Archive | August, 2018

Large-Scale Housing, Water & Sanitation Projects at Dunsinane Estate of Elpitiya Plantations

17 Aug

158 new homes were built at Dunsinane estate, in the Nuwara Eliya District, owned and managed by Elpitiya Plantations PLC.    Out of  404 Housing  Units  which are being  constructed under the Indian Government’s large-scale housing project initiated in the country at a cost of Rs. 1.2 Mn.,  158 Housing Units were declared opened recently by Hon. Ranil Wickramasinghe, the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka.

The Indian Government initiated a programme to construct 14,000 housing units to provide decent houses in light of improving living standards of plantation workers under the ‘Plantation Villages’ concept introduced by the Sri Lankan Government in Central and Uva Provinces of Sri Lanka.

The above programme was initially launched in October 2014, as the first ever mega project to construct housing units at the Dunsinane estate and to provide public amenities such as a Child Development Centre, Community Development Centre and an internal road network for easy access to all housing units.

The General Manager of Dunsinane estate at the time when the project was initially launched, Mr. M.I. Izzadeen and the current Deputy General Manager of the up-country cluster Mr. Ranga Gunasekera and Manager of Dunsinane estate Mr. Asela Udumulla ensured the correct selection of sites, beneficiaries while assisting the respective officials of the Ministry in Hill Country New Villages, Infrastructure and Community Development and the Plantation Human Trust to facilitate the implementing Agency – UN-HABITAT to complete the task successfully.

Coinciding this event, another first ever mega project to provide safe and pure drinking water, and sanitation facilities at cost of Rs. 74 million, funded by the World Bank was ceremonially declared opened at Dunsinane estate by the Hon. Prime Minister and the distinguished guests. This project is the first of its kind implemented on an estate owned by a Regional Plantation Company and would benefit a population of over 6,000.

The opening ceremony was held with the presence of His Excellency Taranjit Singh Sandhu, High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka and Hon. Naveen Dissanayake, Minister of Plantation Industries,  Hon. Palani Digambaram, Minister of Hill Country New Villages, Infrastructure and Community Development, Hon. Gayantha Karunathilaka, Minister of Lands and Parliamentary Reforms, Hon. Rauf Hakeem, Minister of City Planning and Water Planning, and other distinguished dignitaries felicitated this ceremonial event.

Elpitiya Plantations wishes to greatly acknowledge the kind gesture of the Government of India for implementing a housing project of such magnitude and for selecting Dunsinane estate to launch this Pilot Project to construct 383 housing units. A special note of appreciation to the key role played by Hon. Palani Digambaram, Minister of Hill Country New Villages, Infrastructure and Community Development, respective Ministry officials and officials of Plantation Human Development Trust and the implementing Agency – UN-HABITAT and other Government Institutions for initiating the above projects.

Elpitiya Plantations PLC is a public liability company and is one of Sri Lanka’s leading producers of exquisite high quality premium teas. The Company is managed by the Aitken Spence since 1997. Elpitiya Plantations comprises of 13 estates located in up, mid and low country regions, which cover more than 8,800 hectares. While the core business is focused on cultivation and manufacturing of tea, rubber, oil palm, coconut and cinnamon, the Company has diversified into sustainable forestry development, eco-tourism, hydropower development, and specialty teas.

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Aitken Spence PLC Records 29 pc Drop in First Quarter PBT

10 Aug

Blue chip conglomerate Aitken Spence PLC reported a drop of 29.3 per cent pre-tax profit from Rs. 678 mn to Rs. 480 mn, over the previous year. The Company’s financial results for the three months ended 30th June 2018 reported the revenue for the first quarter decreasing by 9.2 per cent from Rs. 11.6 bn to Rs. 10.6 bn.

The Group’s earnings per share for the quarter stood at Rs. 0.52, whilst profit attributable to shareholders of the parent was reported as Rs. 210 mn.

Despite the impact of the exchange rates and increase in costs, revenue from the tourism sector remained strong as in the previous year rising by 4.7 per cent to Rs. 4.9 bn. The revenue increased across Sri Lanka, the Maldives and India markets while Oman reported a reduction.

However, the tourism sector reported a loss of Rs. 262 mn for the quarter, which is an increase from Rs. 150 mn, over the previous year. Lower occupancies in the Maldivian resorts and a lack of significant improvement in occupancy levels in Sri Lankan hotels contributed towards the losses. India performance improved, with better occupancy and banquet sales at Turyaa Chennai. Performance from Aitken Spence Travels during the quarter remained steady over the corresponding period last year.

Maritime & logistics and services sectors recorded increments. The maritime & logistics sector revenue increased by 12 per cent from Rs.1.9 bn to Rs.2.2 bn, driven by an improved contribution from the freight, courier and shipping agency businesses. The quarterly profit-before-tax of the maritime & logistics sector increased by 17.4 per cent to Rs. 436 mn, over the previous year.

The first quarter services sector revenue increased by 32 per cent from Rs.387 mn to Rs. 513 mn, while profit-before-tax rose by 1.8 per cent to Rs. 82 mn over the previous year, driven mainly by property and elevators segments.

Major expenses were incurred on the construction of Heritance Aarah resort, in the Maldives and the 10 MW waste-to-energy power plant in north of Colombo.

The construction of Heritance Aarah is expected to open in the Maldives by the end of 2018. Heritance Aarah will be the first resort outside Sri Lanka to be branded as ‘Heritance’, introducing a premium all-inclusive offering with elegantly designed villas.

The landmark waste-to-energy project is expected help solve both the waste disposal and energy supply challenges in the country at present. The project would be equipped to convert municipal solid waste to electricity, aimed at greatly relieving the Colombo City of its waste disposal burden.

Listed in the Colombo Stock Exchange since 1983 and marking its 150th year milestone in 2018, Aitken Spence is a blue-chip conglomerate with a strong regional presence in the Hotels, Travels, Maritime Services, Logistic Solutions, Plantations, Power Generation, Financial Outsourcing, Insurance, IT, Printing and Apparel sectors. Aitken Spence is the reigning winner of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce Best Corporate Citizen Sustainability award while being the only company in Sri Lanka to be ranked as a “Best Corporate Citizen” by Sri Lanka’s leading chamber for 12 consecutive years.