Aitken Spence PLC released its first quarter financial results to the Colombo Stock Exchange on Monday, reporting a pre-tax profit of Rs 734 mn for the three months ended 30th June 2011, a growth of 13.5 per cent, over the previous year. The leading diversified conglomerate’s profits attributable to the shareholders grew by 25.3 per cent to Rs 551mn during the quarter.
Earnings per share for first quarter ended 30 June 2010 stood at Rs. 1.36, an increase of 25 per cent over the corresponding period in the previous year.
The Group’s Maldivian resorts that operate under the Adaaran Resorts umbrella showed strong growth from the first quarter of last year. With five award-winning resorts under its portfolio, Adaaran is the fourth largest resort operator in the Indian Ocean archipelago.
With several new projects on port related services from South Africa coming online during the quarter under review, Aitken Spence’s overseas maritime services arm recorded a significant growth in profits compared to the same period last year.
The Company’s travel arm, the largest inbound operator in the country, recorded a robust performance during the quarter under review. Aitken Spence Travels is a joint venture with TUI Travel Plc, the world’s largest integrated tourism group. TUI generates over 30 million tourists worldwide and operates over 150 owned aircrafts.
Group revenue for the period showed a drop of 2 per cent over the corresponding quarter. The closure of its largest power plant at Embilipitiya during most of the quarter due to repairs and maintenance, as well as the closure of two Sri Lankan resorts for refurbishment contributed negatively to Group revenue.
The former Neptune Hotel in Beruwala which was closed for refurbishment during the quarter is now opened as Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara, an up market wellness resort. Our resort property in Kalutara was the other resort that was closed during the quarter for refurbishment. It will open in November this year as The Sands by Aitken Spence, subsequent to a refurbishment and an expansion in room capacity and service offering.
Deputy Chairman & Managing Director of Aitken Spence PLC, Mr. J M S Brito said, “Reflecting our diversified interests, the quarter’s strong growth was fuelled by vigorous performances by several of our strategic business units.”
“We are delighted to note the outstanding achievement of the culinary team of our hotels sector who were rated the Best Hotel Team and Best Culinary Team in Sri Lanka after competing against both international and domestic star class hotels at the 14th Culinary Art Competition. Such achievements are testament to our relentless commitment to being globally competitive in whichever business we are in”, added Mr. Brito.
During the quarter under review, the Company’s Heritance Hotels and Resorts were the dominant winners at the Sri Lanka Tourism Awards. Heritance Ahungalla, was awarded the Best 5-Star Resort in the island successfully taking over the baton from Heritance Kandalama who won the coveted award for the last three consecutive years, securing the resort a position in the prestigious Hall of Fame last year. Heritance Tea Factory emerged winners in the Best 4-Star Resort category for a second year. The Best Host Hotel for Eco Tourism was awarded to Heritance Kandalama.
The Group’s printing & packaging arm, known for its industry leadership in quality and reliability, contributed strongly during the reporting quarter. The integrated logistics arm of the company which has an unrivalled range of container related services showed an improved performance from last year.