Leading conglomerate Aitken Spence PLC recorded a challenging third quarter but showed a steady performance for the nine months, revealed its interim results to the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) released on Wednesday.
The blue-chip’s financial results for the nine months ended 31st December 2014 saw profit-before-tax increasing by 4.4 per cent to Rs. 3.8 bn while profit attributable to shareholders decreased by 4.8 per cent to Rs 2.2bn,
The diversified group’s third quarter results showed profit-before-tax decreasing by 5.9 per cent to Rs. 1.6bn and profit attributable to shareholders falling by 19.5 per cent to Rs. 870mn, “Although we had a challenging third quarter, we were able to record a steady performance for the year so far”, said J M S Brito, Deputy Chairman and Managing Director of Aitken Spence PLC.
“With the new administration in Sri Lanka, we see a significant boost to business confidence. We are confident that the 100-day plan which has received bi-partisan support will strengthen good governance, which augers well for much needed healthy foreign investment to the country” Mr. Brito added.
Profit before tax from the tourism sector was up by 3.5 per cent to Rs. 2.5bn while revenue rose by 7.2 per cent to Rs. 12.4 bn, for the nine months. Aitken Spence operates a wide portfolio of hotels and resorts in Sri Lanka, Maldives, India and Oman. Its travel arm, the largest in Sri Lanka, is a joint venture with TUI Travel. It also acts as GSA for major airlines in Sri Lanka and the Maldives.
The Group’s Hotels arm is currently overseeing two large hotel projects in Negombo and Ahungalla.
Maritime& Logistics sector recorded Rs. 525 mn as profits-before-tax, a decrease of 2.8 per cent over the previous year, while revenue was up by8.5 per cent to Rs. 5.2 bn. Aitken Spence is Sri Lanka’s largest integrated logistics services provider and has port management services in Africa and the South Pacific.Port operations in Fiji contributed significantly to the sector profits with the company achieving high efficiency levels in the ports of Suva and Lautoka.
Strategic investments sector showed a rise of 32.7 per cent in profits-before-tax and 10.1 per cent in revenue, to Rs. 695 mn and Rs. 10.6bn respectively, for the period under review. Power, printing and garments businesses performed better than last year during the nine months, with investments in new machinery and expansion of manufacturing facilities.
The Group’s services sector saw profits-before-tax falling by 42.4 per cent to Rs. 104 mn and revenue rising by 14.4 per cent to Rs. 607mn. The services sector includes financial services, insurance, elevator agency and technology businesses.The fairly nascent technology business accounted for a significant share of the losses in the services sector.