Archive | February, 2010

Heritance Kandalama Spa Named Among Asia’s Top 5 Sustainable Spas

23 Feb

Luxury Insider, Asia’s leading luxury online magazine announced that the Six Senses Spa at Heritance Kandalama  is among the top-5 sustainable spas in Asia.

Heritance Kandalama has been celebrated for its green philosophy and is widely recognized as the five-star resort that put eco tourism on the map in Sri Lanka. “We are committed towards sustaining and further developing our environmental programmes implemented and we are delighted to be recognised for our efforts” said Mr.B.H.R Sariffo’deen, Assistant Vice President, Aitken Spence Hotels.

The Six Senses Spa situated on a rock overlooking the world famous Sigiriya Rock Fortress belongs to a chain of twenty-four award wining, world renowned spas. The philosophy of Six Senses is based on balancing a pyramid of the five senses; sight, sound and touch are the base of the pyramid; taste and small form the center; the apex symbolises the unique sensory experience of the Six Senses Spa.

Geoffrey Bawa’s visionary architectural design has ensured that no lights are required anywhere in the hotel during daytime as all areas of the hotel are designed to receive an adequate amount of natural light. As a result of something as simple as the allowance for lighting, the hotel makes a substantial saving in the energy that is consumed. The hotel was built between two rock formations and none of the trees on the location were destroyed. The entire hotel is built on a raised platform allowing water to flow under the hotel. It also allows the free flow of animals under the hotel, creating minimum impact on the eco system. Other state-of-the-art methods are utilized in every aspect of the hotel to ensure efficient use of energy and resources such as water.

The hotel has a comprehensive energy conservation policy with power cut-off switches, energy efficient lighting (CFL bulbs), photo active garden lights and a Gassification plant which uses biomass in the form of Grilicedia wood which is a renewable source compared with the previous boiler which used diese. The hotel has a comprehensive water conservation policy where no surface water is utilized; water is obtained from 150-200 foot deep tube wells and a maze of gutters that collect rainwater.

“Sri Lanka has particularly strict laws to protect the environment and wildlife. We are proud to say that the Heritance Kandalama not only complies fully with these laws, but we also go well beyond them; we take pleasure in our conservation work. We also respect the social and cultural sensitivities of the neighbouring communities, while assisting them with their livelihoods. We purchase local products and services, and involve these communities in our environmental conservation work” said Mr.Malin Hapugoda, Managing Director, Aitken Spence Hotels.

Operating under the Heritance Hotels & Resorts brand, the flagship Heritance Kandalama is the world’s first hotel to obtain the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. The Observer of UK named it as one of the “Icons of Modern Hotel Design” and Travel + Leisure calls it one of the leading green hotels of the world. In keeping with the company’s commitment toward the environment, ‘Greening the Chain’ is the objective of Aitken Spence Hotels.

Media Release – 24 February 2010

Aitken Spence Rated Platinum for Corporate Accountability

23 Feb

Aitken Spence PLC has been classified as among the four Platinum-level companies in the Corporate Accountability Index published in the February issue of Sri Lanka’s leading business magazine LMD in its cover story.

The index developed by STING Consultants- Sri Lanka’s sole marketing and brand-consulting company-  assessed 66 entities comprising of Sri Lanka’s largest publicly listed, state owned and private companies.

The index follows a method ‘similar to the procedure adopted internationally by the Dow Jones Sustainability Index which is published annually’. The index classifies companies into broad bands (Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze) based on their commitment to corporate accountability and its integration into corporate strategies.

Companies were rated on a compulsory basis and key areas of assessment for this index were the organizations corporate values, stakeholder engagements, identifying impacts, risks and opportunities, policy coverage, management and governance and measurement and disclosures.

Media Release – 24 February 2010

Aitken Spence Hotels reaffirmed as Sri Lanka’s Best Culinary Team

22 Feb

Culinary Art 2010, an event organised by the Chef’s Guild of Sri Lanka awards top achievers in the field of culinary arts; namely, restaurateurs, star category hotel chefs, airline caterers and hotel schools including competitors from  Maldivian hotels. Offering visitors with stunning feasts for the eye, the event is Sri Lanka’s biggest annual food and hotel show held at the BMICH from February 5th – 8th 2010.

Aitken Spence Hotels, once again maintained its reputation for the best culinary tradition in the country. Sri Lanka’s leading resort operator walked away with a total of 136 medals which included 43 Gold’s, 44 Silver’s and 49 Bronze’s. Its flagship hotels, Heritance Ahungalla and Heritance Kandalama were placed first and second respectively in the Gold Medal tally.

Some of the key performers who won special awards for their achievements in individual competition were: Sulari Thabrew, Chathuri Jayasundara, H E Indika Danushka, Pradeep Fonseka and W Dinesh Chaminda of Heritance Ahungalla; S Mahendra Samataunga and Chamara Dilhan De Silva of Heritance Kandalama.

Media Release – 22 February 2010

Aitken Spence Q3 Profits up by 14%

3 Feb

Interim Results of Aitken Spence PLC for the third quarter ended 31 December 2009

Aitken Spence PLC released its third quarter financial results to the Colombo Stock Exchange today, showing a 10 per cent rise in pre-tax profits to Rs 914 mn and a 14.3 per cent rise in profit attributable to shareholders to Rs 541 mn over the same quarter last year.

Aitken Spence is among Sri Lanka’s leading and most respected corporate entities with interests in Hotels, Services, Logistic Solutions and Strategic Investments in South Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

The diversified conglomerate reported Rs 2.14 bn as pre-tax profit and Rs 1.3 bn as profit attributable to shareholders for the nine months ended 31st December;  an increase of 3.3 per cent  and 3.1 per cent respectively over the previous year.

Performance from the Group’s resorts in the Maldives which operate as Adaaran Resorts, showed signs of recovery despite being lower than last year. With seven resorts under its portfolio, Aitken Spence is the largest international resort operator in islands, which was sharply affected by a slump in tourist arrivals due to the global recession.

During the quarter under review, Adaaran Prestige Resorts was acclaimed as “The Indian Ocean’s Leading Water Villa Group” and Adaaran Prestige Water Villas at Meedhupparu won the award for “The Maldives Leading Water Villas” for the second consecutive year at the World Travel Awards ceremony held in London during the 2009 World Travel Market.

“Increased tourist arrivals due to the end of the armed conflict in the country has improved income from our resorts in Sri Lanka during the quarter. An outstanding rebound in tourism is imminent for the next season. With a focused and robust destination marketing strategy that builds a strong country brand internationally, we believe that the private sector is capable of making tourism a key engine of sustainable economic growth for Sri Lanka”, said Mr. J M S Brito, Deputy Chairman and Managing Director of Aitken Spence PLC.

Aitken Spence is the largest resort operator in Sri Lanka with nine award-winning properties across the island. The company has announced plans to expand its hospitality portfolio in the island with proposed resorts in the South, North and the East.

Aitken Spence opened the newly-rebranded Heritance Tea Factory in December, which joins Heritance Kandalama, Heritance Ahungalla and Heritance Madurai under the up-market Heritance Hotels & Resorts umbrella.

The company also announced that it will be managing the 130-roomed Ramada Hotel & Convention Centre in New Delhi, which is due to open in March this year. Aitken Spence currently operates five hotels and resorts in India, including the eco-friendly Barefoot at Havelock in the Andaman Islands.

During the quarter, the Group saw a lower contribution from the Aviation sector, which comprises of the Singapore Airlines and Kingfisher Airlines agencies, as a result of reduced frequency of flights and prices.

With the global economy recovering, the Maritime division showed an improved performance over last year during the period under review. Post-war opportunities in the field of domestic transport and logistic management contributed strongly to the performance of the Cargo Logistics sector.

Renegotiated prices and improved production has helped the company’s garment manufacturing arm to post positive results during the quarter.

Media Release – 03 February 2010