Blue-chip conglomerate Aitken Spence PLC posted a pre-tax profit of Rs. 2.1 bn for six months ended 30 September 2012, an increase of 51.5 per cent from the corresponding period last year.
The impressive half-year results released to the Colombo Stock Exchange on Wednesday show a rise of 40 per cent in group revenue to Rs. 18.6 bn. Profit attributable to shareholders increased by 53.4 per cent to Rs. 1.37 bn while earnings per share rose by 53.4 per cent to Rs. 3.38, over the corresponding period.
Aitken Spence is among Sri Lanka’s leading and most respected corporate entities with operations in South Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Listed on the Colombo Stock Exchange since 1983, it is an industry leader in hotels, travel, maritime services, logistics, power generation and printing. The diversified group has a significant presence in plantations, financial services, insurance, information technology and apparel.
“I am pleased to present yet another period of remarkable growth for Aitken Spence where profit before tax has grown by over 50 per cent for the first six months of the financial year. Our growth has been fuelled by an outstanding performance by our tourism sector” said Deshamanya D H S Jayawardena, Chairman of Aitken Spence PLC.
“We strongly believe that given the right conditions to operate, the private sector in Sri Lanka could be the primary driver for sustained high growth in the Sri Lankan economy. We welcome the steps undertaken and promised by the government to encourage private sector investment in the country”, Mr. Jayawardena added.
He further stated, “In the present global context of turbulence and uncertainty, we see a clear opportunity for Sri Lanka to position itself strongly as a preferred destination for high-value travellers. Hence, we believe that a robust private sector-led destination promotion strategy that underscores the country’s unique set of diverse attractions would help Sri Lanka’s brand positioning internationally”.
Aitken Spence is the country’s largest resort operator with a chain of international award winning hotels across the country. Known for setting benchmarks in environmentally friendly operations, two of its hotels in Sri Lanka were recognized as the most energy efficient and the best for green practices and architecture during the last quarter.
Aitken Spence Travels, a joint venture with TUI, the world’s largest tourism company, is the largest inbound tourism operator in Sri Lanka with a network of over 200 leading tour operators in all major tourism generating markets.
Contribution from the Strategic Investments sector, which includes Power Generation, grew considerably when compared with the previous year. During period under review, Aitken Spence commissioned two wind and hydro power plants connected to the national grid, whilst its largest power plant in Embilipitiya was in full operation throughout the entire period. The Company was successful in winning two tenders for power generation in Bangladesh which will comprise a total capacity of 200MW.
Aitken Spence PLC was adjudged as the Best Corporate Citizen in Sri Lanka for 2012 by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce recently, which the Company believes is a testament to its long-standing commitment to create sustainable value to all its stakeholders, thereby driving reliable growth.