Blue chip conglomerate Aitken Spence PLC reported its interim results to the Colombo Stock Exchange on Thursday, showing Rs 3.1 bn as profit before tax, which is an increase of 18 per cent for the nine months ended 31st December 2012, amidst challenging macroeconomic conditions. Profit attributable to shareholders rose by 24 per cent to Rs 2.1 bn, over the previous year.
The diversified group’s nine-month revenue rose by 30 per cent to Rs. 27.8 bn while earnings per share increased by 24 per cent to Rs. 5.11.
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.
“Our satisfactory results for the 9-month period has been mainly driven by our tourism and strategic investments sectors. Our resorts in the Maldives performed exceptionally well with better occupancies. We are keen to strengthen our leisure portfolio in Sri Lanka and overseas. However, we would like to reiterate the need for a robust destination marketing strategy for Sri Lanka to overcome some of the key challenges we are presently facing in tourism and to achieve the industry’s full potential for the country”, said J M S Brito, Deputy Chairman and Managing Director of Aitken Spence PLC.
“Since many of our companies generate revenues in foreign currency, during the current year, we did not get the benefit of the currency depreciation compared to the previous year. This is reflected in the reduction in the other operating income during the period”, he added.
“The full operation of our 100 MW power plant in Embilipitiya, which was shut down in the first quarter of the last financial year, strengthened the performance of the strategic investments sector when compared with the previous year”, he said.
“Given the demanding global environment at present, we believe the Company would find it challenging to match the outstanding fourth quarter performance it achieved during the previous year”, he concluded.
During the last quarter under review Aitken Spence was recognized as the ‘Best Corporate Citizen 2012’ by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC). Aitken Spence also received two sector awards for ‘Environment’ and ‘Economic Contribution & Governance’, as well as the category award for ‘Financial Performance’.
Aitken Spence’s premier beach property in Sri Lanka, Heritance Ahungalla was presented with the Gold Award at the National Green Awards conducted by the Central Environmental Authority, during the last quarter under review. Heritance Ahungalla has successfully taken over the baton from Heritance Kandalama, which was received the same distinction during the previous year.
The interim financial statements of the Company and its controlled entities for the nine months ended 31st December 2012 were audited by the Company’s external auditors since it is the first financial year following the adoption of IFRS requirements. The restated financial position of the company and its controlled entities as at 31st March 2011 and 31st March 2012 respectively based on Sri Lanka Accounting Standards effective from 1st January 2012 have also been audited by external auditors.