Archive | June, 2014

Aitken Spence appoints Mr. Susith Jayawickrama as the Managing Director of Aitken Spence Hotels Managements

30 Jun

Diversified conglomerate Aitken Spence announced Mr. Susith Jayawickrama will be appointed as the Managing Director of Aitken Spence Hotels Managements (Pvt) Ltd., with effect from 1st of July 2014.

Mr. Susith Jayawickrama a fellow member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants UK, was previously the Deputy Managing Director of Aitken Spence Hotel Managements (Pvt) Ltd., the company managing all the Group Hotels in Sri Lanka and overseas.

He serves on the Boards of all the hotel companies in the Group. He has extensive experience at senior management positions in the Group’s hotel sector for almost two decades and has considerable exposure in the tourism industry in Sri Lanka and overseas. He is also the Vice President, Resort Hotels of the Tourist Hotels Association of Sri Lanka (THASL).

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Fiji Ports pays record dividend to government

27 Jun

As published on the the Fijivillage on the 27th of June 2014

The Fiji Ports Corporation Limited has paid a record dividend of $3.698 million to government for the 2013 financial year.

Chairman of Fiji Ports Corporation Limited, Tevita Kuruvakadua said the payment represents a 1.2% increase over prior years and is the highest ever paid by Fiji Ports to the government.

Kuruvakadua said year 2013 signified considerable change for Fiji Ports, a situation brought about through the signing of a Public Private Partnership agreement with Sri Lankan firm Aitken Spence for the management of Ports Terminal Limited.

He said the Fiji Ports Group recorded strong and profitable trading results for 2013, representing successive increases form 2010 onwards.

Kuruvakadua added that the 2013 financial results included extraordinary outcomes, given the recognition of $6.3 million gain on sale for Ports Terminal Limited shares to Aitken Spence.

Story by Filipe Naikaso

Spence signs BOI deal for new $ 100 m hotel with Spanish chain

27 Jun

Published by the Daily FT on the 27th of June 2014

Aitken Spence PLC has entered into an agreement with the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka (BOI) to set up a five-star luxury resort in Ahungalla.

This agreement was signed by BOI Chairman Dr. Lakshman Jayaweera and the Directors of Aitken Spence Malin Hapugoda and Vipula Goonathilake.

Aitken Spence PLC will launch the first business model involving the Southern Highway and the Mattala Airport by investing in a $ 100 million beach resort in Ahungalla to be managed by an international hotel chain. The five-storey, 500-roomed, five-star luxury resort, which will be managed by RIU Hotels, Spain, would also be a first for the Spanish chain, being their inaugural project in the Asia Pacific region.

“The timing of the hotel’s opening will be right since the Southern Highway to Hambantota is expected to reach completion by then and we have the Mattala Airport facility already in place, giving us the perfect mix for our business model.  Aitken Spence has always encouraged infrastructure development in the country and our investment is proof of our confidence and support of the Government’s development plans,” said Deputy Chairman of the Group Rajan Brito.

The Aitken Spence management is also of the opinion that the private sector needs to develop business modes of this nature, which are in line with the Government’s vision for the country’s development.

BOI stated: “The BOI is very pleased that this project will be started in Ahungalla. The policy of the Government is to get 2.5 million tourist arrivals by 2016. Hence hotel room capacity needs to be increased to meet growing demand.”

The project will also be unique in its concept, since it will introduce charter flights to the country. The hotel which would cater to high end customers looking for long stay vacations will arrive on Boeing 787 Dreamliner charters which can carry up to 200-300 passengers at a time. RIU Hotels is an all-inclusive model which has seen international success across 107 properties managed by them in 16 countries.

This business model spearheaded by the Group would also have a snowball effect in developing the tourist industry, particularly in the deep south of the country.

“This would be a huge boost to the tourism sector as 700-800 guests coming into the country in one go would help in creating international awareness of Sri Lanka as an emerging holiday destination in Asia,” said the Deputy Chairman.

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Heritance Kandalama celebrates 20 years of excellence

24 Jun