Archive | November, 2019

Aitken Spence Logistics invests in state-of-the art machinery

26 Nov

Aitken Spence Logistics, a pioneer in the industry, invested in a state-of-the-art brand new 180 ton capacity multi axle trailer, filling a long-awaited need in handling and transporting heavy over dimensional cargo in the logistics industry.

Multi axle trailers are used in mega projects related to the construction and power & energy sectors. Investing in a brand new multi axle trailer has bridged a gap in the industry whilst providing a customer centric solution that is reliable, safe and cost-effective to transport heavy equipment such as wind and thermal power equipment.

The Special Project Operations Division of Aitken Spence Logistics which is the heavy cargo operational arm of the company, has the expert knowledge and capability in handling heavy, over dimensional cargo that demands meticulous planning and execution. The division is equipped with prime movers, lorries, flat bed trailers, low bed trailers, cranes, boom trucks and forklifts and has provided services to many large-scale projects in the recent past. Some of them being windmill projects, island wide transformer placing projects, storage tank placing operations at several bottling plants and bridge construction projects

“In acquiring this state-of-the-art machine, Aitken Spence Logistics has filled an enormous gap that prevailed in the industry for a long time. The new addition is part of the continuous expansion and upgrading capacity of Aitken Spence Logistics. Introducing innovative logistics solutions and exceeding customer expectations are the hallmarks of Aitken Spence Logistics which enables the Company to remain unchallenged as the front runner in providing integrated logistics services to all our customers. We will continue to excel, and our investments reflect this belief that we keep pace with the changing needs of the industry,” commented Mr. Janaka Gunawardena, Chief Operating Officer – Aitken Spence Logistics.

Aitken Spence Logistics is a subsidiary of Aitken Spence PLC which is among Sri Lanka’s leading and most respected corporate entities in Sri Lanka. 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, Logistics Solutions, Plantations, Power Generation, Financial Outsourcing, Insurance, IT, Printing and Apparel sectors. With a geographical presence in 8 countries and growing, creating opportunities for Sri Lanka across new frontiers, Aitken Spence PLC remains committed to the development of our nation.

Aitken Spence cumulative Q2 revenue up by 8.2%

15 Nov

Against an extremely challenging macro-economic environment, the leading conglomerate Aitken Spence PLC’s Group gross revenue grew by 8.2% to Rs. 28.6 billion for the period ending 30th September ‘19. Main growth in revenue were from the strategic investments and the maritime & logistics sectors. The integrated logistics segment performed exceptionally well recording a 30% year on year growth in revenue. This momentum is expected to continue for the rest of the year. The ship agency and maritime operations segments also recorded growth in revenue. The printing and apparel manufacture segments also recorded double digit growth in revenue compared to last year.

The Group recorded an overall profit from operations of Rs. 1.9 billion for the six months ended 30th September from Rs. 2.2 billion recorded the previous year. This was a result of the downturn experienced mainly by the tourism industry, post Easter Sunday. Despite the decline faced by the tourism sector, the Group showcased its resilience and its diversity of investments, to record an overall profit-before-tax (PBT) of Rs 1.2 billion for the six months ended 30th September. The Group PBT for the comparative period in the previous year was Rs. 1.7 billion.

The Group recorded a gross revenue of Rs. 14.2 billion for the second quarter whilst its profit from operations for the quarter was Rs. 1.1 billion compared to the profit from operations of Rs. 1.4 billion recorded the previous year.

Approximately 56% of the Group’s PBT for cumulative September ‘19 was generated through its investments overseas. The main contributor towards the PBT was the maritime & logistics sector which recorded a 24.5% growth over the previous year.

The strategic investments sector contributed Rs. 677 million towards the PBT compared to Rs. 727 million in the previous year. The significantly lower tea and rubber prices, and the intense competition faced by the printing sector coupled with the costs of the recent investment in South Pacific printing contributed to this effect. The printing segment is currently in the process of revamping the machinery and technology in this facility targeting to cater to the South Pacific region.

South Asia’s first green printing facility Aitken Spence Printing renewed its carbon neutral certification for the seventh consecutive year and thereby reflecting its commitment to sustainability.

Steady progress is seen in the construction of the country’s first waste to energy power plant and is projected for commercial operations towards the end of the financial year. Aitken Spence is committed to the development of Sri Lanka and this pioneering venture will help solve both the waste disposal and energy supply challenges in the country at present.

Despite a healthy performance by the Maldivian hotels, the drag in the local tourism industry resulted in the tourism sector reporting a loss for the period. However, the Group’s iconic properties Heritance Kandalama and Heritance Tea Factory recorded positive performances despite the decline in arrivals to the country.

Aitken Spence Hotels also received 14 awards at the South Asian Travel Awards 2019 and recently walked away with the championship trophy and an impressive 130 medals at the Culinary Art Food Expo 2019. With only few months into its opening, Heritance Aarah emerged as the overall champion at the Culinary Art Food Expo 2019 and excelled at the Food & Hospitality Asia Maldives 2019 (FHAM) competition with the highest number of awards won by an individual Resort. Following the ingrained ethos of sustainability at Aitken Spence, Heritance Aarah is the first property in the Maldives to receive the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification.

The Group’s destination management segment was able to maintain its market share of the arrivals to the country. The destination management segment’s Myanmar operations has obtained all licenses and has recently commenced commercial operations.

During the reporting period Aitken Spence was ranked amongst the top 10 Most Admired Companies of Sri Lanka 2019 for the second consecutive year by International Chamber of Commerce, Sri Lanka (ICCSL) and The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) Sri Lanka. The Company was among the top 10 of LMD’s Most Respected entities hall of fame 2019. Aitken Spence PLC was also amongst the top 10 whilst Aitken Spence Hotels won the sectoral accolade at the CMA Excellence in Integrated Reporting Awards 2019.

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. With a geographical presence in 8 countries and growing, creating opportunities for Sri Lanka across new frontiers, Aitken Spence PLC remains committed to the development of our nation.

Deshamanya D.H.S. Jayawardena –
Chairman Aitken Spence PLC

 

Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake –
Deputy Chairman and Managing Director Aitken Spence PLC

Aitken Spence Printing, Carbon Neutral for 7 Consecutive Years

13 Nov

Sri Lanka’s premier printing and packaging solutions provider Aitken Spence Printing, subsidiary of blue-chip conglomerate Aitken Spence PLC, offset their carbon footprint for the seventh consecutive year. The company was the first carbon neutral printing facility operator in South Asia. The Company also renewed its ISO 14064-1 certification for greenhouse gas (GHG) emission quantification, reporting and verification for the third year running reaffirming their commitment to quality and continual improvement.

Aitken Spence Printing was awarded the certifications by The Sustainable Future Group (SFG), Sri Lanka’s only verification and certification body accredited by the International Accreditation Forum to award ISO 14064 certification at both organisational and project levels. SFG is also the regional partner of Natural Capital Partners of the UK – the world’s leading provider of Carbon Offset Solutions and proprietor of the globally recognised CarbonNeutral® Certification.

The accreditation process involved an extensive analysis of the company’s GHG emissions and subsequent investment in a renewable energy project for registered carbon credits to offset their organisational carbon footprint. The ISO 14064-1 certification further included an additional internal audit of the company’s GHG Management and Reporting System.

Mr. Prasanna Karunathilake, Managing Director of Aitken Spence Printing, commenting on the company’s commitment to sustainability mentioned, “Being the first LEED Gold certified printing facility in South Asia, Aitken Spence Printing continues to push the boundaries of sustainability initiatives. We are constantly looking at modern technologies and newer, greener and more effective business practices to increase operational efficiency. This in turn encourages innovation and engagement among employees. Globally, a growing number of customers seek to minimise the environmental footprint of products they purchase. We are positioned as a preferred print solutions provider to leading global and local brands that seek high quality products and a responsible supply chain.”

Over the past seven years, Aitken Spence Printing has regularly measured, monitored and managed its operational carbon footprint with assistance from a leading industry expert, The Carbon Consulting Company (CCC). “Climate change poses several threats to Sri Lanka. The potential impacts will adversely affect agriculture, coastal communities, water resources, human health and, infrastructure and industry. If polluters do not take responsibility for their emissions and sustainable initiatives are not supported, this trend would not show any positive change. CCC is proud of its long-term engagement with Aitken Spence Printing and looks forward to supporting them to mitigate their adverse environmental impacts in the years to come” remarked Sanith de S. Wijeyeratne, CEO of CCC.

Aitken Spence Printing has pioneered many innovative benchmarks and enriched the industry with much  sought after professional services over six decades. The company offers a wide range of services from packaging, publications, magazines, seasonal products such as calendars and diaries; and caters to a wide range of industries including tea, apparel, FMCG and pharmaceutical. As a subsidiary of a conglomerate dedicated to contributing towards the economic, ecological, and social development in the region, Aitken Spence Printing continues to relish a leading market share in the printing industry of Sri Lanka.

Mr. Prasanna Karunathilake, Managing Director of Aitken Spence Printing & Packaging (Pvt) Ltd receiving the Award for 7 consecutive years of carbon neutrality from Mr. Sanith de S. Wijeyeratne, CEO – Carbon Consulting Company (CCC) and the CarbonNeutral® Certificate from Dr. Lakmini Senadheera, Head of Sustainability Assurance and Advisory Services – The Sustainable Future Group (SFG)

 

Aitken Spence Maritime ushers in the first cruise ship for the season – ‘Costa Victoria’

7 Nov

Aitken Spence Maritime launched the passenger cruise season with Italy’s biggest tour operator Costa Cruises. The luxurious passenger vessel ‘Costa Victoria’ called Colombo Port on the 05th of November 2019 carrying 1,739 passengers and 790 crew members on board.

Costa Cruises offers cruise holidays to Europe, Mediterranean, Caribbean and Asian destinations. Costa Victoria is adorned with a stunning combination of Italian and Swedish design, with a capacity to accommodate 2,394 passengers in 918 cabins and suits. During this season, Costa Cruises offers cruise packages to West India, Maldives and Colombo on a fortnightly basis for those seeking to join the voyage from any port of call.

As the local agents, Aitken Spence Maritime persuaded Costa Cruises to continue cruise calls to Colombo, considering all precautions taken by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority, Navy and the Police ensuring the safety and security of all passengers.

The Costa Cruises will have 6 vessels between November and December 2019 to the Port of Colombo. This operation will act as a key influencer for tourism, paving the way for other cruise operators to call at Sri Lankan Ports.

There are over 700 passengers engaging in excursions to enjoy the city and immediate locations of Sri Lanka such as the Colombo heritage walk, exploring the city of Galle, Kandy and key places of historical interests.

“We are delighted to begin the passenger cruise season by facilitating the first vessel Costa Victoria. Aitken Spence Maritime has been aggressively promoting cruise calls to Colombo and are expecting several cruise operators in the following weeks. It is also inspiring for the team to see their efforts materialise. Aitken Spence Maritime will continue to offer comprehensive, synergised services to cruise operators that in turn will boost tourism in the country,” said Mr. Iqram Cuttilan, Managing Director of the Aitken Spence Maritime sector.

Aitken Spence Maritime is a pioneer in the industry and was the first Sri Lankan company to undertake port efficiency enhancement management overseas with its entry into the African Continent and subsequently the South Pacific. The company handles all areas of maritime services – from shipping and cargo handling services, to liner agency, cruise vessel, port management and development, chartering services and maritime education.