John Keells Holdings PLC
FormerlyJohn Keells Limited
Founded1870; 152 years ago (1870)
Sri Lanka
Key people
Krishan Balendra (Chairman)
RevenueIncrease LKR202.85 billion (2021/22)
Increase LKR27.32 billion (2021/22)
Increase LKR20.44 billion (2021/22)
Total assetsIncrease LKR717.80 billion (2021/22)
Total equityIncrease LKR330.10 billion (2021/22)
  • Paints and General Industries Ltd (10.14%)
  • S. E. Captain (9.69%)
  • Melstacorp (9.31%)
Number of employees
Increase 21,200 (2021/22)
Footnotes / references

John Keells Holdings PLC (JKH) is one of the largest conglomerate companies in Sri Lanka. From managing hotels and resorts in Sri Lanka and the Maldives to providing port, marine fuel and logistics services to IT solutions, manufacturing of food and beverages to running a chain of supermarkets, tea broking to stock broking, life insurance and banking to real estate, the Group of companies has made its presence felt in virtually every major sphere of the economy.

JKH is a full member of the World Economic Forum and has issued Global Depository Receipts on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange, and was the first Sri Lankan company to be listed overseas. As a Member of the Global Compact – the United Nations-sponsored international corporate citizenship initiative, JKH is also committed to sustainable development and greater social responsibility, in a multi-stakeholder context. Keells continues its position as the most valuable company in Sri Lanka since the 1980s.[2]


Edwin and George John founded John Keells in the 1870s. They incorporated the company in Colombo, Ceylon with the name E.John & Co. In 1960 they changed the name to John Keells. It was initially set up as a manufacturer of tea and essential foods. In 1948 E. John & Co. merged with two UK based companies including Thompson and White & Co. Ltd.[3]

During the 1970s and 1980s, the company mainly focussed on new opportunities in the tourist industry. In 1986, the name was changed again, from John Keells Ltd to John Keells Holdings Ltd. In 1986/87 John Keells went public.[4]


The number of shares of John Keells is approximately 1.32 Billion. In 2021, the share price of JKH reached Rs. 147. The promoter group, the SK Captain family, hold 11.62% of the total shares whereas the remaining 88.38% shares are held by public shareholders, including Citigroup.[5]


The company's equity shares have been listed on the Colombo Stock Exchange since the 1980s. As of 2021, JKH's market capitalization stood at Rs195 billion, making it the largest company in Sri Lanka. Approximately 6% of its total market cap.[2] In 1994 the Global Depository Receipts issued by the company were listed on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange.

Company has received domestic credit rating of AAA (lka) from Fitch.[6] It was to become the 10th most valuable brand in Sri Lanka worth Rs. US$103 million in 2020 (excluding Elephant House).[7]

Businesses and investments

Transportation Sector

John Keells' total revenue from logistics was 10%, from transporting 12% and 5% from supply chain management.

John Keells Logistics (Pvt) Ltd. is a logistic, supply chain management and transportation management company. It is a subsidiary of John Keells. It is a recipient of the ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 45001:2018 certifications.[8]

Mackinnons is one of the oldest logistic companies in Sri Lanka. It was founded by India Steamship Company in 1917. Mackinnons Group was acquired by John Keells in the 1970s.[9]

Startup Accelerator

John Keells Holdings launched John Keells X in 2016 to boost creative and intellectual business talent in Sri Lanka via a competitive programme conceptualized and administered by John Keells Holdings PLC. It includes investment in Blue lotus 360, DirectPay, HeliosP2P, SenzAgro.[10]


John Keells financial performance[11][12]
Year Revenue

in bil. Rs

Net income

in bil. Rs

Total Assets

in bil. Rs

Total employees
2019 140.043 9.741 436.944 20,578
2018 121.215 23.120 363.797 20,765
2017 106.273 18.117 322.448 20,361
2016 93.710 15.792 277.272 20,100
2015 91.852 15.745 218.085 19,522
2014 86.706 12.958 201.581 18,981
2013 85.408 13.433 199.323 19,771
2012 75.924 10.951 133.938 19,296
2011 60.500 9.063 110.291 16,571


  1. ^ "Annual Report 2021/22" (PDF). John Keells Holdings PLC. Retrieved 5 August 2022.
  2. ^ a b "Colombo Stock Exchange". Colombo Stock Exchange. Retrieved 21 April 2021.
  3. ^ "History | John Keells Holdings PLC, Sri Lanka". Retrieved 21 April 2021.
  4. ^ "Times Treasured in History" (PDF). John Keells Holdings.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. ^ "John Keells Holdings PLC, JKH.N0000:CSE summary -". Retrieved 21 April 2021.
  6. ^ LBO (19 August 2013). "Sri Lanka's John Keells Holdings 'AAA(lka)' rating confirmed: Fitch". Lanka Business Online. Retrieved 21 April 2021.
  7. ^ "Sri Lanka 100 2020 | Brand Value Ranking League Table | Brandirectory". Retrieved 21 April 2021.
  8. ^ "John Keells Logistics | About Us". John Keells Logisitics. Retrieved 21 April 2021.
  9. ^ "Mackinnon Mackenzie building : Preserving the old world charm". Sunday Observer. 31 August 2018. Retrieved 21 April 2021.
  10. ^ "John Keells X Open Innovation Challenge". Retrieved 26 May 2021.
  11. ^ "John Keells Holdings PLC . Annual Report 2017/18" (PDF). John Keells Holdings. 25 May 2018.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  12. ^ "John Keells Holdings PLC Annual Report 2014/15" (PDF). John Keells Holdings.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)