Blue chip conglomerate Aitken Spence PLC reported its annual results 2012/13 to the Colombo Stock Exchange on Thursday, reporting profit from operations of Rs 5.5bn billion, an increase of 14.4% over the previous year’s profit from operations of Rs 4.81 billion excluding the reported capital gains on the sale of the shares of Colombo International Container Terminals Ltd. (CICT). The profit before tax is at Rs.5 bn for the year with a growth of 8.9% as compared with Rs. 4.59 bn in the previous year, excluding capital gains on the sale of the shares of CICT. The diversified group’s annual revenue rose by 20 per cent to Rs. 37.1 bn whilst earnings per share declined by 6.3% to Rs. 8.05 for the financial year.
The revenue of the tourism sector for the financial year grew 24.9% to Rs. 14 bn and profit before tax surged 31.4% to Rs. 3.4 bn. Annual revenue for the Cargo Logistics increased 1.4% to Rs. 5.7 bn whilst profits after tax for the sector declined by 33.7 % to Rs. 556 mn. Services sector reported growth in revenue of 11.4% and profit after tax of 1.5% to Rs. 537 mn and Rs 162 mn respectively for the financial year. Strategic Investments sector (inclusive of revenue of equity accounted investees) reported an increase in revenue of 22.8% to Rs. 17.9 bn, while profit after tax dropped by 46.4% to Rs. 837 mn for the financial year.
“The company has had a year of mixed fortunes with challenges and pressures that have tested our strength and our ability to adapt, combined with fresh opportunities and prospects that excite us about the road ahead”, said Deshamanya D H S Jayawardena, Chairman of Aitken Spence PLC.
“We are proud to say that we have not approached our shareholders for funds in fifteen years. This is particularly noteworthy considering that our dividend record has improved significantly during this period, and will continue to grow in line with our earnings record”, he said.
“The Sri Lankan Tourism sector has performed reasonably well but was affected somewhat with the country attracting a higher number of lower-end or budget tourists who do not regularly patronise star class establishments”, he added.
Deputy Chairman and Managing Director J M S Brito said, “The Group was once again able to achieve a commendable performance for the year 2012/13 despite the macro-economic and global challenges we encountered. Our diversity and innate capabilities provided us with the ability to respond strategically and with agility to changing conditions whilst staying on course with the greater vision of Aitken Spence”.
“In terms of expansion, we will continue to explore new avenues of business as well as new markets both in Sri Lanka and overseas, where we may utilise our proven capabilities in management to build sustainable new businesses”, he added.
The revenue for the fourth quarter of 2012/2013 was recorded at Rs. 9.38 bn, a negative growth of 3.3% compared to the fourth quarter of 2011/2012. The profit before tax for the fourth quarter posted a negative growth of 4.13 % at Rs. 1.85 bn when compared with 2011/2012 figures which excludes capital gains on the sale of the shares of CICT.
Aitken Spence is among Sri Lanka’s leading and most respected corporate entities with operations in South Asia, the Middle East and Africa. It is an industry leader in hotels, travel, maritime services, logistics, power generation and printing, with a significant presence in plantations, financial services, insurance, information technology and apparel. Aitken Spence was recognized as Sri Lanka’s Best Corporate Citizen for 2012 by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.