Aitken Spence Travels, the first Sri Lankan DMC to be Travelife Certified

17 Feb

Aitken Spence Travels the leading destination management company in Sri Lanka has been awarded the Travelife Certified sustainability award. The Travelife Certified award is a recognition for the company’s long-term efforts and leading position regarding sustainability and corporate social responsibility.

As a responsible travel organisation throughout its journey, Aitken Spence Travels championed all management and performance requirements to earn this title. The organisation complied with more than 160 criteria related to an operators’ sustainability management, office operations, working with suppliers and customer communication. The Travelife standard covers the ISO 26000 corporate social responsibility themes, including environment, biodiversity, human rights and labour relations; and is formally recognised as in full compliance with the Global Sustainable Tourism Council standards.

Mr. Nalin Jayasundera, Managing Director of Aitken Spence Travels commented, “We are delighted to be awarded the Travelife certification as a leading DMC in Sri Lanka and for having paved the way in the industry. As an organisation, we are committed towards sustainability and promote responsible tourism.”

“I am thankful to my team who are a set of professionals that goes beyond the call of duty. The dedication and commitment of our staff is commendable as sustainability is part of our DNA. We have implemented many activities that results in greater impact to our environment and we will continue to lead from the front.”, he further added.

Commenting on the certification, Mr. Naut Kusters, Manager of Travelife for tour operators stated, “I am delighted to see that sustainability in the tour operator’s sector is obtaining momentum. While we congratulate Aitken Spence Travels as a leading DMC in Sri Lanka for obtaining this certification, we hope that it will inspire other companies in Sri Lanka to follow the same path.”

Travelife was launched in Sri Lanka in 2016 in partnership with the Responsible Tourism Partnership Sri Lanka (RTPS). Today more than 20 Sri Lanka tour operators are working towards certification. Mr. Nishad Wijetunga, Chairman RTPS, stated “sustainability is key for the future of tourism in Sri Lanka. Aitken Spence Travels is one of the first companies in Sri Lanka to be awarded this certification which is of the highest international standards and is a historic landmark towards our goal to establish Sri Lanka as global leader in sustainable tourism”.

Travelife, which has been established with the support of the European Commission, is the leading international sustainability certification for the travel sector. More than 35 national travel associations are promoting the scheme to their members including ABTA, The British Travel Association and PATA, the Pacific Asian Travel Association. Since 2012, more than 600 Asian tour operators have been trained. They are now working step-by-step towards more sustainable operations.

Aitken Spence Travels affirmed its market leadership position by facilitating over 200,000 visitors to Sri Lanka in the financial year 2018/19. The Group’s destination management arm, handles inbound and outbound tour packages for groups, FIT and the MICE segments which operates in a highly competitive business environment.

Aitken Spence PLC: Revenue grows 3.3% to Rs. 43.8 Bn, amidst challenging times, in the 9 months ended December 2019

11 Feb

The leading blue-chip conglomerate, Aitken Spence PLC remained resilient during a difficult period through its diversity of investments in eight countries, thereby recording favourable results for the nine months ended December 2019.

Amidst challenging times, revenue of the Group grew by 3.3% to Rs. 43.8 billion for the period ended December 2019. The Group’s EBITDA for the nine months remained stable at Rs. 6.8 billion.

Close to 57% of the Group’s PBT of Rs. 2.4 billion was generated through its investments overseas for the nine months ended December 2019.

The Group recorded a profit from operations of Rs. 3.7 billion compared to Rs. 4.6 billion recorded the previous year for the nine months under review. This was primarily due to the significant foreign exchange gains recorded in the previous year due to the 17.4% depreciation of the Sri Lankan rupee as against a 3.1% depreciation during the current year. Profit from operations of the Group stood at Rs.1.8 billion for the third quarter under review.

The Maritime & Freight Logistics sector performed exceptionally well recording a 20.6% growth in profits over the previous year. The Integrated Logistics and Maritime segments continued their exceptional performance recording significant improvement in profits. However, the Group’s freight segment did not come up to expectations mainly due to intense competition and lower yields.

The Tourism sector continued to be affected from the April aftermath during the reporting period, due to the downturn the industry witnessed in the early part of the financial year. The Maldivian hotels sector continued its healthy performance though somewhat subdued due to the initial losses incurred due to partial closure of 100 rooms for refurbishment during the period.

Notwithstanding the many obstacles witnessed by the local tourism industry, the Group’s Destination Management segment maintained its market share of tourist arrivals to the country whilst upholding its position as the market leader, in this segment.

The Tourism industry in Sri Lanka had seen a steady recovery following the Easter Sunday attacks, with tourists’ arrivals considerably improving during the last few months of 2019. However, the unfortunate outbreak of the coronavirus (2019-nCov) is dampening the recovery efforts of the country with cancellations being witnessed and the overall lack of interest in travel.

The Strategic Investments sector contributed Rs. 815 million towards the Group PBT. The Group’s investment in Printing in Fiji, is yet to bear fruition with considerable cost still being incurred on restructuring and revamping its operations. The lower prices recorded for tea resulted in the decline of the performance of the plantation segment compared to the previous year though remaining profitable.

The Services sector contributed 11.1% of the Group’s PBT and recorded a 5.0% growth in Profit Before Tax over the previous year.

The Group’s first Heritance Property in the Maldives; Heritance Aarah commenced commercial operations on 1st October 2019. This 150-room property recorded healthy levels of occupancy during the first months of operations and shows immense potential to command higher rates in the coming years. Following the ingrained ethos of sustainability at Aitken Spence, Heritance Aarah is the first property in the Maldives to receive the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification.

Steady progress is seen in the construction of the country’s first waste to energy power plant which is projected for completion shortly. Proving Aitken Spence’s commitment to the sustainable development of Sri Lanka, this pioneering venture will help solve the long outstanding waste disposal issue in Colombo city.

An associate company of Aitken Spence PLC, Elpitiya Plantations PLC has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Sim Leisure Group Ltd, a leading theme park developer and operator based in Penang, Malaysia, to set up a world-class ESCAPE theme park in the Galle region. This will promote economic development in terms of creating opportunities for local employment and boosting tourism in Sri Lanka. Construction of the theme park will commence in March 2020.

During the reporting period, Aitken Spence was awarded the Best Corporate Citizen Sustainability Award for the third consecutive year organised by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. Being the reigning winner of 2017 and 2018, Aitken Spence walked away with a hat trick winning the overall award along with 12 other awards in diverse categories and sectors – the highest number of awards received by a single company at the ceremony. Aitken Spence displays unparalleled commitment to sustainability as the only company to have been ranked among the Top Ten Best Corporate Citizens for 14 consecutive years.

With an indisputable repute as one of Sri Lanka’s pioneering corporates, Aitken Spence is a blue-chip conglomerate anchored to a heritage of excellence spanning over 150 years. Listed in the Colombo Stock Exchange since 1983, Aitken Spence is a responsible enterprise driven by over 14,000 employees across 16 industries in 8 countries. Creating opportunities for Sri Lanka across new frontiers, Aitken Spence PLC is an organisation committed to the development of Sri Lanka.

Hapag Lloyd Lanka sets industry benchmark for effective Environmental Management System (EMS)

28 Jan

Hapag Lloyd Lanka is the first liner agency company in Sri Lanka to receive both ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015 accreditations

____________________________________________________________________

Hapag-Lloyd Lanka, a subsidiary of Aitken Spence PLC and the local representation of Hapag-Lloyd AG- Hamburg was recently awarded ISO 14001:2015 from ALCUMUS ISOQAR Manchester, United Kingdom. The scope of the certification covers Hapag Lloyd Shipping Agency Services at Aitken Spence Tower II, Vauxhall Street.

Hapag Lloyd Lanka also received the ISO 9001:2015 certification in 2018 and was re-certified this year. Hapag Lloyd Lanka is the first liner agency company in Sri Lanka to receive both ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015 accreditations.

ISO 9001:2015 specifies management system requirements for quality and ISO 14001 sets out the system requirements for an environmental impact management and control. With the aim of improving its environmental performance, Hapag Lloyd Lanka obtained this certification for more efficient use of resources and reduction of waste.

“Hapag-Lloyd Lanka is honoured to be among the pioneers in the industry to achieve this valued endorsement that demonstrates sought after international quality and environmental standards. Our parent company Hapag-Lloyd AG- Hamburg is also ISO 9001 and 14001 certified across the global logistics chain and marine operations, commented Mr. Lalith Witanachchi – Asst. Vice President of Hapag Lloyd Lanka Ltd.

“Aitken Spence actively manages its impacts on the environment in a scientific and systematic way with over 50 diverse management systems benchmarked under internationally acclaimed standards including ISO standards for environmental and social governance. It has become a prerequisite mandated by customers and other stakeholders for businesses including shipping lines to be conducted in an environmentally sustainable manner. We commend Hapag Lloyd Lanka for being pioneers in this endeavour taking the decisive step to be ISO 14001 certified, which is keeping with the Group’s overall objective of developing sustainable businesses,” further commented Mr. Lalith Witanachchi.

Hapag-Lloyd represents one of the world’s leading container shipping lines Hapag-Lloyd based in Hamburg, Germany. Hapag-Lloyd is ranked the fifth largest liner shipping company in the world, operating one of the largest shipping container fleet and today ranks among the top five mainline carriers to the port of Colombo. Hapag-Lloyd currently operates eight services to Colombo on a weekly and regular basis using Colombo port as the Transshipment Hub in the region.

Hapag-Lloyd Lanka, liner agency represents Hapag-Lloyd AG- Hamburg is a joint venture with Aitken Spence Maritime. Aitken Spence Maritime was the first Sri Lankan company to undertake port efficiency enhancement management overseas with its entry into the African Continent and subsequently the South Pacific Islands. The company handles all areas of maritime services – from ship agents and cargo handlers, to liner agency, cruise vessel, port management and development, chartering services and maritime education.

Mr. Lalith Witanachchi, Asst. Vice President, Hapag-Lloyd Lanka receiving the Award from ISO Auditor Mr. See Jong Tan (ALCUMUS ISOQAR) with Hapag-Lloyd Lanka’s ISO Team and Mr. Iqram Cuttilan Managing Director of Aitken Spence Maritime Sector.

Chairman of Aitken Spence PLC ranked No. 1 in the Top 10 Leadership

6 Jan

Deshamanya Harry Jayawardena, ranked no. 1 in LMD 100’s longest serving chairmen. This recognition was to highlight individuals for their versatile leadership with having guided organisations across a multiplicity of sectors and industries – through both good and challenging times.

Mr. Harry Jayawardena, Chairman of Aitken Spence PLC, was also recognised in The 100 Club A- List of 2019 as the ‘Seasoned tycoon’.

Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake, Deputy Chairman and Managing Director of Aitken Spence PLC was recognised in The 100 Club A- List of 2019 as the ‘Maritime anchor’. The 2019 A-List highlights Sri Lankan businesspeople who continue to drive the nation’s engine of growth.

 

Aitken Spence Maritime and Aitken Spence Travels boost tourism through Marella cruises

31 Dec

Boosting the revival of the tourism industry in Sri Lanka, Aitken Spence Maritime facilitated Marella cruises sailing their largest super-luxury cruise ship, Marella Discovery of the Marella fleet, to the Port of Colombo.

Marella Discovery commenced its voyage from the Persian Gulf and cruised past Cochin to reach Colombo and continued to cruise towards South-East destinations after visiting Sri Lanka. Marella is the third-largest cruise line in the United Kingdom, with a fleet of six ships. Marella cruises is a division of TUI U.K. and Ireland; TUI Group is the world’s leading integrated tourism group operating in more than 100 destinations worldwide.

Marella Cruise line offers holidays around Europe, Mediterranean, Caribbean and Asian destinations. Marella Discovery is approximately 264 meters in length and 32 meters wide having 902 state rooms with a capacity for up to 2,074 passengers. The ship boasts many features such as an outdoor cinema, a rock-climbing wall, a mini-golf course, five-storey atrium and an indoor pool. Marella Cruises trademarks include a fantastic dining scene, a show lounge to rival the West End, and smart, contemporary interiors and a range of onboard activities enabling a wonderful experience for passengers on board.

Aitken Spence Travels was the shore excursion partner in Sri Lanka. The company offered excursions for over 800 passengers covering many locations close to Colombo, low grown tea estates, historical sites, Madhu ganga river safaris and tours across the city of Galle. The excursions are designed to create memories in Sri Lanka through experiences with culture, cuisine, architecture, heritage and way of life. Aitken Spence Travels is the leading Destination Management Company (DMC) handling majority of the shore excursions of cruise ships that call over to Sri Lanka. The company is a joint venture between Aitken Spence PLC, a leading blue-chip conglomerate, and TUI.

Aitken Spence Maritime is a pioneer in the industry and was the first Sri Lankan company to undertake port efficiency enhancement management overseas with its entry into the African continent and subsequently the South Pacific. The company handles all maritime services – from shipping and cargo handling services, to liner agency, cruise vessel, port management and development, chartering services and maritime education.

Aitken Spence Hotels celebrates the season with awards and festivities

26 Dec

Aitken Spence Hotel Holdings PLC was crowned the Gold Award Winner in the Hotel Companies Sector whilst Browns Beach Hotels PLC received a Certificate of Compliance at the recently held 55th Annual Report Awards 2019 organised by Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka).

The premier hospitality chain, renowned for its sustainability and eco-efforts, celebrated yet another global recognition with TUI awards; a recognition from German guests and auditors. Heritance Ahungalla (Sri Lanka) and Adaaran Select Meedhupparu (Maldives) were named ‘TUI Environmental Champions 2020’. Awarded by TUI Group, the world’s leading integrated tourism group operating in more than 100 destinations worldwide, this recognition celebrates outstanding performance in driving sustainable tourism.

The true test of sustainability, and resilience is the capacity to maintain operations amid adversity; to support people and local economies dependent on business continuity for their sustenance. These achievements are a tribute to the strength and endurance of its people.

Aitken Spence Hotels have proven their mettle time and again, illustrating their strengths on multiple platforms. The team stole the show at the Culinary Art Food Expo 2019 walking away with the championship trophy and an impressive 130 medals in total. Heritance Aarah Maldives emerged ‘Overall Champion’ within just few months of operations. Always a changemaker in the industry, Aitken Spence Hotels introduced LEED certified architecture to the Maldives with Heritance Aarah, the first LEED Gold certified resort in the Maldives. LEED buildings save energy, water, resources, generate less waste and support human health.

Aitken Spence’s Heritance hotels in Sri Lanka and Adaaran hotels in the Maldives remain Travelife Gold certified. Aitken Spence Hotels also received the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence for 16 of its hotels and resorts located across Sri Lanka, Maldives, Oman and India.

On that high note, Aitken Spence Hotels is welcoming the festive season with an array of exciting activities.

Indulge in the finest flavours with culinary feasts, join an impressive lineup of celebrations and treat yourself to a relaxing and a truly memorable holiday experience. Guests will be greeted with special celebrations all through the month including a gala dinner buffet on Christmas eve followed by festive lunch and dinner spreads on Christmas day. The festivities also include Christmas carols on Christmas eve and a range of fun activities for junior guests such as Kiddies Fun Camp, and the ‘Junior Chef’ seasonal workshop.

Usher in the New Year, at the new year’s bash and enjoy a grand lunch and dinner spread at Aitken Spence Hotels, renowned as Sri Lanka’s most awarded hotels and resorts.

For more details, visit http://bit.ly/2LMTuLY. For reservations for any of the events mentioned or for stay inquiries, contact the Aitken Spence Hotels head office on 0112308408.

Aitken Spence Hotels Team receiving the awards at the 55th Annual Report Awards

 

Adaaran Select Meedhupparu, Maldives

 

Heritance Ahungalla, Sri Lanka

Aitken Spence wins Best Corporate Citizen Sustainability Award for 3rd consecutive year

9 Dec

From left: Country Representative for IUCN in Sri Lanka Dr. Ananda Mallawatantri, High Commissioner of Australia in Sri Lanka David Holly, Aitken Spence Director and Head of Business Development and Plantations Dr. Rohan Fernando, Ceylon Chamber Chairperson Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya and Aitken Spence Deputy General Manager – Group Business Development and Sustainability Yasangi Randeni

 

Aitken Spence team

 

Aitken Spence PLC last week won the coveted Best Corporate Citizen Sustainability (BCCS) Award 2019.

Organised by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, this annual event recognises best practices of organisations that have successfully achieved a sustainable balance between social, environmental and economic performance.

Being the reigning winner of 2017 and 2018, Aitken Spence walked away with a hat trick winning the BCCS Award 2019 along with 12 other awards in diverse categories and sectors – the highest number of awards received by a single company at the ceremony. Aitken Spence displays unparalleled commitment to sustainability as the only company to have been ranked among the Top Ten Best Corporate Citizens for 14 consecutive years.

High Commissioner of Australia in Sri Lanka David Holly was the Chief Guest of the occasion and the event was graced by Sri Lanka’s top corporate leaders and executives to acknowledge and celebrate sustainability initiatives undertaken by the country’s corporate sector.

The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce hosts this award with a panel of experienced evaluators and judges comprising industry leaders, and experts on sustainable development. Recognition at this platform is aimed to encourage businesses, a major contributor in the country’s economy and development, to adopt sustainable practices.

The diverse categories within this program evaluate processes and systems ensuring integration of environmental and social sustainability within the business, measures for customer satisfaction, systemic efforts for community development and economic contribution, governance structures, consistent commitment as well as sustainable projects carried out by corporates.

Commenting on this achievement, Aitken Spence PLC Deputy Chairman and Managing Director Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake said, “We are truly humbled and grateful to have received this significant achievement. We have always embraced sustainability as a strategic priority to proactively establish impact controls.”

“This is the fourth overall win for Aitken Spence and the 14th consecutive year we have presented our performance at this platform. Aitken Spence is one of the very few organisations in Sri Lanka that are truly international and diversified. That’s why, developing a strategy that encompasses the priorities of all our operations is all the more complex. This recognition validates the approach we have adopted across the leadership of Aitken Spence, as well as the commitment and years of hard work by genuinely passionate team members. I wholeheartedly thank the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and all our stakeholders that have been on this long journey with us. We will always remain committed to create sustainable value in Sri Lanka and wherever we set our footprint,” he added.

With an indisputable repute as one of Sri Lanka’s pioneering corporates, Aitken Spence is a blue-chip conglomerate anchored to a heritage of excellence spanning over 150 years. Listed in the Colombo Stock Exchange since 1983, Aitken Spence is a responsible enterprise driven by over 14,000 employees across 16 industries in 8 countries. Creating opportunities for Sri Lanka across new frontiers, Aitken Spence PLC is an organisation committed to the development of Sri Lanka.

 

Best Corporate Citizen Sustainability Award 2019

 

  • Top Ten Best Corporate Citizens
  • Sector Award– Diversified Holdings
  • Triple Bottom Line Award – Environment (Planet)
  • Category Award – Environmental Commitment
  • Category Award – Environmental Integration
  • Category Award – Environment Beyond the Business
  • Consistent Commitment and Continuous Improvement Award – Employee Relations
  • Consistent Commitment and Continuous Improvement Award – Community Relations
  • Consistent Commitment and Continuous Improvement Award – Customer Relations
  • Consistent Commitment and Continuous Improvement Award – Environmental Commitment
  • Consistent Commitment and Continuous Improvement Award – Environmental Integration
  • Consistent Commitment and Continuous Improvement Award – Environment Beyond the Business

Aitken Spence Maritime promotes a high season for cruises with AIDAvita and AIDAbella

3 Dec

AIDA cruises luxurious vessel ‘AIDAvita’ at the Colombo Harbour

 

AIDA cruises luxurious vessel ‘AIDAbella’ at the Colombo Harbour

Continuing the momentum in the cruise ship season, Aitken Spence Maritime ushered in two super luxury AIDA cruise vessels AIDAvita and AIDAbella on the 10th and 14th November 2019. Over 1,100 passengers visited Sri Lanka and joined excursions to enjoy the Colombo city and other locations outside Colombo, such as Bentota, Beruwala, Akuressa, and Galle exploring the beaches, tea estates and places of historical importance.

The cruises commenced their voyage from India and Maldives to the Port of Colombo, Sri Lanka and thereafter headed towards Port Kelang, Malaysia. These luxurious cruise ships are equipped with 1,000 cabins and suits; each ship with capacity to accommodate 2,500 passengers.

AIDA cruises offers cruise holidays around Europe, Mediterranean, Caribbean and Asian destinations. Hosting the finest combination of cruising, wellness holiday, city tours, breath-taking entertainment and experiencing nature whilst being one of the most modern and eco-friendly fleets in the world.

“As the local agents, Aitken Spence Maritime facilitated all aspects with the local authorities and other stakeholders to ensure that all passengers and crew members onboard had a positive experience of Sri Lanka, taking back fond memories of our island,” said Mr. Iqram Cuttilan, Managing Director of the Aitken Spence Maritime sector.

Aitken Spence Maritime is a pioneer in the industry and was the first Sri Lankan company to undertake port efficiency enhancement management overseas with its entry into the African Continent and subsequently the South Pacific. The company handles all areas of maritime services – from shipping and cargo handling services, to liner agency, cruise vessel, port management and development, chartering services and maritime education.

Aitken Spence Logistics invests in state-of-the art machinery

26 Nov

Aitken Spence Logistics, a pioneer in the industry, invested in a state-of-the-art brand new 180 ton capacity multi axle trailer, filling a long-awaited need in handling and transporting heavy over dimensional cargo in the logistics industry.

Multi axle trailers are used in mega projects related to the construction and power & energy sectors. Investing in a brand new multi axle trailer has bridged a gap in the industry whilst providing a customer centric solution that is reliable, safe and cost-effective to transport heavy equipment such as wind and thermal power equipment.

The Special Project Operations Division of Aitken Spence Logistics which is the heavy cargo operational arm of the company, has the expert knowledge and capability in handling heavy, over dimensional cargo that demands meticulous planning and execution. The division is equipped with prime movers, lorries, flat bed trailers, low bed trailers, cranes, boom trucks and forklifts and has provided services to many large-scale projects in the recent past. Some of them being windmill projects, island wide transformer placing projects, storage tank placing operations at several bottling plants and bridge construction projects

“In acquiring this state-of-the-art machine, Aitken Spence Logistics has filled an enormous gap that prevailed in the industry for a long time. The new addition is part of the continuous expansion and upgrading capacity of Aitken Spence Logistics. Introducing innovative logistics solutions and exceeding customer expectations are the hallmarks of Aitken Spence Logistics which enables the Company to remain unchallenged as the front runner in providing integrated logistics services to all our customers. We will continue to excel, and our investments reflect this belief that we keep pace with the changing needs of the industry,” commented Mr. Janaka Gunawardena, Chief Operating Officer – Aitken Spence Logistics.

Aitken Spence Logistics is a subsidiary of Aitken Spence PLC which is among Sri Lanka’s leading and most respected corporate entities in Sri Lanka. Listed in the Colombo Stock Exchange since 1983 and marking its 150th year milestone in 2018, Aitken Spence is a blue-chip conglomerate with a strong regional presence in the Hotels, Travels, Maritime Services, Logistics Solutions, Plantations, Power Generation, Financial Outsourcing, Insurance, IT, Printing and Apparel sectors. With a geographical presence in 8 countries and growing, creating opportunities for Sri Lanka across new frontiers, Aitken Spence PLC remains committed to the development of our nation.

Aitken Spence cumulative Q2 revenue up by 8.2%

15 Nov

Against an extremely challenging macro-economic environment, the leading conglomerate Aitken Spence PLC’s Group gross revenue grew by 8.2% to Rs. 28.6 billion for the period ending 30th September ‘19. Main growth in revenue were from the strategic investments and the maritime & logistics sectors. The integrated logistics segment performed exceptionally well recording a 30% year on year growth in revenue. This momentum is expected to continue for the rest of the year. The ship agency and maritime operations segments also recorded growth in revenue. The printing and apparel manufacture segments also recorded double digit growth in revenue compared to last year.

The Group recorded an overall profit from operations of Rs. 1.9 billion for the six months ended 30th September from Rs. 2.2 billion recorded the previous year. This was a result of the downturn experienced mainly by the tourism industry, post Easter Sunday. Despite the decline faced by the tourism sector, the Group showcased its resilience and its diversity of investments, to record an overall profit-before-tax (PBT) of Rs 1.2 billion for the six months ended 30th September. The Group PBT for the comparative period in the previous year was Rs. 1.7 billion.

The Group recorded a gross revenue of Rs. 14.2 billion for the second quarter whilst its profit from operations for the quarter was Rs. 1.1 billion compared to the profit from operations of Rs. 1.4 billion recorded the previous year.

Approximately 56% of the Group’s PBT for cumulative September ‘19 was generated through its investments overseas. The main contributor towards the PBT was the maritime & logistics sector which recorded a 24.5% growth over the previous year.

The strategic investments sector contributed Rs. 677 million towards the PBT compared to Rs. 727 million in the previous year. The significantly lower tea and rubber prices, and the intense competition faced by the printing sector coupled with the costs of the recent investment in South Pacific printing contributed to this effect. The printing segment is currently in the process of revamping the machinery and technology in this facility targeting to cater to the South Pacific region.

South Asia’s first green printing facility Aitken Spence Printing renewed its carbon neutral certification for the seventh consecutive year and thereby reflecting its commitment to sustainability.

Steady progress is seen in the construction of the country’s first waste to energy power plant and is projected for commercial operations towards the end of the financial year. Aitken Spence is committed to the development of Sri Lanka and this pioneering venture will help solve both the waste disposal and energy supply challenges in the country at present.

Despite a healthy performance by the Maldivian hotels, the drag in the local tourism industry resulted in the tourism sector reporting a loss for the period. However, the Group’s iconic properties Heritance Kandalama and Heritance Tea Factory recorded positive performances despite the decline in arrivals to the country.

Aitken Spence Hotels also received 14 awards at the South Asian Travel Awards 2019 and recently walked away with the championship trophy and an impressive 130 medals at the Culinary Art Food Expo 2019. With only few months into its opening, Heritance Aarah emerged as the overall champion at the Culinary Art Food Expo 2019 and excelled at the Food & Hospitality Asia Maldives 2019 (FHAM) competition with the highest number of awards won by an individual Resort. Following the ingrained ethos of sustainability at Aitken Spence, Heritance Aarah is the first property in the Maldives to receive the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification.

The Group’s destination management segment was able to maintain its market share of the arrivals to the country. The destination management segment’s Myanmar operations has obtained all licenses and has recently commenced commercial operations.

During the reporting period Aitken Spence was ranked amongst the top 10 Most Admired Companies of Sri Lanka 2019 for the second consecutive year by International Chamber of Commerce, Sri Lanka (ICCSL) and The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) Sri Lanka. The Company was among the top 10 of LMD’s Most Respected entities hall of fame 2019. Aitken Spence PLC was also amongst the top 10 whilst Aitken Spence Hotels won the sectoral accolade at the CMA Excellence in Integrated Reporting Awards 2019.

Listed in the Colombo Stock Exchange since 1983 and marking its 150th year milestone in 2018, Aitken Spence is a blue-chip conglomerate with a strong regional presence in the Hotels, Travels, Maritime Services, Logistic Solutions, Plantations, Power Generation, Financial Outsourcing, Insurance, IT, Printing and Apparel sectors. With a geographical presence in 8 countries and growing, creating opportunities for Sri Lanka across new frontiers, Aitken Spence PLC remains committed to the development of our nation.

Deshamanya D.H.S. Jayawardena –
Chairman Aitken Spence PLC

 

Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake –
Deputy Chairman and Managing Director Aitken Spence PLC