AITKEN SPENCE PLC POSTS A 38% GROWTH IN PBT TO RS. 5.2 BN in 2016/17

27 May

 

 

 

 

Deshamanya D.H.S. Jayawardena- Chairman of Aitken Spence PLC.

 

 

 

 

Mr. J.M.S. Brito – Deputy Chairman and Managing Director of Aitken Spence PLC.

 

Aitken Spence PLC recorded a 38% rise in its profit before tax year-on-year with a top line of Rs. 45.9 billion for the year ended on the 31st of March. The conglomerate concluded the reporting period with a strong fourth quarter performance during which both revenue and PBT figures showed strong growth trajectories.

The holding company’s revenue growth reflected across all key operational sectors including tourism, maritime and logistics, strategic investments and services. The mid to long term strategic investments made by the group in preceding years performed well in spite of challenging market conditions.

The tourism sector recorded a growth of 32% in revenue to RS. 24 billion, while the maritime and logistics, and services sectors reported revenues of RS. 9.9 billion and RS. 1.7 billion respectively, indicating a growth of 20% and 43% respectively over the year.

Commenting on the Group’s inclination towards making mid to long term investments, Deshamanya D.H.S Jayawardena, Chairman of Aitken Spence PLC stated, “we have been quick to identify new investment opportunities where we can diversify to remain relevant in the present business context. Catalysed by our investment model, we seek strategic partnerships with global partners that would provide a competitive edge in the markets we intend to serve. At present, we have identified Tourism and Maritime and Logistics as key growth sectors, and have made significant strides in the current financial year to expand the Group’s footprint in these selected business domains.”

Aitken Spence PLC reported a profit attributable to shareholders of RS. 2.9 billion, a rise of 43% while earnings per share also rose by 43% to RS. 7.12

The global and local market conditions have remained less than favourable, with slow market growth impacting many of the operational sectors Aitken Spence PLC is engaged in.

Furthering its commitment towards making key strategic investments, the Group invested RS. 5.8 billion in acquiring property, plant and equipment. Investments made in prospective verticals are expected make returns in the medium to long term.

“Despite challenges faced from external factors by some of the key sectors, the Group had a commendable year of performance.  Over the years we have invested to build robust businesses underpinned by strong fundamentals. Our presence in diverse sectors has been the cornerstone of Aitken Spence PLC’s success, cushioning the Group during times of economic adversity. In the year under review, we switched gears and accelerated the pace to reach the next phase of our growth agenda. Uncertainty becoming the new normal for many of our businesses, our purpose for the year was not to be distracted by it, but rather look for opportunities that would take the Group to new heights,” commented Mr. J.M.S Brito.

Listed in the Colombo Stock Exchange since 1983, 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.

Aitken Spence Partnered with Thalassemia Foundation of Sri Lanka to Raise Awareness of Thalassemia Disease

8 May

Aitken Spence partnered with Thalassemia Foundation of Sri Lanka to raise awareness of Thalassemia disease through a walk which was conducted in Colombo on Saturday 06th of May. Aitken Spence employees across Sri Lanka and highest level of management together with supporters of Thalassemia Foundation marched from Aitken Spence premises in Vauxhall Street to Independence Square.

The walk raised awareness and funds to the Thalassemia Foundation of Sri Lanka. Aitken Spence has remained committed towards carrying out meaningful CSR initiatives for the benefit of the communities throughout the island.

Thalassemia is a genetic blood disorder, occurring throughout the island, in which haemoglobin, the main protein of the red blood cell, is not produced in sufficient quantities. Although babies affected by Thalassemia are apparently healthy at birth, severe life-threatening anaemia becomes apparent at the age of about six months. Thereafter, most require monthly blood transfusions. In most children, without transfusion, death occurs in the first few years of life.

With a strong presence in almost every key sector of the local economy, Aitken Spence has continued to maintain strong nurturing ties with the people in the communities surrounding its island-wide operation and the Thalassemia Walk is one such endeavour. Widely recognized as one of the most diversified conglomerates in the country, the company remains committed to taking an active interest in the wellbeing of its many stakeholders.

Aitken Spence Travels Wins ‘Best in Class’ Award at Interactive Media Awards

22 Feb

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Aitken Spence Travels received the ‘Best in Class’ award presented by the Interactive Media Awards (IMA) for its revamped Aitken Spence Holidays website in the Travel and Tourism category. The ‘Best in Class’ award is the highest honour awarded by the IMA for excellence in planning, execution and overall professionalism. In order to achieve this award, the website passed through a comprehensive judging process, excelling in each of the judging criterion. The laurel is presented to very few websites each year for meeting the required mark.

The Aitken Spence Holidays unit is the Outbound operation of Aitken Spence Travels that provides a comprehensive set of services related to its Sri Lankan travellers. The service portfolio offered by Aitken Spence Travels Holidays unit consists of Issuing of Air Tickets, Assistance in obtaining visas, Assistance in obtaining new passports, Renewals, Holiday and business packages to exotic destinations, Pilgrim tours to Dambadiva and Holy land, Tours to global trade fairs, Special packages for Sports events & Musical concerts, Cruise packages, Overseas hotel accommodation, Rail tickets on Rail Europe,  Issuance of Currency & Travel Cards, Airport Drop & Pick up, Travel Insurance and Emirates holidays packages.

The role of Aitken Spence Travels has evolved to an organisation with almost 40 years of service to the Sri Lankan traveller and has some of the leading business organisations entrusting their travel needs and services through the company.

‘The Interactive Media Awards is an open competitive platform targeted at felicitating individuals and organizations involved in designing, developing, managing, supporting and promoting websites. The awards are judged by an independent committee appointed by Interactive Media Council Inc. (IMC), the hosting organization of this award’ stated Rajitha Dahanayake CEO of E Marketing Eye the company responsible for the revamp of the Aitken Spence Holidays web site.

“We pride ourselves on the ability to understand our customers and cater to their exact requirements in the most customer-centric way. In recent years, it has become clear that digital is a necessary medium by which to engage customers and we have wholeheartedly strengthened our efforts in that area. We are ever prepared to offer our customers an avenue to discover new destinations, personalise it and offer new ideas to make travel plans.” commented Nalin Jayasundera, Managing Director – Aitken Spence Travels.

Aitken Spence 9-Month Net Profit Grows by 17%

14 Feb

 

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Aitken Spence PLC recorded a strong financial performance closing the immediate 9-month period with a 9.9% year-on-year growth in profits before tax amounting to Rs. 2.9 billion, and a 17% growth in profit attributable to shareholders. The growth is attributed to  strong financial performances posted by a number of key operational sectors in the reporting period.

Bringing to fruition the long term investment strategy adopted by the diversified group, many of the key industry segments operated by Aitken Spence showed positive growth trends in the 9-month period that drew to a close on the 31st of December 2016. The top line for the same period grew by 69% to a figure of Rs. 30 billion while earnings per share rose by 17% to Rs. 4.09.

The company achieved a 28% growth in profit before tax in the third quarter amounting to Rs. 1.4 billion. Earnings per share rose by 36% in the quarterly period amounting to Rs. 2.14 per share. Profit attributed to equity holders also rose by 36% to Rs. 870 million year-on-year, for the quarter.

Listed in the Colombo Stock Exchange since 1983, Aitken Spence is a blue chip conglomerate with a strong regional presence in the Hotels, Travels, Maritime Services, Logistics, Plantations, Power Generation, Printing, Insurance, IT, Outsourcing and Apparel.

Maritime and Logistics, Services and Strategic Investments sectors all showed positive growth figures contributing to the bottom line gain experienced during the reporting period. Growth in the Strategic Investments sector was driven by power generation, plantations and printing segments while the elevator agency segment helped the Services sector performance. Maritime & Logistics sector benefited from growth in the port management services and education segments and the addition of a new freight forwarding representation.

Unfavourable market conditions in foreign markets, particularly the Maldives and India, and the high costs of finance have negatively contributed towards a challenging period for the tourism sector, despite top line growth. The addition of RIU Sri Lanka in Ahungalla, Al Falaj Hotel (Oman), Turyaa Chennai and the new wing of Turyaa Kalutara contributed to the rise in revenue.

“We have seen growth in revenue, and more significantly contributions from some of our new investments to the top line of the Group which is a healthy indicator of the performance of those investments in my view. Most of the [Group’s] key sectors have experienced positive growth in the third quarter. We are also confident that the tourism sector will rebound across the various geographical markets and that the new investments we made will continue to pay off in the coming years”, commented Deputy Chairman and Managing Director of Aitken Spence PLC, J M S Brito.

Aitken Spence Elevators Awarded ISO 9001: 2008 Quality Management Systems Certificate

13 Feb

 

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Aitken Spence Elevators, the sole distributor of OTIS elevators & escalators in Sri Lanka, was recently awarded the ISO 9001:2008 certification for its Quality Management System (QMS) by SGS Lanka (Pvt) Ltd. This certification covers Sales, Marketing, Installation, Testing, Commissioning and Maintenance functions of OTIS elevators, escalators and travelators.

The company’s QMS was established with the aim of satisfying its customers beyond their expectations through continuous improvement. Its vision is to elevate the company to be the leading elevator and escalator supplier in Sri Lanka. The focus was also on developing a motivated and committed team to introduce emerging technologies to the market and ensure safety, quality and reliability of its products and services.
Surendar Mariappan, Joint Managing Director of Aitken Spence Elevators said the ISO quality certificate is an important landmark in the company’s evolution and a testimony to the high standards of service which they adhere to.
The ISO 9001 certification is provided to organizations that are able to demonstrate its Quality Management System has the robust ability to consistently fulfill customer requirements as well as statutory needs. ISO 9001 certification also proves that the organization is committed towards continually enhancing customer satisfaction through the application of the management system with processes in place for non-conformance management and improvement.
Aitken Spence Elevators has inculcated an open culture for more productive workplace interactions, whilst building stronger bonds with its customers base. Further, its team has committed towards delighting customers by effectively delivering the company’s brand promise and end-to-end solutions in vertical transportation.
“Our commitment towards continuous improvement and quality management is a key factor contributing to all aspects of our operation. This certification is a milestone of achieving the highest levels of compliance and standardization for the benefit of our customer base who continues to place their faith in us. We hope to perpetuate the movement towards ensuring uncompromising quality at all levels and aspects” said the Joint Managing Director of Elevators.

Aitken Spence Printing Walks Away With Gold at National Business Excellence Awards

13 Feb

 

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The export arm of Aitken Spence Printing and Packaging – ACE Exports was awarded at the National Business Excellence Awards 2016 in recognition of its overall business excellence and contribution made towards economic progression of the country. The awards ceremony hosted by the National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka (NCCSL) saw the Gold Award for the Printing and Related Services category being awarded to ACE Exports.

“Being awarded the Gold Award is a proud achievement for us and is due recognition for the untiring efforts our team puts into continuously providing high quality services for our client base. With this achievement we are able to occupy the status of being the ‘best in class printer’ in the Sri Lankan printing industry,” commented Prasanna Karunathilake, Managing Director of Aitken Spence Printing.

Committed towards delivering service driven, value oriented, innovative and sustainable printing and packaging solutions for all stakeholders, Aitken Spence Printing is poised for growth with an ever expanding customer base and best practices in printing and related services.

“It is indeed an honour for the excellent work of our team members. It also feels great to be recognized for our efforts in global engagement, business and financial performance, capacity building, sustainability initiatives, performance management, corporate governance, manufacturing excellence, best practices and set benchmarks in the industry”, added Mr. Karunathilake.

The laurel is dedicated towards the many stakeholders whose invaluable contributions have continued to grow the Aitken Spence Printing brand from strength to strength over the years and whose interests are closely aligned with the company’s vision for excellence in the future.

Aitken Spence Hotels Turyaa Chennai Amongst Top Five-Star Hotels In The City

13 Feb

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Turyaa Chennai, owned and operated by Aitken Spence Hotels has successfully met criteria for obtaining “5-Star Deluxe” classification, ranking it as one of five hotels in Chennai to have obtained this highly sought after accreditation. Turyaa Chennai now joins Hilton Chennai, Hyatt Regency Chennai, ITC Grand Chola Chennai and Park Hyatt Chennai in the “5-Star Deluxe” category segment. The 140-room property situated in the IT corridor of Chennai minutes away from the bustling city centre is recognised as one of the best new hotels in the city offering the perfect amalgamation of business and leisure. Situated 20 minutes away from the international airport, the hotel is the ideal location for the business travellers, the ardent shopper or cultural holiday seeker. With the recent classification status obtained by the property, Turyaa Chennai is now the only 5-star deluxe property in the IT corridor.

In order to achieve the 5 star deluxe certification the Hotel had to comply with stringent requirements provided by the inspection committee which consisted of representatives from both national and regional key statutory bodies.Aitken Spence Hotels, the first Sri Lankan hotel operator to enter the Maldives (1993), India (2007) and Oman (2009) broke new ground once again by being the first Sri Lankan company to own and operate a 5-star deluxe property in neighbouring India.

“Turyaa Chennai receiving this classification is no doubt a reflection of the hard work and dedication put in by the team. Service excellence will remain our top priority as we continue strengthening and expanding our tourism portfolio in the region. ” said Mr. Susith Jayawickrama, Joint Managing Director, Aitken Spence Hotels.Aitken Spence Hotels operates a chain of 24 hotels and resorts in Sri Lanka, India, Oman, and the Maldives. Each of its properties caters to a diverse client base, having hotels suited to every need and budget while maintaining high standards of hospitality. Located in key tourist locations, the Aitken Spence chain boasts of exotic properties such as the award winning eco-friendly Heritance Kandalama which is situated in close proximity to two UNESCO world heritage sites, Heritance Tea Factory which has been rated by The Independent, UK as one of the ‘Top Five Factory Hotels’ in the world and one of the best 100 places to stay in the world by the Sunday Times, UK and Desert Nights Camp in Oman, rated as one of the top ten desert retreats in the world.

Aitken Spence Travels to handle Inaugural Charter Flight of Thomson Airways from the UK

10 Nov

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Aitken Spence Travels will handle the inaugural charter of Thomson Airways scheduled to arrive in Sri Lanka on the 08th of November 2016 at 01.30 pm, carrying TUI clients from Thomsons and First Choice from London Gatwick.

The Dreamliner B787, the 300-seat aircraft will operate every Tuesday on a weekly basis during the period of November 2016 to April 2017. Aitken Spence Travels intends to serve over 7,000 visitors to Sri Lanka through this charter operation as the official ground handler pertaining to logistics, transport, accommodation and tours of all travellers arriving on board.

The company is confident that the revived charter business from the UK will benefit stakeholders of the Tourism industry in Sri Lanka. The last charter from the UK market was in 2010 since then it has taken much effort and dedication to convince the charter operators to resume their flights back to Sri Lanka considering the aggressive competition posed by competing destinations.

“The peaceful environment, competitive pricing, the extended product portfolio with a variety of choices has had an impact in persuading the charter operators to resume flights back to Sri Lanka. However, we have been persistent and not losing hope has paved the way in reality with this charter. This year we have succeeded in getting the attention of many new market segments and we are keen to continue this way. Sri Lanka has a lot to offer and it’s our responsibility to promote it effectively,” commented Nalin Jayasundera, Managing Director of Aitken Spence Travels.

As a result of the charter operations, arrivals from the UK as well as Ireland will see an increase in travellers and clients would have the convenience of booking a direct flight to Sri Lanka enabling a hassle free journey.

 

 

Aitken Spence Second Quarter Profits Up by 50%

8 Nov

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Aitken Spence PLC posted Rs. 540 mn as profits attributable to equity holders of the company in the second quarter, an increase of 50% year-on-year. Pre-tax profits rose by 26% to Rs. 973 mn while revenue rose by 70% to Rs. 9.8 bn, in the second quarter from last year. Earnings per share for the quarter was Rs. 1.33, an increase of 50% over the corresponding period.

Increase in revenue during the quarter from the tourism sector was mainly driven by new additions, Al Falaj hotel (Oman), Turyaa Chennai (India) and the new wing of Turyaa Kalutara. Resumption of operations at the Company’s thermal power plant contributed to the increase in revenue from the Strategic Investments sector, while the new segments in the freight and port management activities contributed to the increase in the Maritime & Logistics sector revenue.

Aitken Spence PLC is among Sri Lanka’s most dynamic and respected corporate entities with operations in South Asia, the Middle East, Africa and the South Pacific. Listed in the CSE since 1983, it has major interests in hotels, travel, maritime services, logistic solutions and power generation. The group also has a significant presence in plantations, printing, garments, financial services, insurance and information technology.

The diversified Group’s six months results reflected profits attributable to equity holders of the company at Rs. 789 mn and pre-tax profits at 1.45 bn. Six-month revenue increased by 50 % to Rs. 17.38 bn, while earnings per share for the same period stood at Rs. 1.94.

Operations of the Group’s thermal power plant recommenced in April this year following a lapse of one year, now contributing to a more stable national power generation effort. The Group has made substantial investments over the years to establish a portfolio of thermal, wind, hydro and especially renewable energy production, and expects growth in this area of engagement both in the local and foreign markets. The interest in renewable energy has been worked into the Group’s sustainability initiatives and continues to be a key priority in the envisioned future of the Group involvement in the power sector.

The tourism sector whose lion share is represented by the Group’s chain of resorts spread across four countries faced a challenging quarter. The interest and start-up costs of new hotel projects in Sri Lanka and overseas affected the bottom line of the sector. Closure of a multitude of rooms in a few resorts in the Maldives for refurbishment coupled with lower demand from key source markets negatively affected the returns from the Maldives leisure segment. However, the Company is confident that the Maldives tourism sector would pick up in the short to medium term.

Group’s latest additions to Sri Lanka’s leisure portfolio, Heritance Negombo and RIU Ahungalla were fully operational during the quarter under review. The 500-room RIU hotel in Ahungalla contributed towards the resumption of scheduled charter flights to Sri Lanka from several countries during the winter season of 2016, which will contribute to better results for the rest of the year.

The Maritime & Logistics sector recorded an impressive performance in the quarter with significant increases in the top and bottom lines, strengthened by its maritime services and port management divisions.

An approximate 28 % increase in the income tax charge for the Group from Rs. 207 mn to Rs. 264 million was recorded for the quarter ending 30th September 2016.

TUI CEO Visits Heritance Negombo

4 Mar

DHS Jayawardena with Fritz Joussen at Heritance Negombo

TUI Group CEO Fritz Joussen accompanied by other TUI top-level executives visited Heritance Negombo on Thursday. The 139-room hotel is the latest hotel investment by Aitken Spence in Sri Lanka, which is to open in April 2016.

The high profile team from TUI, the world’s largest integrated tourism group, included the CEO of TUI Germany, Managing Director of Product and Purchasing, CEO of TUI Nordic and Managing Director of TUI UK and Ireland . The TUI executives were welcomed by Aitken Spence Chairman Deshamanya D H S Jayawardena, Deputy Chairman J M S Brito and Head of Leisure/Director Stasshani Jayawardena.

The historic visit is organized by TUI’s joint venture partner in Sri Lanka Aitken Spence Travels.

Visiting Heritance Negombo