardship

MANAGEMENT APPROACH

In line with PLR’s environment strategy we take a proactive approach to contribute to environmental conservation and minimise natural capital loss by striving to benchmark global green building standards and focus on reducing waste sent to landfills.

KEY CONCEPTS

  • Construction Best Practices
  • Sustainable Resource Utilisation

VALUE CREATION FOR STAKEHOLDERS

  • Eco-friendly structures that support the creation of a more conducive natural environment for future generations

Contribution to the SDG’s

OUTPUTS FOR PLR

  • Ability to target green certifications

IMPACT ON OTHER CAPITALS

  • Presents a strong opportunity to expand the asset base to strengthen MANUFACTURED CAPITAL
  • Being on par with global standards for eco- friendly building design and construction,greatly enhances PLR’s brand reputation and boosts INTELLECTUAL CAPITAL

CONSTRUCTION BEST PRACTICES

Compliance plays a fundamental role in underpinning PLR’s efforts to preserve the environment. In this regard, a multitude of environmental laws and regulations apply depending on where our projects are located. Given that our strategy is anchored to suburban real estate, PLR’s developments are not located in close proximity to biodiversity areas and are thus not considered to be a threat to natural ecosystems. The Urban Development Authority (UDA) remains the overarching control authority body governing PLR’s construction activities. Under the guidance of the UDA, the Central Environmental Authority (CEA) and the Sri Lanka Fire Department we are often required to seek the approval of various other bodies such as the Coastal Conservation Department, (CCD) the National Building Research Organization (NBRO), the Department of Archeology, Sri Lanka Land Development Corporation among others. Such approvals are obtained on a case by case basis depending on the location, scope and scale of each project.

The CEA remains the key regulatory body providing guidance for environmental aspects to be incorporated in our project designs and construction sites. This includes specific guidelines on matters such as the treatment of waste water. As per the recommendations made by the CEA we have invested in on-site sewerage treatment plants for several of our condominiums, with treated water recycled and used for gardening. During the project construction stage, we hire the services of mobile treatment units.

Given that the electricity and water consumed in the construction process is not material compared to the other elements of the project, PLR does not maintain such data. Moreover PLR does not measure or maintain records pertaining to the energy, water and emissions for fully completed condominiums.

Sustainable resource utilization is central to our commitment to preserve the environment. Accordingly, all our condominiums have been equipped for rainwater harvesting. In place of every tree that needs to be felled for construction, we make a conscious effort to plant more trees and thereby increase the on-site green coverage.

We do however strive to incorporate energy and water conservation principles into our building designs in an effort to minimize the environmental footprint of our condominiums over time. Accordingly, we integrate passive and active design elements to ensure our developments are sustainable and benchmarked against globally accepted environment-friendly design standards. At “The Grand” – Ward Place (Colombo 07) for example, we have made sure the perimeter walls have a minimum 200mm – 300mm thick gap to help minimize heat loss thereby improving the efficiency of the air conditioning systems. Also at “The Grand” – Ward Place (Colombo 07), we have installed double glazing for all large windows with a 10-mm air gap, in order to minimize heat and sound transmission.

We continue to invest in the latest green technologies including water and energy efficient appliances such as LED lights and dual flush water cisterns, to conserve water and maximize energy efficiency to ultimately lower the emission footprint of our condominiums as well. Taking our commitment even further at “The Grand” – Ward Place (Colombo 07), we have commissioned VRF (Variable Refrigerant Flow) cooling systems to regulate the airflow within individual units.

SUSTAINABLE RESOURCE UTILISATION

Sustainable resource utilization is central to our commitment to preserve the environment. Accordingly, most of our condominiums have been equipped for rainwater harvesting. Moreover, in place of every tree that needs to be felled for construction, we make a conscious effort to plant more trees and thereby increase the on-site green coverage.

The realization that the material such as sand, cement and timber used in the construction of our condominiums originate from natural resources has prompted PLR to demand that contractors use sustainable materials as much as possible in the construction of our projects. Based on this principle, we now insist that our contractors use only high performance concrete which contains manufactured sand, which is essentially a by-product from the manufacture of granite. We also urge them to recycle whenever possible and practical. This has led to many of our contractors moving away from using plywood in their formwork which is typically for one-time use, in favor of reusable aluminum structures. These aluminum structures, after being used multiple times, are then returned to the manufacturer to facilitate resource recovery in line with the principle of circularity.

We also require contractors to adhere to CEA recommended standards for the disposal of construction waste.

OPENING DOORS TO A MESMERIZING NATURE

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