Blue chip conglomerate Aitken Spence PLC reported its interim results to the Colombo Stock Exchange on Monday, showing Rs 3.02 bn as pre-tax profit and Rs 1.95 bn as profit attributable to shareholders for the nine months ended 31st December 2011; an increase of 24 per cent and 20 per cent respectively over the previous year. For the third quarter, the company recorded a growth of 53 per cent in pre-tax profit and a growth of 41 per cent in profit attributable to shareholders to Rs. 1.34 bn and Rs. 819 mn respectively.
The diversified group’s nine-month revenue rose by 15 per cent to Rs. 21.02 bn while the revenue for the third quarter rose by 30 per cent to Rs. 8.06 bn. Earnings per share increased by 20 per cent to Rs. 4.81 for nine-month period while it rose by 41 per cent to 2.02 during the third quarter.
“Our travels, Maldivian resorts, and maritime services sectors contributed considerably to the bottom line. The Group’s port related operation in the African Continent which completed five years of business continued to contribute strongly towards the performance of the Group while the apparel sector successfully surmounted the removal of GSP and having secured strong relationships with customers performed well during the year. The printing sector too performed well and with its continues commitment to quality invested in a new state of the art six colour printing press and an eco friend factory in Mawaramandiya which will be in operation soon.”, said J M S Brito, Deputy Chairman & Managing Director of Aitken Spence PLC.
The Company’s travel arm, the largest inbound operator in the country, which recorded a robust performance during the period under review, is a joint venture with TUI Travel Plc, the world’s largest integrated tourism group. Aitken Spence is amongst five largest resort operators in the Maldives with an internationally-acclaimed chain of resorts under the brand Adaaran. The Group is Sri Lanka’s largest logistics service provider covering the whole gamut of logistics related services including container operations, freight forwarding, maritime services and express.
During the period under review Aitken Spence increased its stake in Colombo International Nautical and Engineering College (Private) Ltd., (CINEC) and now has a significant holding in the country’s largest private sector higher education campus. The Company expects to extend the synergies derived from this affiliation to expand the educational programmes offered by CINEC into other industries that the Group operates in.
Subsequent to the balance sheet date the Company having secured the contract to develop the Colombo South Terminal being the sole bidder in consortium with China Merchants Holdings (International) Company Limited (CMHI), finalised the formalities to sell it’s 30% shareholding in Colombo International Container Terminals Limited (CICT) the project company to CMHI. This sale would realise a capital gain of approximately Rs 630 million to the Group during the year 2011/2012 which will be reflected in the 4th quarter
Aitken Spence in its continuous drive to enhance shareholder value ventured overseas in areas where the group had strong management and operational capabilities. The Group’s power sector successfully bid for and were selected to develop two thermal power plants in Bangladesh on a BOO basis
“With almost 50 functional environmental management systems benchmarked under ISO 14001 across the Group, Aitken Spence is committed manage its impact on the environment systematically. We are pleased to have announced several achievements during the last quarter which will add to our many international and country firsts, in championing sustainable business”, said Deputy Chairman & Managing Director J M S Brito.
Heritance Ahungalla, Sri Lanka’s leading five-star resort, owned and managed by Aitken Spence Hotels was certified for Energy Management System ISO 50001:2011, the first hotel to receive the certification in Sri Lanka. Aitken Spence Hotels’ first hotel property, Neptune Hotel, recently re-opened as Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara was the first hotel in the country to enter into a Net Metering Agreement using solar photovoltaic as the renewable energy source. Aitken Spence Cargo, the Freight Forwarding arm of Aitken Spence PLC was awarded ISO 14001: 2004 Environmental Management Systems Certification, the first major freight forwarder in the country to receive the certification.