Archive | November, 2014

Aitken Spence Enhances Efficiency at Fiji Ports

13 Nov

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Since taking over management control of the International Fijian ports of Suva and Lautoka in July last year Aitken Spence has increased ship crane productivity by 70 per cent.

Aitken Spence has also reduced berthing delays from between 12 to 18 hrs to 0.50 hrs on average while equipment downtime has been reduced by 60 per cent.

The substantial efficiency improvements were highlighted by Chairman/CEO of Aitken Spence Maritime, Logistics & Cargo and Director of Aitken Spence PLC, Dr Parakrama Dissanayake, in his address at the 39th Pacific Maritime Transport Alliance Conference held in the island country of Niue from 28th – 31st October 2014. The conference themed “Our Pacific shores, the waves of possibilities’ was attended by 26 countries in the South Pacific including Australia and New Zealand.

Marking the first ever public-private partnership by a Sri Lankan company, Aitken Spence entered into a public-private partnership with Fiji Ports Corporation acquiring 51 per cent of the shares in Ports Terminal Limited in 2013 to oversee the repair and operation of the ports of Suva and Lautoka.

Aitken Spence PLC is among Sri Lanka’s most dynamic and respected corporate entities with operations in South Asia, the Middle East, Africa and the South Pacific. Listed in the CSE since 1983, it has major interests in hotels, travel, maritime services, logistic solutions and power generation. The group also has a significant presence in plantations, printing,garments, financial services, insurance and information technology.

“We are confident the private-public partnership would result in the establishment of Fiji as the gateway to the Pacific” said Dr. Dissanayake.

“We will bring in the global best practices in human resources and the processes in the system and also in the sphere of having the right machinery to having the right level of productivity,” he added.

The Pacific Maritime Transport Alliance Conference emphasized the importance of safety and security of all ships navigating the vast Pacific Ocean for maritime transportation and trade within the region.

The conference provided an opportunity for port members from the Pacific Island countries and territories to share ideas, enhance understanding and promote co-operative approaches to the achievement of conference.

The conference noted that in order to improve safety and security, ports and infrastructure providers need to embrace a business outlook,with operation and service strategies that adhere to legislation and encourage improved performance.

Aitken Spence 6-month PBT Up by 13pc

11 Nov

Diversified conglomerate Aitken Spence PLC posted a pre-tax profit of Rs. 2.29 bn for six months ended 30th September 2014, an increase of 13 per cent from the corresponding period last year.
The blue chip’s half-year revenue soared by 23.7 per cent to Rs. 19.7 bn, results released to the Colombo Stock Exchange revealed. Profit attributable to equity holders rose by 8.1 per cent to Rs. 1.3 bn while earnings per share improved by 8.1 per cent to Rs. 3.27, over the corresponding period.
Aitken Spence PLC is among Sri Lanka’s most dynamic and respected corporate entities with operations in South Asia, the Middle East, Africa and the South Pacific. Listed in the CSE since 1983, it has major interests in hotels, travel, maritime services, logistic solutions and power generation. The group also has a significant presence in plantations, printing, garments, financial services, insurance and information technology.
Inbound travels sector contributed strongly to the broader tourism sector’s performance during the period under review. Aitken Spence Travels, a joint venture with global giant TUI, is Sri Lanka’s largest destination management company with a leading presence in the Maldives.
Aitken Spence is presently in the midst of two substantial hotel projects in Sri Lanka worth approximately 18 billion rupees. Heritance Negombo, which is expected to be Negombo’s landmark destination will be a high-end 142-room resort, expected to open in 2015. A joint venture with globally renowned RIU Hotels, the 500-room RIU Ahungalla will be the largest hotel out of Colombo with opening date set in 2016.
Strong returns from Port Terminals Ltd which runs ports in Fiji made a significant contribution to the Maritime Cargo Logistics sector’s performance.
Considerable growth in the Printing and Garments businesses helped the Strategic Investments Sector record a robust performance during the six months.
In September, the Apparel business unit began the refurbishment of a new expanded facility that would double its capacity. The new factory in Koggala which is expected to be operational in December this year will be employing 1500 staff.
Aitken Spence Printing, an industry leader, recently invested in additional machinery to bolster its post-press facilities.
The increased generation by the Group’s Embilipitiya power plant strengthened the performance of the Strategic Investments sector during the reporting period. The company sold its power plant in Matara during the period under review.
The Balance Sheet during for period under review reflected the Aitken Spence’s recent acquisition of a hotel property in Chennai.

Aitkenspence head office

Aitken Spence and Ecocorp Asia to take nanotechnology to the next level in Sri Lanka

7 Nov

Colombo 30th October 2014…Aitken Spence PLC will be partnering Eco Corp Asia, to take nanotechnology to local industries. This partnership is seen as a business venture with great promise, considering the solution it provides across almost every industry in the country.

Aitken Spence, one of Sri Lanka’s premier blue chips with interests in several key sectors of the local economy, joined their expertise with EcoCorp, Asia sole partners for nanopool® GmbH, in Sri Lanka, to introduce this futuristic technology.

Chairman of Aitken Spence PLC, speaking on the Company’s vision and trailblazer spirit said that with this partnership, Aitken Spence would be investing in technology of the future. He said, “This Company started as a trading house, moved into shipping agencies, plantation management and the garment industry. In the hospitality industry, we have pioneered many innovations and opened new horizons for Sri Lanka’s tourism sector. We are first Sri Lankan company to own and manager hotels as well own and manage ports overseas. Therefore change is nothing new to us; wherever we see opportunity we do not fear to tread. That’s part of the Aitken Spence DNA and we are happy to be associated with Eco Corp Asia’s pioneering spirit in bringing this nanotechnology-based solution to Sri Lanka. I believe that if developed carefully, nanopool will become a very viable venture.”

nanopool® technology is a form of liquid glass a surface protection system that is 500 times thinner than a single strand of human hair, and harmless to living things and the wider environment. It is one of the most important, environmentally friendly products to emerge from the field of nanotechnology. The ultrathin layers created over the surface offer several benefits – protection against corrosion, easy-to-clean surfaces, dirt-repellent surfaces, abrasion resistance (wear protection), scratchproof surfaces, anti-bacterial surfaces, protection against moisture, and acid and alkaline protection.

The partnership between the two companies was officially announced at the launch of nanopool® to local industries at an event held at the BMICH, participated by key officials from various sectors, including construction, architects, hotels, manufacturing, hospitals, telecommunications, garments etc.

Manilal Fernando, Chairman of Eco Corp Asia who had done the ground work for the venture by connecting with nanopool® GmbH in Germany said that their partnership with Aitken Spence will bring greater synergy in commercialising this product. He said “Aitken Spence is at the helm of many an industry in Sri Lanka and with their expertise joined with our team’s ingenuity, we are looking at a longstanding partnership, with a product which has already well on the way to becoming a great success.”

Chairman of Eco Corp Asia, Manilal Fernando and Deshmanya DHS Jayawardena, Chairman of Aitken Spence after signing the partn

Chairman of Eco Corp Asia, Manilal Fernando and Deshamanya DHS Jayawardena, Chairman of Aitken Spence after signing the partnership agreement for nanopool.