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Aitken Spence Rated Platinum Consecutively for Corporate Accountability

21 Mar

Aitken Spence PLC was rated Platinum for its corporate accountability practices and performance in the STING Corporate Accountability Index 2018 for the 6th consecutive year. The leading conglomerate has been ranked among the top three companies in the index since 2011.

Published by LMD bi-annually, the index rated the top 50 companies from the LMD 100 (excluding investment companies) as well as key state-owned enterprises on a holistic and integrated model covering corporate responsibility, sustainability and governance. STING Corporate Accountability Index, which is currently published every other year in the LMD magazine is the country’s most comprehensive ranking of corporate entities on their commitment to corporate accountability.

The integrated sustainability policy and its implementation framework that drives the sustainability strategy of the group has been categorized as the best in policy coverage in the index on many occasions.

The index assesses the companies in six areas of corporate values; stakeholder engagement; impacts, risks and opportunities; policy coverage; management and governance; and measurement and disclosure. Each of these areas consist a range of criteria that should be in place to operate through a truly responsible framework. There are 5 categories to the ranking namely, Platinum: 75-100, Gold: 60-74.9, Silver: 50-59.9, Bronze: 40-49.9 and Unclassified: 39.9 and below. The rating reflects the extent to which the largest companies operating in Sri Lanka have embedded accountability and responsibility in their daily operations in becoming sustainable business entities.

Accountability is strongly attested by Aitken Spence that also won the Best Corporate Citizen Sustainability Award 2017 conducted by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. The company has been ranked among the Top 10 Corporate Citizens for an unprecedented 12 consecutive years.

“We look at sustainability as a part of our business strategy to be more reliable to our stakeholders and more competitive in the marketplace. Our diverse sectors pose a myriad of opportunities to grasp and risks to manage. The Aitken Spence corporate sustainability framework provides a framework for our various sectors to align their business strategies to achieve resilient growth”, said Dr. Rohan Fernando, Director and Head of Business Development and Plantations of Aitken Spence PLC.

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.

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Stanford MBA Students Visit Aitken Spence on Study Visit to Sri Lanka

13 Jan

Thirty MBA students and several professors from Stanford University visited Aitken Spence PLC as a part an intensive study tour to Sri Lanka, recently.

The students’ visit was aimed at gaining a deep understanding of how Sri Lanka was healing from the deep wounds of decades-long armed conflict and how the country is embarking on an ambitious social and economic development programme. During an intense one-week programme ended on the 5th of January, the visiting group held meetings with leaders of the private and government sector, non-governmental organisations and social organisations.

The visit of the Stanford MBA students and faculty was made possible by the 2017 Distinguished Careers Institute Fellow at Stanford University Tushara Canekeratne, Founder & CEO, Nadastra, Inc.and Co-Founder of Virtusa Corporation.

The MBA students from Stanford University engaged in discussions with Aitken Spence directors, J M S Brito (Deputy Chairman & Managing Director/CEO), Stasshani Jaywardena (Head of Leisure) and Dr. Rohan M Fernando (Head of Business Development & Plantations) on a range of topics that included external business challenges, strategy, government relations and sustainable business.

Stanford School of Business is one of the top business schools in the world. The Stanford MBA program, with a 6% admission rate, enrols the most selective class among business schools. Faculty includes Nobel laureates and pioneering thinkers in areas from economics to organizational behaviour and operations. The school convenes a full panoply of CEO speakers, forums, and global leaders.

Aitken Spence Second Quarter PBT Up by 15%

9 Nov

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aitken Spence PLC posted Rs. 1.12 bn as profits before tax in the three months ended 30th September, an increase of 15.4% year-on-year. Profits attributable to equity holders of the company increased by 8% to Rs. 584 mn while revenue rose by 24.5% to Rs. 12.26 bn, in the quarter from last year.

Earnings per share for the quarter was Rs. 1.44, an increase of 2.3% over the corresponding period.

Financial results released to the Colombo Stock Exchange on Monday showed revenue of Rs. 23.9 bn for the six months ended 30th September 2017, a growth of 37.5% over the corresponding period last year.  Profit before tax for the six months rose by 23.8% to Rs. 1.8 bn, while profit attributable to equity holders of the company increased by 18.9% to Rs 939 mn.

Revenue from all four sectors, namely Tourism, Maritime & Logistics, Strategic Investments and Services, increased over the six months, compared to last year.

“The Hotels sector occupancy levels have improved over the past year, although yields have been challenging across the markets that we operate, especially in Sri Lanka and the Maldives”, said J M S Brito, Deputy Chairman and Managing Director of Aitken Spence PLC.

Aitken Spence initiated a waste-to-energy project in August this year that would add 10 MW to the national grid in two years, in addition to providing a long-term solution to the garbage disposal problem in the Colombo Municipality.

Aitken Spence Hotel Holdings PLC, a group company divested its entire holding in its fully owned subsidiary M.P.S. Hotels (Pvt) Ltd., on the 21st of September 2017. The resultant gain on disposal of this investment is reflected under other operating income.

Listed in the Colombo Stock Exchange since 1983, Aitken Spence is a blue-chip conglomerate with a strong regional presence in the Hotels, Travels, Maritime Services, Logistic Solutions, Plantations, Power Generation, Printing, Financial Outsourcing, Insurance, and Apparel sectors.

AITKEN SPENCE PLC POSTS A 38% GROWTH IN PBT TO RS. 5.2 BN in 2016/17

27 May

 

 

 

 

Deshamanya D.H.S. Jayawardena- Chairman of Aitken Spence PLC.

 

 

 

 

Mr. J.M.S. Brito – Deputy Chairman and Managing Director of Aitken Spence PLC.

 

Aitken Spence PLC recorded a 38% rise in its profit before tax year-on-year with a top line of Rs. 45.9 billion for the year ended on the 31st of March. The conglomerate concluded the reporting period with a strong fourth quarter performance during which both revenue and PBT figures showed strong growth trajectories.

The holding company’s revenue growth reflected across all key operational sectors including tourism, maritime and logistics, strategic investments and services. The mid to long term strategic investments made by the group in preceding years performed well in spite of challenging market conditions.

The tourism sector recorded a growth of 32% in revenue to RS. 24 billion, while the maritime and logistics, and services sectors reported revenues of RS. 9.9 billion and RS. 1.7 billion respectively, indicating a growth of 20% and 43% respectively over the year.

Commenting on the Group’s inclination towards making mid to long term investments, Deshamanya D.H.S Jayawardena, Chairman of Aitken Spence PLC stated, “we have been quick to identify new investment opportunities where we can diversify to remain relevant in the present business context. Catalysed by our investment model, we seek strategic partnerships with global partners that would provide a competitive edge in the markets we intend to serve. At present, we have identified Tourism and Maritime and Logistics as key growth sectors, and have made significant strides in the current financial year to expand the Group’s footprint in these selected business domains.”

Aitken Spence PLC reported a profit attributable to shareholders of RS. 2.9 billion, a rise of 43% while earnings per share also rose by 43% to RS. 7.12

The global and local market conditions have remained less than favourable, with slow market growth impacting many of the operational sectors Aitken Spence PLC is engaged in.

Furthering its commitment towards making key strategic investments, the Group invested RS. 5.8 billion in acquiring property, plant and equipment. Investments made in prospective verticals are expected make returns in the medium to long term.

“Despite challenges faced from external factors by some of the key sectors, the Group had a commendable year of performance.  Over the years we have invested to build robust businesses underpinned by strong fundamentals. Our presence in diverse sectors has been the cornerstone of Aitken Spence PLC’s success, cushioning the Group during times of economic adversity. In the year under review, we switched gears and accelerated the pace to reach the next phase of our growth agenda. Uncertainty becoming the new normal for many of our businesses, our purpose for the year was not to be distracted by it, but rather look for opportunities that would take the Group to new heights,” commented Mr. J.M.S Brito.

Listed in the Colombo Stock Exchange since 1983, 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 Partnered with Thalassemia Foundation of Sri Lanka to Raise Awareness of Thalassemia Disease

8 May

Aitken Spence partnered with Thalassemia Foundation of Sri Lanka to raise awareness of Thalassemia disease through a walk which was conducted in Colombo on Saturday 06th of May. Aitken Spence employees across Sri Lanka and highest level of management together with supporters of Thalassemia Foundation marched from Aitken Spence premises in Vauxhall Street to Independence Square.

The walk raised awareness and funds to the Thalassemia Foundation of Sri Lanka. Aitken Spence has remained committed towards carrying out meaningful CSR initiatives for the benefit of the communities throughout the island.

Thalassemia is a genetic blood disorder, occurring throughout the island, in which haemoglobin, the main protein of the red blood cell, is not produced in sufficient quantities. Although babies affected by Thalassemia are apparently healthy at birth, severe life-threatening anaemia becomes apparent at the age of about six months. Thereafter, most require monthly blood transfusions. In most children, without transfusion, death occurs in the first few years of life.

With a strong presence in almost every key sector of the local economy, Aitken Spence has continued to maintain strong nurturing ties with the people in the communities surrounding its island-wide operation and the Thalassemia Walk is one such endeavour. Widely recognized as one of the most diversified conglomerates in the country, the company remains committed to taking an active interest in the wellbeing of its many stakeholders.

Aitken Spence Travels hosts President of the Lebanese Travel Agents Association to Sri Lanka

4 Dec
Lebanese Travel Agents Visiting Sigiriya

The President of the Lebanese Travel Agents Association, Mr. Jean Abboud along with other Lebanese tour agents visiting Sigiriya.

The President of the Lebanese Travel Agents Association, Mr. Jean Abboud along with a group of high profile Lebanese tour agents on an educational tour to Sri Lanka was welcomed and hosted by Aitken Spence Travels recently. The group’s main objective was to update themselves about the destination and explore possibilities of developing new tours based on their 14-year relationship with the company.

As the market leader that penetrated the Lebanese market way back in 2001, Aitken Spence Travels has enjoyed the first mover advantage and handles the bulk of the inbound Lebanese travelers to Sri Lanka. The country recorded over 3,700 Lebanese travelers last year and this number is currently growing at 20 per cent.

The Lebanese travelers prefer to travel to Sri Lanka specifically during Eid, Easter, Christmas and summer holidays which usually fall during June, July & August. Many honeymooners and groups prefer Sri Lanka as a destination and enjoy the many new attractions the country has to offer including shopping at all international branded stores.

Commenting on his visit to Sri Lanka President of the Lebanese Travel Agents Association, Mr. Jean Abboud said “I have been in love with Sri Lanka since my first visit way back in 2001. I could safely say that this is my second home. You have a beautiful country which is a tropical destination to many Lebanese who enjoy attractions such as the abundance of beautiful nature, the rich culture, the sandy beaches and the varied wild life Sri Lanka has to offer. So we need to look at creating more and more new tours highlighting these products to attract travelers from Lebanon that would further strengthen and grow the market”

“We have invested heavily in this market ever since we entered it. All our efforts through promotions, airline promotions and educating the agents has paid rich dividends in reaching the current position. We will not relay on our current laurels and will ensure that we further strengthen the relationships and develop more tours that would help us tap in to untapped potential travelers of Lebanon” stated Mr. Darell de Crusz AVP Marketing of Aitken Spence Travels.

Aitken Spence Travels the winner of the Presidential award for 3 consecutive years and the only DMC to enter the Hall of Fame as well as being the recipient of Sri Lanka Tourism Award for Professional Conference Organizer. The company was also the proud recipient of the prestigious PATA gold award in 2014 under the Environment – Ecotourism Project for an innovative excursion program developed together with the Elpitiya Plantations.

Aitken Spence Travels is fully diversified in to every aspect of tourism related activities namely; Leisure, Eco, Adventure, MICE and Cruise. It is considered as the leader in destination management in Sri Lanka with its creative and innovative tours and services. Partnered with the world’s largest tourism integrated company, TUI group, with over three decades of experience, the company is backed by a reputation of being the most professional in the business.

Turyaa by Heritance launches at WTM today!

3 Nov

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Aitken Spence Technologies commences Oracle E-Business Suite R12 Project for Aitken Spence Logistics

22 Jun

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Aitken Spence Technologies together with Aitken Spence Logistics – Sri Lanka’s leading integrated logistics provider has successfully initiated the commencement of R12 Oracle E-Business Suite modules to the Company’s Logistics facility in Mabole, Wattala on the 11th of June 2015.

The Oracle E-Business Suite modules include Warehouse Management, Service Contracts, Depot Repair, Enterprise Asset Management, Inventory, Purchasing and Receivables. The implementation of the R12 Oracle E-Business Suite enables Aitken Spence Logistics to adapt readily to their industry’s ever changing requirements, and enhance their customer satisfaction by providing tailor made solutions; while bringing greater efficiency through streamlined business processes.

Project Steering committee members, Project Managers and Oracle Consultants stated the key objective of the project were highlighted with the Automating of Container Tracking Function (Depot), Container Repair Function, Functions of the Container Freight Station and Asset Management Function. The deployment of system has allowed integrated solution which enables the company to rectify any errors and cater to the changing needs of Aitken Spence Logistics, increasing the customer satisfaction and retention.

Project commencement meeting was held at Aitken Spence Logistics premises with the presence of its project steering committee members; Vipula Gunatilleka Chief Corporate Officer – Aitken Spence Group Ltd & Managing Director – Aitken Spence Technologies, Nilantha Wakwella Managing Director – Aitken Spence Logistics, Dhammika Dasa Chief Operating Officer – Aitken Spence Technologies, A.M.M Amir Vice-President – Aitken Spence Logistics, Fahad Cader General Manager Aitken Spence Technologies, Sharmilal Anthony Assistant Vice-President – Aitken Spence Logistics and Chinthaka Abeykoon Manager for IT – Aitken Spence Logistics were present.

Ajith Ranatunge Audit Manager – Aitken Spence Logistics, Rifkhan Ahamed Senior Oracle Functional Consultant and Anas Marikkar Senior Oracle Functional Consultant were also present.

Aitken Spence Technologies and Aitken Spence Logistics arms of Aitken Spence PLC – Sri Lanka’s leading and most respected corporate entities has 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.

The project is scheduled to go live in January 2016, bringing about efficiencies through optimum usage of Oracle E-Business Suite and further complement its integrated logistics solutions.

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.

Heritance Hotels Achieves Travelife Gold Award

18 Mar

Ayurvedha DSC_9129

Heritance Hotels, Sri Lanka’s leading chain of resorts, owned and managed by Aitken Spence Hotels is once again in the forefront of sustainability with all hotels in its portfolio being awarded the Travelife for Hotels & Accommodations Gold award. Travelife – the international sustainability certification scheme – assesses a property’s performance in managing social, environmental and economic impacts. The Gold award achieved by Heritance Tea Factory, Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara, Heritance Kandalama and Heritance Ahungalla is a testament to the chain’s deep commitment to sustainability.

Travelife is a practical tool which assists properties to monitor and manage their social and environmental impacts. The scheme which is supported by some of the largest tour operators in the industry helps hotels cut costs and increase sales, by improved sustainability. To gain Travelife Gold certification the hotel must meet the 150 sustainability criteria set by the scheme. This includes environmental issues, such as minimising waste and use of energy, water and chemicals, as well as taking positive action on social issues, such as employee welfare, working with the local community, child protection and human rights. Hotels must display how they are helping to support local businesses and protect local traditions and wildlife.

The Heritance Hotels portfolio underwent a stringent audit process which focussed on energy saving practices, waste management, emission and environmental sustainability principles followed by each Hotel. The audit results are scored on Bronze, Silver or Gold depending on the degree of the Hotels commitment towards the environment and locality in which it operates. Achieving Gold status is not an easy feat and it is a remarkable achievement that the entire chain achieved this accolade.

Heritance Hotels, a pioneer in practicing and promoting sustainable tourism in Sri Lanka, has taken numerous initiatives in ensuring that energy consuming assets have been managed effectively and energy conserving technology has been implemented at each resort. Heritance Ahungalla, one of Sri Lanka’s leading beach resorts, was the first hotel in Sri Lanka to receive the ISO 50001:2011 certification. Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara, was the first net metered hotel in Sri Lanka and Heritance Tea Factory and Heritance Kandalama were the first in the hospitality industry to utilize a biomass gasifier as a renewable energy source. Apart from the significant systems implemented at the resorts, all resorts use Sewage Treated Plant (STP) water for irrigation and have replaced incandescent lighting with CFL and LED lights.

The 7R recycling program practiced by all resorts in the chain strives for zero waste to the environment. All waste produced is recycled or disposed of with no impact to the environment in which each hotel operates. Heritance Ahungalla, Heritance Kandalama and Heritance Tea Factory have in-house green pavilions and eco centers where training is provided to guests and the community on the benefits and importance of recycling and reducing the impacts on the environment.

Heritance Kandalama has been identified as a bio diversity hot spot with surveys revealing that the 170 acres of owned and 50 acres of leased land preserved by the Hotel has 43 species of mammals, 173 species of birds, 33 species of reptiles, 8 species of amphibians, 82 species of butterflies and 125 floral species including trees and climbers.

Heritance Hotels is closely linked to each community it operates in with over 40% of its staff being employed from the local communities. In addition facilities such as the Arts and Crafts center at Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara are provided for local craftsmen to showcase their talents and keep traditional crafts alive. This also adds to the local economy by ways of added profits to the community and promotion of local culture.

“We are extremely passionate about practicing social and environmental strategies and it is indeed motivating to be recognised for our achievements in this area. Our team constantly strives to ensure that we keep challenging ourselves and having gone through the stringent audit process it is encouraging to note that we have been benchmarked against other international star performers and have been awarded the highest accolade in the scheme”, said Mr.Susith Jayawickrama, Managing Director, Aitken Spence Hotels.

Heritance Hotels and Resorts, the premier brand of Aitken Spence Hotels operate a portfolio of four unique properties in scenic locations across Sri Lanka. Heritance Kandalama was named by The Observer of UK as one of the “Icons of Modern Hotel Design” and Travel + Leisure calls it one of the leading green hotels of the world.  Heritance Tea Factory was voted amongst the “100 Best Places to Stay in the World” by Sunday Times UK and was nominated in the list of “Top 5 Factory Hotels in the World” by The Independent, UK. The chain of hotels has been continuously recognized as a pioneer in sustainable tourism and continuously strives to sustain and innovate processes that reduce the impact of its operation on its surroundings.