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Aitken Spence records impressive profit growth of 12% for FY13/14

26 May

 

Aitken Spence, Vauxhall Street

Blue chip conglomerate Aitken Spence PLC reported its annual unaudited financial results 2013/14 to the Colombo Stock Exchange on Monday, reporting profit attributable to shareholders of Rs 3.7 billion, an increase of 11.7% over the previous year’s profit of Rs 3.3 billion. Profit before tax was Rs 5.4 billion and profit after tax was Rs.4.5, recording growth of 7.6% and 5.5% respectively. The diversified Group’s annual revenue declined marginally to Rs. 36.6 billion whilst earnings per share improved by 11.7% to Rs. 9.04 for the financial year.

The Group’s bottom line was driven primarily by the Tourism sector. Sri Lanka welcomed over 1.27 million tourists during the year 2013, with a target of 1.5 million set for 2014.The boom in the tourism industry was reflected in the Group’s performance with the revenue of the Tourism sector for the financial year growing by 9.4 % to Rs. 16.9 billion and profit before tax surging by 26.3 % to Rs. 4.4 billion. During the period, Aitken Spence Hotel Holdings PLC, the Group’s hotel owning strategic business unit, entered into a shareholders’ agreement with RIU Hotels of Spain to build a 500-room luxury resort in Ahungalla, costing approximately USD 100 million. The construction of the hotel is expected to commence during the second half of the financial year 2014/15.

Annual revenue for the Maritime Cargo Logistics sector increased 15.3% to Rs. 7.3 billion whilst profits before tax for the sector increase by 26% to Rs. 709 million. Entry into a strategic partnership in Fiji for port management services through the acquisition of a 51% shareholding in Ports Terminal Ltd – the first- ever public-private partnership overseas by a Sri Lankan company recorded to date, was a highlight for the year.

Services sector reported a revenue of Rs. 819.6 million for the financial year under consideration which was a growth of 11.5 %, and a profit before tax of Rs 180.5 million, a growth of 10.2% compared to the previous year. Strategic Investments sector reported a year on year decrease of 16.1% in revenue to Rs. 15.3 billion, while the profit before tax dropped by 81.1% to Rs. 159.8 million for the financial year primarily due to the Aitken Spence power plants in Matara and Horana not being operational during the reporting period consequent to the cessation of the Power Purchase Agreements. Further, a provision for impairment of approximately Rs. 400 million was made in respect of the remaining assets of these two companies, which dragged down the profits of the sector.

The company disposed of the Horana power plant during the financial year, while the 100 MW power plant at Embilipitiya remained operational, albeit with lower generation due to excessive rainfall during the first nine months of the financial year. During the period under review the Group inaugurated a land mark project by investing in a luxury retirement homes complex that will comprise of 140 villas and associated high-end facilities located at a 30 acre site in Negombo. The project aims to attract Sri Lankans living overseas who wish to return to their homeland as well as foreign nationals who wish to retire and live in Sri Lanka.

“The Company has been able to deliver consistent results through a combination of strategic foresight and the capacity to transform challenges into opportunities. These qualities have been underpinned by a well-diversified business model that supports the Company’s growth trajectory” said the Chairman, Deshamanya D H S Jayawardena. “Our strategies for the long term and exploration of potential new areas of business factor in the Company’s responses to some of the key future trends” he added.

The Group announced a dividend of Rs. 2 per share which is a 33% increase over the previous year subject to approval by the shareholders at the Annual General Meeting. Aitken Spence PLC is among Sri Lanka’s leading and most respected corporate entities with operations in South Asia, the Middle East, Africa and South Pacific. It is an industry leader in hotels, travel, maritime services, logistics, power generation and printing, with a significant presence in plantations, financial services, insurance, information technology and apparel.

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Heritance Kandalama emerged Champions at Bocuse D’Or Culinary Competition 2013

28 Aug

Sri Lanka’s most awarded hotel  Heritance Kandalama, emerged Champions at the Bocuse D’Or Culinary Competition,  competing against both international and domestic star-class city and resort hotels recently. Chef W.M Augustus Lowe, Chef De Cuisine at Heritance Kandalama with twenty two years of experience in the culinary field and his apprentice, B.A.L.H Thisera, Commis III with 3 years of experience in the field were the winning duo who bought glory to Heritance Kandalama.

 

The team together created the award winning menu: Gremolata rubbed   spring lamb rack, mushroom apple duxelle in, prosciutto wrapped braised lamb rump; grilled pepper millefuille .  glazed petite vegetables in a daikon boat , curried sweet potato mousse accompanied with three sauces and a warm punch of brilliant breakfast tea infused with roma tomato water.

 

The champion team from Heritance Kandalama will now represent Sri Lanka at the Asian Region Bocuse D’Or Culinary Champion which is scheduled to take place in Shanghai in 2014. The winners of the regional event will then participate in the World Bocuse D’Or competition in Lyon, France in 2015.

 

Chef Paul Bocuse , considered as the God father of the culinary world, is the founder of the Bocuse D’Or , a world chef championship recognized by Chefs globally. Renowned as one of the most prestigious competitions in the world,  Bocuse D’Or judges the skills of chefs evaluated over a period of two days; where only the best chefs with the most innovative dishes emerge winners.

 

“Our Chefs have been recognized at international events such as the Culinary Olympics and the Culinary World Cup. Winning this competition is yet again a stepping stone on to a world platform where our chefs have the opportunity to demonstrate their skills and be awarded for their talents. Our constant determination to be the best has bought us thus far. Being firm believers of sustainability we take measures to ensure that our future generation is provided with the knowledge required to take on the baton when required. Winning accolades such as this, year after year reaffirms our stance as the most awarded culinary brigade in Sri Lanka”, said Mr. Gemunu Goonewardene, Vice President, Food and Beverages, Aitken Spence Hotels.

 

Heritance Kandalama has been a trend setter in various aspects of hotel operations and has received many accolades for its cuisine, both in Sri Lankan and internationally.

 

“Aitken Spence Hotels over the years has been recognized for its exquisite food and culinary art which has placed us amongst the best in the region. Prestigious accolades such as this serve as motivation to the team to further excel in these competitive times. The relentless efforts put forth by our team have been recognised both locally and internationally and we are proud to note that our greatest asset is our dedicated and passionate team.” said Mr. Malin Hapugoda, Managing Director, Aitken Spence Hotels.

 

Aitken Spence Hotels is the largest resort operator in Sri Lanka and the largest international hotel operator in the Maldives with a portfolio of hotels in multiple locations in India and Oman.  Its range of international award-wining properties, management & culinary expertise and environmental commitment has set industry benchmarks both domestically and internationally.Image

Heritance Ahungalla Once Again Home to the Best Culinary Team in Sri Lanka

6 Aug

Sri Lanka’s premier beach resort Heritance Ahungalla, emerged as the Most Outstanding Culinary Team in Sri Lanka after competing against both international and domestic star-class city and resort hotels at the 15th Culinary Art Competition held from the 2nd to the 5th of August. Heritance Hotels dominated the competition with Heritance Kandalama being adjudged the first runner up in the overall competition. Organized by the Chefs Guild of Sri Lanka, the culinary competition is part of the industry’s largest food and trade exhibition.

Maintaining its reputation for offering the best cuisine in the country, Aitken Spence Hotels won an unprecedented 150 medals including the prestigious award for the Most Outstanding Culinary Team in Sri Lanka.

There were 25 categories for the medals and the Aitken Spence medal tally displayed the sheer dominance the resort chain’s chefs had over its competitors in the field. World acclaimed Chef Dimuthu Kumarasinghe – Group Skills Development Chef, Aitken Spence Hotels and Heritance Hotels who led the team along with Chef Lalith Gunesekera – Consultant Chef, Aitken Spence Hotel Managements and Chef Kasun Premachandra, Executive Chef, Heritance Ahungalla whose continuous training and motivation guided the participants, were jubilant along with the teams from Aitken Spence Hotels who collectively won 16 special awards out of a total of 29 special awards. The special awards included the following: Most Outstanding Chef – Chef Y.K.P De Silva, Heritance Ahungalla, Most Outstanding Pastry Chef – Chef W.M.J.A Bandara, Heritance Ahungalla, Most Outstanding Apprentice – Chef L.H.S.N.R De Silva, Heritance Ahungalla, Best Bartender Mixologist – H.D.S.N Jayasekera , Heritance Ahungalla, Best Beer Cocktail –H.D.S.N Jayasekera, Heritance Ahungalla, Nescafe Creative Coffee- S.P.S Fernando, Heritance Ahungalla, , Best Sunquick Mocktail- H.D.S.N Jayasekera, Heritance Ahungalla, Best Wedding Cake Structure – Chef S G Wijesundera – Heritance Ahungalla, Most Outstanding Apprentice Hot Cooking Live – Chef L.H.S.N.R De Silva, Heritance Ahungalla, Best Plated Appetizer – Chef T.M.P Peiris , Heritance Ahungalla, Best Sri Lankan Meal – Chef Krishna Kumar and Chef C J Kumarasinghe, Heritance Kandalama, Best Arrack Cocktail – N.H Jayasinghe, Hilltop Hotel, Best Regional Hotel- Heritance Ahungalla, Most Outstanding Hotel- Heritance Ahungalla, Most Outstanding Culinary Team 1st Runner – Heritance Kandalama and the prestigious Most Outstanding Culinary Team – Heritance Ahungalla.

“I am tremendously proud of the achievements of our team, walking away with 150 medals from a competition such as this is a tremendous achievement. We constantly strive to be the best and are firm believers of ensuring that our future generation is provided with the knowledge required to take on the baton when required. Winning accolades such as this, year after year reaffirms our stance on the sustainable development of our future generations”, said Mr. Gemunu Goonewardene, Vice President, Food and Beverage, Aitken Spence Hotels.

Chefs Guild of Sri Lanka from their modest beginnings in 1988 has emerged as the premier professional body of culinary professionals in the hospitality trade.
A platform for recognizing true culinary talents, the competition symbolizes the pinnacle of excellence as hundreds of practitioners in the food & beverage industry in the country gathers to prove their mettle.

“Aitken Spence Hotels cater to a diverse market segment and are famed for its exquisite food and culinary art. Over a period of time the reputation gained in this specialisation has helped to position the chain of hotels as among the best in the region.
We recognize that our greatest asset is our staff at all levels who are loyal, dedicated and committed and work together as one team assisting and encouraging each other to be the best.” said Mr. Malin Hapugoda, Managing Director, Aitken Spence Hotels.

Aitken Spence Hotels is the largest resort operator in Sri Lanka and the largest international hotel operator in the Maldives with a portfolio of hotels in multiple locations in India and Oman. Its range of international award-wining properties, management & culinary expertise and environmental commitment has set industry benchmarks both domestically and internationally.

Most Outstanding Culinary Team – Heritance Ahungalla

Exterior shot of Heritance Ahungalla

Aitken Spence Launches Empowering Sri Lanka First

26 Jul

Aitken Spence PLC has launched Empowering Sri Lanka First, an English and IT teaching programme for children from its neighbouring communities as its flagship corporate community engagement initiative. The leading diversified conglomerate commenced the pilot phase of the English programme benefiting 180 students in Dambulla, Ahungalla and Mawaramandiya in May.

The eight-year old students follow a globally recognised British Council syllabus combined with accompanying teaching material delivered by local teachers who have completed British Council conducted teacher training.

Aitken Spence was recognized as Sri Lanka’s Best Corporate Citizen for 2012 by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.

“With a leading presence in some of Sri Lanka’s key sectors, Aitken Spence has over the years engaged in numerous programmes to enrich the lives of our neighbouring communities across the island. Empowering Sri Lanka First is intended to add more focus to our community engagements by concentrating on two key enablers for young students to achieve their true potential, thereby contributing to the sustainable development of the communities in which we operate”, said J M S Brito, Deputy Chairman & Managing Director of Aitken Spence PLC.

“Our plan is to expand the programme to dozens of local communities within a few years with the support of our many international and local partners who enjoy longstanding relationships with Aitken Spence”, he added.

The Company’s unique model enrols students for a three-year programme to learn the English language and information technology during weekly classes conducted at each locality. Aitken Spence plans to launch the IT module in September this year at all three locations.

“The curriculum followed is one that will complement the national syllabus and meant to make the process of learning more fun and interactive so that the students will be encouraged to keep learning by themselves even after they graduate from the programme”, said Rohan Pandithakorralage, Director and Chief Human Resources Officer of Aitken Spence Group Ltd.

Teachers for the programme are recruited from the same communities and trained on the curriculum so that they can use and benefit from the new teaching methods in their own careers and create more value for the learning process of more students in these communities.

Aitken Spence is among Sri Lanka’s leading and most respected corporate entities with operations in South Asia, the Middle East, Africa and the Pacific. In Sri Lanka, it is an industry leader in hotels, travel, maritime services, logistics, power generation and printing, with a significant presence in plantations, financial services, insurance, information technology and apparel.

Aitken Spence-Managed Elpitiya Plantations Posts Highest Ever Profits

20 Jun

Aitken Spence-managed Elpitiya Plantations PLC recorded Rs. 507mn as net profit before management fees for the 2012/13 financial year, its highest ever recorded. Profits soared by 194% from the previous year’s figure of Rs. 172mn while revenue grew by 13% to Rs. 2.83bn. The Company’s earnings per share rose by 201% to Rs. 6.20 and net assets per share recorded a growth of 23% to Rs. 33.51, from the previous year.

 

Elpitiya Plantations PLC consists of 13 estates, situated in the upper, mid and low country regions of Sri Lanka, cultivating tea, rubber, oil palm and coconut. The company has a significant stake in Sri Lanka’s only privately-owned palm oil mill and operates several mini-hydro power plants on its own estates.

 

At the point of takeover by blue-chip conglomerate Aitken Spence in 1997, Elpitiya Plantations was dependent on tea and facilities were in a dilapidated state. The new management embarked on a strategy of crop diversification, efficiency improvement and human resources development for the company’s growth.

 

New Peacock estate in mid-country and Talgaswela estate in low country were the highest contributors to Elpitiya’s exceptional performance during the financial year.

Dr. Rohan M Fernando, Director and Head of Business Development & Plantations of Aitken Spence PLC and the Managing Director for Elpitiya Plantations PLC said, “Our strategies to optimally utilize the resources inherent in our estates and enhance the capabilities of our staff to generate sustainable growth to the company have proven fruitful. We will continue to look at ways to innovate in our cultivation and production processes as well as in our marketing, looking at new avenues for growth”.

 

New Peacock, Nayapana and Sheen estates achieved the highest ever recorded yield-per-hectare in tea, while Talgaswela estate recorded the highest ever palm oil yield-per-hectare. Tea prices of Dunsinane, New Peacock, Nayapana and Talgaswela estates improved above elevation averages with the better standard of leaf that was offered for manufacture.

 

The low country segment improved its productivity significantly from the crop diversification targeting low-income tea lands to palm oil and cinnamon. Continuous investments made by the company on re-cultivation of tea, rubber and palm oil have begun to pay dividends.

 

Company reaped substantial returns from on its mini-hydro power projects and from its investment in the joint-venture palm oil mill. 

 

Processes introduced towards the efficient use of the fertilizer subsidy to correct fertilizer deficiencies in soils contributed towards record-breaking crop levels harvested by estates belonging to Elpitiya Plantations.

 

Elpitiya’s successful direct overseas marketing of sole crepes to top international brands and RSS rubber manufacture using one-day drying systems kept the company’s rubber net sale average high despite  a low rubber market in Sri Lanka.

 

The sustainable forestation and re-forestation programmes commenced by Elpitiya Plantations subsequent to its taking over of the estates in 1997 have resulted in valuable timber reserves to the company’s asset base.

 

The CEO and Director of Elpitiya Plantations PLC, Mr. Tony Goonewardena said, “Our emphasis on the management our human resources and sustainable development have been the foundations on which we have been able to generate exceptional growth for the company. I would like to express our appreciation to all associates in our estates who have made excellent contributions to make these results possible”. 

 

“Elpitiya Plantations PLC pioneered in sending field staff on overseas training to Indonesia and we continue our policy of sending executive staff on overseas training, with the objective of strengthening our human resources”, he added.

During the financial year, the company built twenty new houses for the estate employees at Meddacumbra estate with the help of PADEM and International Institute of Development Training. Further twenty five houses were built at the Elpitiya estate with help of the National Housing Development Authority and the Plantations Human Development Trust. 

 

Elpitiya continues to grant mid-day meals to children in crèche facilities operated by the company and scholarships to children of employees attending university.  The company has ongoing programmes in developing the living standards of estate employees, by offering estate cooperative facilities, training programmes, loan facilities, free distribution of books, uniforms, and assistance towards New Year festivals and annual pilgrimages.Image

Dr. Rohan M Fernando, Director and Head of Business Development & Plantations of Aitken Spence & Managing Director for Elpitiya Plantations

Dr. Rohan M Fernando, Director and Head of Business Development & Plantations of Aitken Spence & Managing Director for Elpitiya Plantations

The CEO and Director of Elpitiya Plantations PLC - Mr.Goonewardena

The CEO and Director of Elpitiya Plantations PLC – Mr.Goonewardena

Aitken Spence Managed Desert Nights Camp in Oman, Voted as One of the World’s Best

13 Jun

Desert Nights Camp, operated by Aitken Spence Hotels has been voted by the clients of Studiosus as one of the best hotels in their global portfolio. It also won  the Studiosus quality award for the year 2012. Studiosus is one of Germany’s leading tour operators offering outbound guided tours to a multitude of international destinations.

 

The accolade was awarded on the exceptional levels of service experienced by guests during their stay at the Desert Nights Camp gaining recognition as one of the best hotels in the world.

Located in Wahiba Sands in Oman this rustic beauty is surrounded by peaks of sand dunes, offering a natural protection from the temperamental sun of the Omani desert. The luxurious detached tented suites provide a lavish ‘chance of a lifetime’ experience. The camp blends in harmoniously with its environment and offers ‘zero’ disturbance to its guests. The unique desert experience provided in combination with an array of ‘wine & dine’ options enables one to capture the wonders of this property within its desert dwelling.
 
“We are extremely proud of this tremendous achievement. The team at Desert  Nights Camp led by Mr. Anurin Jansen prides themselves in providing exceptional service and winning accolades such as this attests to the team’s commitment” said Mr. Srinith De Silva, Chief Operating Officer for Oman for Aitken Spence Hotels.

 

Aitken Spence Hotels, the first Sri Lankan hotel operator to enter the Maldives in1993 and India  in 2007 broke new ground once again when they ventured into Oman in 2009 entering into a management agreement with Oman Hotels and Tourism Company (OHTC).

 

 “Aitken Spence prides itself in delivering incredible experiences and excellent standards of hospitality. With the vision, support and cooperation extended to us by Mr. Maqbool  Hameed Al Saleh, Chairman of OHTC, we have been able to  achieve great feats in Oman” , said Mr. Malin Hapuoda, Managing Director, Aitken Spence Hotels. 

 

Aitken Spence is the largest resort operator in Sri Lanka and the largest international hotel operator in the Maldives. The Desert Nights Camp is operated under the management of Aitken Spence Hotels. Aitken Spence Hotels operates 5 hotels in the Sultanate of Oman.

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Aitken Spence Posts a Commendable Performance for FY12/13

30 May

Blue chip conglomerate Aitken Spence PLC reported its annual results 2012/13 to the Colombo Stock Exchange on Thursday, reporting profit from operations of Rs 5.5bn  billion, an increase of 14.4% over the  previous year’s profit from operations of Rs 4.81 billion excluding the reported  capital gains on the sale of the shares of Colombo International  Container Terminals Ltd. (CICT).  The profit before tax is at Rs.5 bn for the year with a growth of 8.9% as compared with Rs. 4.59 bn in the previous year, excluding capital gains on the sale of the shares of CICT. The diversified group’s annual revenue rose by 20 per cent to Rs. 37.1 bn whilst earnings per share declined by 6.3% to Rs. 8.05 for the financial year.

 

The revenue of the tourism sector for the financial year grew 24.9% to Rs. 14 bn and profit before tax surged 31.4% to Rs. 3.4 bn. Annual revenue for the Cargo Logistics increased 1.4% to Rs. 5.7 bn whilst profits after tax for the sector declined by 33.7 % to Rs. 556 mn. Services sector reported growth in revenue of 11.4% and profit after tax of 1.5% to Rs. 537 mn and Rs 162 mn respectively for the financial year.  Strategic Investments sector (inclusive of revenue of equity accounted investees) reported an increase in revenue of 22.8% to Rs. 17.9 bn, while profit after tax dropped by 46.4% to Rs. 837 mn for the financial year.

 

“The company has had a year of mixed fortunes with challenges and pressures that have tested our strength and our ability to adapt, combined with fresh opportunities and prospects that excite us about the road ahead”, said Deshamanya D H S Jayawardena, Chairman of Aitken Spence PLC.

“We are proud to say that we have not approached our shareholders for  funds in fifteen years. This is particularly noteworthy considering that  our dividend record has improved significantly during this period, and  will continue to grow in line with our earnings record”, he said.

“The Sri Lankan Tourism sector has performed reasonably well but was  affected somewhat with the country attracting a higher number of  lower-end or budget tourists who do not regularly patronise star class  establishments”, he added.

Deputy Chairman and Managing Director J M S Brito said, “The Group was once again able to achieve a commendable  performance for the year 2012/13 despite the macro-economic and  global challenges we encountered. Our diversity and innate capabilities  provided us with the ability to respond strategically and with agility to  changing conditions whilst staying on course with the greater vision of  Aitken Spence”.

“In terms of expansion, we will continue to explore new avenues of  business as well as new markets both in Sri Lanka and overseas,  where we may utilise our proven capabilities in management to build  sustainable new businesses”, he added.

The revenue for the fourth quarter of 2012/2013 was recorded at Rs. 9.38 bn, a negative growth of 3.3% compared to the fourth quarter of 2011/2012.  The profit before tax for the fourth quarter posted a negative growth of 4.13 % at Rs. 1.85 bn when compared with 2011/2012 figures which excludes capital gains on the sale of the shares of CICT.

Aitken Spence is among Sri Lanka’s leading and most respected corporate entities with operations in South Asia, the Middle East and Africa. It is an industry leader in hotels, travel, maritime services, logistics, power generation and printing, with a significant presence in plantations, financial services, insurance, information technology and apparel. Aitken Spence was recognized as Sri Lanka’s Best Corporate Citizen for 2012 by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.

Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara Bags Global Award for Best Ayurveda Resort

22 Apr

Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara was recognized as the “Best Ayurveda Resort” at the 4th FIT Health and Wellness Awards held at ITB 2013 in Berlin, the world’s largest travel trade fair.

 

The FIT Health and Wellness Awards are presented in three categories- “Best Ayurveda Resort”, “Best Health and Spa Resort” and “Best Active Wellness Resort”. FIT Reisen is Europe’s largest tour operator for wellness holidays. The accolade was awarded based on guest experiences with similar resorts across the globe.

 

ITB Berlin 2013 is the world’s largest meeting point of international tourism decision- makers and business leaders. The global tourism industry acclaims this summits’ dual function of a travel trade fair, to be the largest in the world and it acts as a global platform for diverse resorts to present itself.

 

Since time immemorial, man has been engaged in the pursuit of achieving and maintaining an optimum state of health. The emergence of Ayurveda in 600 BC as a natural way of healing has grown in global popularity as it has evolved into a scientific system of holistic healing. The resorts novel delivery of a professional Ayurvedic experience without the compromise of luxury has enabled it to carve its niche in the minds of wellness enthusiasts globally. This has helped Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara pave its way to been regarded as the “Best Ayurveda Resort” per global standards.

 

Heritance resorts have been conscious about sustainable tourism practices and their commitment towards this is clearly visible in the unique designs and sustainable processes customized and implemented at each resort. Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara’s continued efforts to promote energy efficiency have provided a distinctive leverage against similar concept resorts. “Ayurveda has evolved into a holistic lifestyle system and it is viewed as a system of treatment and comprehensive health care. This view has been conceptualized to every aspect of the guest experience at Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara which has earned the resort global acknowledgement”, said Mr. Samantha Gunarathne, General Manager, Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara. A maintained promise of stringent standards of quality together with professional Ayurvedic treatments prepared by trained professionals has enhanced the delivered guest experience.

 

“The maintenance of constant innovation into adapting the traditional rituals of the Ayurvedic practice has helped Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara offer a differentiated unmatched experience. A consistent trend across the Heritance portfolio is the ability to incorporate the rich culture and tradition into the processes adopted by our resorts. This remains the core responsibility for our success”, said Mr. Malin Hapugoda, Managing Director, Aitken Spence Hotels.

 

Aitken Spence is Sri Lanka’s largest resort operator and one of the largest international hotel operators in the Maldives. The group also manages a portfolio of hotels in India and Oman. The company’s premier resorts operate under the brand Heritance. Image

Aitken Spence Travels Certified as Carbon Neutral for the year 2012

5 Apr

In line with their group wide sustainability strategy, Aitken Spence Travels Ltd (ASTL), Sri Lanka’s largest inbound tourism operator, was awarded the ‘Carbon Neutral’ Certificate at a formal ceremony held at the Central Environmental Authority last week. Nalin Jayasundara, Managing Director of Aitken Spence Travels was presented with the certificates issued by the Ministry of Environment and Renewable Energy by B.M.U.D. Basnayake, Secretary of the Ministry.

The process of being carbon neutral was done by tracking the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by ASTL’s activities in Sri Lanka. For this purpose the amount of Carbon Dioxide emitted by their fleet of vehicles, staff traveling for official purposes for both locally and abroad; staff travel to and from office, and consumption of electricity in the ASTL offices were estimated. In 2012, the carbon footprint of Aitken Spence Travels stood at 1336 metric tonnes prompting the company to take measures to mitigate the impact it made on the environment. The whole process was audited by the Sri Lanka Carbon Fund.
In order to compensate for emissions, Aitken Spence Travels (bought “Carbon Credits” from Lalan Rubbers (Pvt) Ltd., a rubber glove manufacturing company that has replaced furnace oil with biomass for their production process, thus mitigating carbon dioxide that would have been emitted had they used furnace oil.

Addressing the event, Dr. Suren Batagoda, Managing Director of the Sri Lanka Carbon Fund said if Sri Lanka can reduce 10 percent of its petroleum consumption, the country can save up to 600 million US Dollars annually. He made this remark based on the calculation that Sri Lanka’s oil import bill stands at 6 billion US Dollars while the total export income amounted to 10 billion US Dollars.

Commending the initiative made by Aitken Spence Travels, he said the country needs more support from the private sector towards achieving goals in terms of reducing energy consumption. He added that plans were afoot to introduce a carbon certification programme for home appliances and other equipment as well.

“We already have plans to record the carbon emission of every appliance and equipment. Then the public will know the impact they make on the environment. Those who want to protect our environment for the future generation, will buy products that has a minimal carbon emission.” he said, Mr. B.M. U. D. Basnayake, Secretary or the Ministry of Environment, who also addressed the gathering, said that the private sector has a bigger role to play in protecting the environment and reducing environmental pollution. While appreciating the responsible approach shown by Aitken Spence Travels towards the environment, he added that the ministry intended to engage more with the private sector in this regard.

Speaking on behalf of Aitken Spence Travels, Assistant Vice President Dr. Prashantha Perera, said that they were in a process of minimizing their carbon emission gradually.
“By the end of 2013, we have a plan to reduce our carbon emissions by 10 percent. We understand that the need of the hour is to minimize emissions. Therefore, we educate the people involved in our operations on saving energy. We build awareness right down to the grassroots levels of our operations. We educate our transporters and transport agencies. This, we firmly hope, will take us towards our reduction goals by the end of this year, ” he said.

Nalin Jayasundera, Managing Director of Aitken Spence Travels affirmed that their tour operator partners across the world always preferred to work with institutions that were conscious about their environment.

“Therefore, being carbon neutral is a plus. Aitken Spence Travels is a promoter of sustainable tourism and this is an extension of our philosophy, Looking at it on a larger canvas Sri Lanka as a destination should take green tourism more seriously as this will be the differentiator when competing in the global market “he said.

Aitken Spence Travels, the leading Destination Management Company in Sri Lanka through the purchase of carbon credits from Lalan Rubers (Pvt) Ltd., became the first Sri Lankan company to buy carbon credits from a local company. By buying carbon credits from the rubber glove manufacturing company, Aitken Spence Travels has technically neutralized the impact it made upon the environment through Carbon dioxide emissions. The transaction is an affirmation of Aitken Spence Travels commitment towards environmental protection and promoting eco-friendly business and production practices.

The purchasing or carbon credits is facilitated by The Sri Lanka Carbon Fund (Private) Limited, a private-public partnership established under the companies Act. No. 7 of 2007 to promoite carbon trading CDM projects in Sri Lanka. The Sri Lanka Carbon Fund (Private) Ltd., which has the backing of Environment Ministry and the Central Environmental Authority, provides technical and finance resources to develop, finance, market CDM carbon credit projects in any sector.

 

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Carbon credits can be traded among groups and businesses, both locally and internationally. Those who emit greenhouse gases buy carbon credits from those who do not emit greenhouse gases in their operations, contributing towards promoting environment-friendly business practices. On the other hand, it gives an opportunity for companies who emit greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide an inevitable part or their operations to assist eco-friendly production processes and contribute towards the betterment of our environment.

Aitken Spence Printing First to be LEED (Gold) Certified

17 Jan

Industry leader Aitken Spence Printing’s state-of-the-art new printing facility was awarded the LEED (Gold) certification recently, making it the first in this region and the one of the very few of its kind the world to receive the international benchmark for leadership in energy and environmental design.
The 77,000 sq. ft new facility spread over 3.4 acres on the outskirts of Colombo boasts many modern technological and sustainable features. The facility was awarded LEED-NC: GOLD Certification under the newly established campus category, by the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED-NC (campus) rating system is based on a 110 point system encompassing all areas of sustainable construction.
Some of the measures which Aitken Spence Printing has implemented are: 70% saving on portable water, 22% saving on energy, use of daylight for 100% of all regularly occupied spaces, 90% of construction waste diverted from landfill, 40% of the material used for construction accounted for locally, and many other design and operational measures.
With a heritage spanning over five decades, Aitken Spence is known as an innovative quality printing and packaging solutions provider for prestigious international brands in fast moving consumer goods, tea, confectionary, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and apparel industries locally and globally. It is also recognized as top quality printer for corporate reports, coffee-table books, magazines and other high-end publications.
“The LEED certification is another groundbreaking milestone for Aitken Spence Printing. Over the years, we have been able to offer many innovative solutions to our partners. Benchmarking our new printing facility on international green building standards, provide our partners with an enhanced environmentally friendly value addition”, said Prasanna Karunathilake, Managing Director of Aitken Spence Printing.

The LEED for New Construction (LEED-NC) Green Building Rating System provides guidance on implementing sustainability for new buildings and third party verification of the level of sustainability achieved. All LEED rating systems are voluntary, consensus-based national standards for high- performance, sustainable buildings. The LEED rating systems are a USGBC-sponsored program to encourage building owners to make their buildings sustainable and to maintain and improve sustainable practices over time. USGBC is the USA’s leading coalition of corporations, builders, universities, government agencies and non-profit organizations working together to promote buildings that are environmentally responsible, profitable and healthy places to live and work.

Aitken Spence LEED (Gold) Certified Printing Complex

Aitken Spence LEED (Gold) Certified Printing Complex

Aitken Spence Deputy Chairman and Managing Director - Mr.J.M.S. Brito, Aitken Spence Printing Managing Director - Mr. P. Karunathilake, Aitken Spence Power Managing Director, Mr. D.de Mel and Officials From Aitken Spence Printing receiving LEED accreditation from the certifying officials.

Aitken Spence Deputy Chairman and Managing Director – Mr.J.M.S. Brito, Aitken Spence Printing Managing Director – Mr. P. Karunathilake, Aitken Spence Power Managing Director, Mr. D.de Mel and Officials From Aitken Spence Printing receiving LEED accreditation from the certifying officials.