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Hapag-Lloyd Lanka Walks Away with Best Customer Service Award at 22nd ICS Awards

27 Feb
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Mr. Russell Diaz, Assistant General Manager – Hapag Lloyd Lanka receiving the award

Hapag-Lloyd Lanka (Pvt) Ltd, a subsidiary of Aitken Spence PLC and the local representation of German operator Hapag-Lloyd Kreuzfahrten was awarded the “Best Customer Service” laurel for the Europe sector at the recently concluded awards ceremony organized by the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers – UK (Sri Lanka branch). The win comes following a similar achievement at the previous year’s ceremony, where Hapag-Lloyd Lanka won the award for the US sector.

The ceremony which was held in Colombo on the 19th of February marked the 22nd installment of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers (ICS) awards. The ICS founded in London back in 1911, received the Royal Charter in 1921 and is a body fundamentally dedicated towards the promotion of professionalism in the international maritime industry through shipping education and training.

Fourteen shipping lines vied for the awards and Hapag-Lloyd Lanka walked away with one of the most lucrative awards. On behalf of Hapag-Lloyd Lanka, Russell Diaz, Assistant General Manager – Hapag-Lloyd Lanka received the award from Chief Guest – Hon. Karu Jayasuria, Speaker of Parliament. The ceremony was graced by many dignitaries including Hon. Arjuna Ranatunga, Minister of Ports and Shipping alongside Hon. Eran Wickramaratne, Minister of Public Enterprises and Development.

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Aitken Spence Records Rs. 1.1bn as PBT in Third Quarter

13 Feb

Aitkenspence head office

Leading conglomerate Aitken Spence PLC posted its interim results to the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) released on Friday. The blue-chip’s financial results for the quarter ended 31st December 2015 saw profit-before-tax decrease by 25.3 per cent to Rs. 1.1 bn while profit attributable to equity holders decreased by 26.7 per cent to Rs. 637 mn. Revenue for the quarter fell by 14.6 per cent to Rs. 6.7 bn.

The diversified group’s nine-month results showed profit-before-tax decreasing by 28.3 per cent to Rs. 2.6bn and profit attributable to shareholders falling by 35.4 per cent to Rs. 1.4 bn, while revenue dropped by 28.2 per cent to Rs. 18.6 bn.

The revenue loss from the cessation of the power purchase agreement of Ace Power Embilipitiya in April 2015 had a significant effect on the results. Other Operating Income for the 9 months to 31st December 2014 included insurance income of Rs 351m for the fire damage at a resort in Maldvies during 2013/14.

“Diminished returns from the Maldives due to external factors and consolidation of hotel investments in Sri Lanka, negatively affected the returns from the tourism sector”, said J M S Brito, Deputy Chairman and Managing Director of Aitken Spence PLC.

The Group’s Hotels arm recently completed a 100-room extension to its beach property in Kalutara, which is now a 200-room upgraded resort. In addition, the company is currently overseeing two large hotel projects in Negombo and Ahungalla.

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.

“We are pleased to report increase in profits from companies in the port management, ship agency and airline sub sectors contributed towards the profits of the Maritime & Logistics Sector.” Mr. Brito added.

Aitken Spence is Sri Lanka’s largest integrated logistics services provider and has port management services in Africa and the South Pacific.

Depreciation of the Rupee has adversely affected company due to foreign currency loans obtained for overseas investments.

The company was also significantly affected by the substantial Super Gain Tax paid during the quarter ended 31st December 2015, as per the provisions of part III of the Finance Act No. 10 of 2015.

Subsequent to the balance sheet date, Aitken Spence PLC after obtaining all relevant approvals purchased a 20% shareholding in Fiji Ports Corporation Limited. The company which was previously wholly owned by the Government of the Republic of Fiji owns and manages all ports in Fiji.

Aitken Spence Hotels International (Pvt) Ltd., a subsidiary company, entered into an agreement to acquire Al Falaj Hotel in Oman from Oman Hotel and Tourism Co., subject to obtaining all relevant approvals. Al Falaj Hotel has been under management of Aitken Spence since 2008.

Resilient Performance by Aitken Spence Sees PAT up by 6.6% to Rs. 4.9 bn for FY 14/15

25 May

Aitkenspence head office

Blue chip conglomerate Aitken Spence PLC reported its annual financial results for 2014/15 to the Colombo Stock Exchange on Monday, reporting a profit before tax of Rs 5.7 billion and profit after tax of Rs. 4.9 billion, a growth of 4.9 per cent and 6.6 per cent respectively. The diversified Group’s annual revenue rose a marginal 0.7 percent to Rs. 35.3 billion whilst earnings per share declined by 2.5 per cent to Rs. 8.82 for the financial year.

“Although this year has been a difficult year in terms of performance, it must be noted that while riding the wave of external challenges, we have turned inwards to strengthen ourselves to reap the opportunities of the future. We are thus optimistic about the future growth of the Company”, said Aitken Spence PLC’s Chairman, Deshamanya D H S Jayawardena.

“Aitken Spence has recorded another year of resilient performance. Diversification held the Group in good stead in 2014/15, to grow amidst challenging global economic conditions and intense competition”, said J M S Brito, Deputy Chairman and Managing Director of Aitken Spence PLC.

The revenue of the tourism sector for the financial year grew by 5.1 per cent to Rs. 17.8 billion whilst recording a profit before tax of Rs. 4.2 billion and a profit after tax of Rs. 3.7 billion, a decline of 2.2 per cent and 1.2 per cent respectively, for the year. The decline in tourism sector bottom line was mainly due to the decline in profits from hotels in Sri Lanka and overseas which was primarily attributable to the adverse impacts of the global political and economic climate. The company owns and manages a chain of hotels in Sri Lanka, Maldives, Oman and India. The Group’s destination management segment performed remarkably well. Aitken Spence Travels is Sri Lanka’s largest destination management company which during 2014/15, became the first and only company to handle 100,000 tourists to the country within a financial year.

“The coming year will be an exciting one for the sector, as we add Heritance Negombo to our portfolio and also expand capacity at The Sands, Kalutara by 91 rooms. Construction of the RIU Hotel in Ahungalla is well on target and we are excited by the possibilities offered by our partnership with RIU, and its parent company TUI” added J M S Brito, Deputy Chairman and Managing Director of Aitken Spence PLC.

Annual revenue for the Maritime Logistics sector increased by 3.9 per cent to Rs. 7.7 billion whilst profits before tax increased by 4.3 per cent to Rs. 735 million and profit after tax increased by 8.1 per cent to Rs. 614 million. The Maritime and Logistic sector experienced weaker performances from the freight forwarding and the logistics segments whilst overseas investments performed well.

Strategic Investments sector’s profits surged during the year, with profit before tax swelling by 207 per cent and profit after tax rising by 341 per cent to Rs. 613 million and Rs. 509 million respectively. However, the sector reported a year-on-year decrease of 6.4 per cent in revenue to Rs. 15.2 billion mainly due to the reduction in revenue from the power segment. The sector’s printing and garments segments have reported exceptional performances. The Company expanded the garment sector’s production capacity by up to 40 per cent during the period under review, by commissioning a new environment-friendly production facility in Koggala. The plant was built in four months and will create 750 jobs once in full operation.

The Plantations segment reported outstanding results driven by an efficient diversification initiative. The Power generation segment also showed an increase in profits compared to the previous year due to the sale of two idling power plants which resulted in a lower cost of maintenance.

Services sector reported a revenue of Rs. 1.1 billion for the financial year which was a growth of 15.1 per cent. The sector’s profit before tax stood at Rs 132 million, a decline of 38 per cent compared to the previous year. Profit after tax reported a drop of 52 per cent to Rs. 83 million. Except for insurance, elevators and property businesses, the other segments within the sector recorded disappointing performances. The relatively nascent information technology segment accounted for a significant share of the losses in this sector. The Company has addressed the poor performance by restructuring the company, which is expected to lead to a better performance in the next financial year

With a history spanning 150 years, 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. Listed in the Colombo Stock Exchange since 1983, it is an industry leader in hotels, travel, maritime services, logistics, power generation and printing, with a significant presence in plantations, apparel, financial services, insurance and information technology.

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.

Stasshani Jayawardena Appointed to the Aitken Spence PLC Board

29 Nov

Diversified conglomerate Aitken Spence announced to the Colombo Stock Exchange that Ms. Stasshani Jayawardena has been appointed to the Board of Aitken Spence PLC with effect from 1st of December 2013.

She is the first female to be appointed to Aitken Spence Board in its history.

Ms. Stasshani Jayawardena is a graduate of St. James’ & Lucie Clayton College and Keele University in the United Kingdom.

She joined Aitken Spence PLC in January 2010, gaining experience in several of its key strategic business units as well as within the parent company. Previously, she was attached to the privatized Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation, as a management trainee where she was a member of several strategic committees.

Ms. Jayawardena is a member of the Young Leaders Steering Committee and the Banking, Finance and Capital Markets Steering Committee of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. She is a Director of the Board of Splendor Media and a member of EY Next Generation Club.

In 2003 she was the youngest intern to work under US Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and the Former US President Bill Clinton.

Ms. Jayawardena currently leads a team of young professionals that is endeavoring to develop a strategic development plan for future growth of Aitken Spence PLC. Her main competencies include Strategic Planning, Branding, and Marketing.

With the latest appointment, the Board of Directors of Aitken Spence PLC comprises D.H.S. Jayawardena (Chairman), J.M.S. Brito (Deputy Chairman and Managing Director), R.M. Fernando (Executive Director), M.P. Dissanayake (Executive Director), D.S.T. Jayawardena (Executive Director), G.C. Wickremasinghe (Non-Executive Director), C.H. Gomez (Non-Executive Director), N.J.D.S.D. Aditya (Non-Executive Director), V.M. Fernando (Non-Executive Independent Director), R.N. Asirwatham (Non-Executive Independent Director) and A.L. Gooneratne (Alternate to N.J. De S. Deva Aditya).

Stasshani Jayawardena

Stasshani Jayawardena

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Mr. C. R. De Silva P. C.

8 Nov