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Diversification Delivers for Elpitiya Plantations

11 Jul

Aitken Spence-managed Elpitiya Plantations PLC recorded a profit-after-tax of Rs. 480 mn     for the financial year ended 31st March, 2014.  Elpitiya’s exceptional earnings were mainly driven by an excellent performance in oil palm and return on strategic investments made by the company into joint venture projects.

“Profit was commendable as revenue on tea &rubber had declined by around 8 per cent YOY,   following the erratic weather conditions and the poor prices released for natural rubber. Increase in cost of production following revision of the workers’ wages by 20 per cent had a significant impact on the Comp any’s profitability. Our strong results  are  due to the team work by our employees”, said Dr. Rohan M Fernando Managing Director of Elpitiya Plantations PLC and Director of Aitken Spence PLC.

The company’s net assets had increased to Rs.  2.9 bn from Rs. 173 mn at the time of taking over of the estates in 1997. Since taking over, the company has invested over Rs. 3.8 bn  on tea and rubber replanting, factory development, diversification into oil palm & commercial forestry and other capital enhancements.

“New Peacock and Nayapane estates have achieved all-time record yields of 2,855 kg per hectare and 1,979 kg per hectare respectively in tea.   This was made possible due to the good agricultural practices followed on the estates, with special emphasis on fertilizer inputs and upgrading factory machinery. We thank the government for the subsidy given to the industry which has helped us maintain fertilizer levels” said Mr. Tony Goonewardena, Executive Director of Elpitiya Plantations PLC.

Commenting further, Mr. Goonewardena stated that the company’s strategic investments into re-forestation (commercial forestry) and hydro power projects brought in significant income during the financial year under review.   The   joint venture project with Dianhong  International Limited,  to produce  Chinese specialty  black tea and  green tea at the company’s  newly  developed Harrow Tea Factory in Pundaluoya  also contributed substantially to the company’s  profit  along with the income  derived from the palm oil processing factory, which is jointly owned by Elpitiya Plantations PLC  with two other regional plantation companies.

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

Elpitiya Plantations PLC CEO Bhathiya Bulumulla.

“Company’s strategic diversification programme into large scale palm oil cultivation in the low country region has paid dividends by contributing considerably into the company’s profitability.   Deviturai Estate recorded the highest ever yield of 16,281 kg per hectare on oil palm and Talgaswella Estate, a major tea & oil palm plantation in the low country, has made exceptional returns.” said Mr. Bhathiya Bulumulla, the Chief Executive Officer of Elpitiya Plantations PLC.

The Company also has commenced aneco-tourism project in the low country and planning to extend the same concept on Dunsinane, Sheen and Fernlands estates in the upcountry region in the current year.

Elpitiya Plantations PLC adopts the stringent food safety standards in the production of tea.  Dunsinane, New Peacock, Nayapane  tea factories  in the up country region  and Talgaswella and Deviturai Tea Factories in the Low Country  regions   have been certified for ISO 22000:HACCP  for  Food Safety  Management Standards and  all  the  tea factories  have been certified  for  Ethical Tea Partnership and Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) Certification  for best  practices on   health & safety and  environment Management. The Company is currently working towards obtaining rain forest alliance certification to all   its up country tea estates.

Elpitiya Plantations PLC is committed towards improving the living conditions of the worker population on the plantations.   Projects include construction of new housing units, water and sanitation, for more than 50 housing unit for several estates.Further, plans are underway to construct 510 housing units on Dunsinane & Meddecombra Estates with the assistance of the Indian Government during the years 2014-2016.

As a pilot project, bank accounts were opened for all employees of Talgaswella Estate while the company also has facilitated to provide scholarship grants to 21 children of the estate workers, who excelled in their studies to pursue their higher education at the universities. Elpitiya Plantations  has also pioneered to construct an  elders home on Meddecombra Estate, the first of its kind in the Plantation Sector,  to accommodate and look into the well  being  of 40  retired workers , in collaboration with the French  Donor ‘Foundation Adam Pierre’ at a cost of  over Rs.  25 mn.

The company is continuously exploring sustainable avenues for marketing its produce abroad, especially tea and rubber, in North and Southeast Asia.

Aitken Spence Travels appointed as the official travel agent for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015

8 Jul

Aitken Spence Travels has been appointed as one of the two official travel agents for Sri Lanka by the International Cricket Council at the upcoming 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup to be held in Australia and New Zealand. The matches will commence by the 14thof February and end by March 2015, with 49 matches to be played at 14 venues across both countries.

The outbound arm of Aitken Spence has exclusively designed world cup packages to give Sri Lankan cricket fans the choice to choose from a variety of bundle options for every type of supporter. Bundles include match tickets and a variety of selections such as travel options and accommodation, VIP experiences, tickets to official events etc.

“We are extremely delighted to be appointed as one of the official travel agents for Sri Lanka by the International Cricket Council (ICC). Based on our success stories in the past where we have charted flights for world cup finals we are confident that our clients and the general cricket loving fans will experience an unparalleled service offered by Aitken Spence when traveling with us to the 2015 world cup” noted Mr. Nalin Jayasundera, Managing Director of Aitken Spence Travels.

Reflecting back the company charted a flight to Pakistan in 1996 when Sri Lanka clinched its first world cup as underdogs to all other test nations. In recent time when Sri Lanka clinched the T20 world cup under Lasith Malinga’s captaincy too; Aitken Spence had the honour of chartering a flight and arranged all related matters to the trip so that it was a memorable final to the passengers who flew.

“Aitken Spence have been involved with ICC events for a number of years now and their skills and expertise in travel were a major part of the organizational success of both ICC events recently held in Sri Lanka – the cricket world cup, 2011 and the world Twenty20, 2012. ICC Travel looks forward to once again working closely with Aitken Spence to deliver a fantastic ICC cricket world cup experience for all Sri Lankan fans travelling to Australia and New Zealand in 2015.” said Damon Minotti, Project Director, ICC Travel.

The early bird offers of the packages for the 2015 world cup will be released by the 3rd week of July enabling cricket loving fans to plan their travel ahead and secure tickets for the matches. Also the company will be having options to personalize the existing packages based on customer requirements. The company has made arrangements to have a dedicated team that would handle walk in customers and any customer who would be hunting for match tickets.

Aitken Spence Travels has been appointed as one of the two official travel agents for Sri Lanka by the International Cricket Council at the upcoming 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup to be held in Australia and New Zealand. The matches will commence by the 14thof February and end by March 2015, with 49 matches to be played at 14 venues across both countries.

The outbound arm of Aitken Spence has exclusively designed world cup packages to give Sri Lankan cricket fans the choice to choose from a variety of bundle options for every type of supporter. Bundles include match tickets and a variety of selections such as travel options and accommodation, VIP experiences, tickets to official events etc.
“We are extremely delighted to be appointed as one of the official travel agents for Sri Lanka by the International Cricket Council (ICC). Based on our success stories in the past where we have charted flights for world cup finals we are confident that our clients and the general cricket loving fans will experience an unparalleled service offered by Aitken Spence when traveling with us to the 2015 world cup” noted Mr. Nalin Jayasundera, Managing Director of Aitken Spence Travels.
Reflecting back the company charted a flight to Pakistan in 1996 when Sri Lanka clinched its first world cup as underdogs to all other test nations. In recent time when Sri Lanka clinched the T20 world cup under Lasith Malinga’s captaincy too; Aitken Spence had the honour of chartering a flight and arranged all related matters to the trip so that it was a memorable final to the passengers who flew.
“Aitken Spence have been involved with ICC events for a number of years now and their skills and expertise in travel were a major part of the organizational success of both ICC events recently held in Sri Lanka – the cricket world cup, 2011 and the world Twenty20, 2012. ICC Travel looks forward to once again working closely with Aitken Spence to deliver a fantastic ICC cricket world cup experience for all Sri Lankan fans travelling to Australia and New Zealand in 2015.” said Damon Minotti, Project Director, ICC Travel.
The early bird offers of the packages for the 2015 world cup will be released by the 3rd week of July enabling cricket loving fans to plan their travel ahead and secure tickets for the matches. Also the company will be having options to personalize the existing packages based on customer requirements. The company has made arrangements to have a dedicated team that would handle walk in customers and any customer who would be hunting for match tickets.

Aitken Spence Travels the Outbound arm offers services in air ticket requirements, competitive packages, cruise packages, overseas hotel accommodation, rail ticket services for Raileurope, issuing of currency and travel card, immigration/ visa services, travel insurance & airport drop & pick. Aitken Spence Travels is a

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.

Aitken Spence Hotels joins the digital revolution with its app for iPads

23 May

Aitken Spence Hotels broke new ground recently with the launch of its first digital application for iPads. The application was designed to provide a comprehensive snapshot of the Aitken Spence Hotels portfolio spread across four diverse destinations; and covers the fundamental facets used by guests to decide on their preferred hotel or resort.

 

A holistic integration of the information of 21 hotels is presented in an interactive seamless platform enabling ease of navigation for the user. The app provides a brief description of each hotel affording guests a glimpse to the roots of the property. The types of accommodation that can be enjoyed by guests are also listed with pictorial representations of the room and its amenities. Information on hotel facilities, dining options, event spaces and excursions can be accessed at the tip of a finger. The information is complimented by an extensive gallery complimenting the sensory journey one engages with when browsing the app. It also provides a unified platform for feedback and reservation inquiries creating easy interaction between Aitken Spence Hotels and potential guests.

 

“The digital revolution has created a fundamental need for businesses to evolve their practices. The launch of an iPad app for Aitken Spence Hotels is one of the many initiatives lined up to evolve our practices to offer our guests an engaging and seamless experience The app is the perfect tool to create brand awareness amongst tour operators, destination management companies and tourists from around the world. We plan to evolve the services that can be offered through the app creating ease of access to the modern traveler” says Mr. Althaf Mohamed Ali, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Aitken Spence Hotels.

Aitken Spence is Sri Lanka’s largest resort operator and the largest international hotel operator 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.

 

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Aitken Spence Hotels Bags Gold Once Again at the CA Annual Report Awards

19 Dec

CA Acceptance Image CA 2013 Group ImageSri Lanka’s leading resort operator, Aitken Spence Hotels walked away with the Gold Award in the Hospitality Sector category at the recently concluded Institute of Chartered Accountants Annual Report Awards. The much anticipated event with its forty nine year old history was held recently under the distinguished patronage of Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Chamal Rajapaksa as Chief Guest.

The annual competition formulated to encourage transparency and accountability in financial reporting in the corporate sector recorded the highest number of registrations this year with a total of 126 entries vying for the coveted awards. This year’s competition revolved around the inspiring theme ‘One Destination – Towards Integrated Reporting’. The Institute of Chartered Accountants Annual Report Awards has been the focal point in inculcating financial reporting discipline in the corporate sector.

“We recognize that transparency and good governance play an extremely vital role and it is encouraging to note that due to global trends most companies are working to ensure that these vital areas are addressed. This win highlights the importance Aitken Spence Hotels gives to sustainability, transparency and accountability and provides a clear indication that the company’s ongoing commitment to report on its economic, social and environmental impacts” said Mr. Malin Hapugoda, Managing Director, Aitken Spence Hotels.

Aitken Spence Hotels manages a portfolio of hotels and resorts in Sri Lanka, Maldives, India and Oman. The company’s expertise in hotel design, building and management is complimented by its dedication and commitment to excellence. Located in some of the key tourist locations, each of the properties cater to a diverse clientele.

Aitken Spence Hotel Holdings PLC Emerges Winners Once Again at the National Business Excellence Awards

3 Dec

Aitken Spence Hotel Holdings PLC emerged victorious at the National Business Excellence Awards presented by the National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka by being adjudged the winner in the Hospitality Sector. Aitken Spence Hotels, a pioneer in the local tourism industry, who has continually been in the forefront of developing efficient hotel energy management systems also emerged winners in the Excellence in Environmental Sustainability category.

 

 

Aitken Spence Hotels operates a chain of 25 hotels and resorts in Sri Lanka, Maldives, India and Oman. With many years in the hotels industry, the company’s expertise in hotel design, building and management is complimented by its dedication and commitment to excellence in everything on offer.

 

“We are delighted to be the recipient of this award, it is truly rewarding to be recognized for our continued commitment towards being a responsible business while contributing to the economic progress of the country”, said Mr. Malin Hapugoda, Aitken Spence Hotels.  Aitken Spence Hotels has been pioneers in driving sustainable tourism in Sri Lanka.

 

As a measure of further commitment to the cause, Aitken Spence Hotels is participant to the United Nationals Global Compact  and undertakes the social obligation towards sustainable business practice. Aitken Spence Hotels align its operation and strategies with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption.  As the leaders in “green” tourism, Aitken Spence Hotels has formulated strategies to ensure the protection of the destination, thus enabling it to retain its natural and cultural appeal over time.

 

Aitken Spence chain boasts of eco-friendly properties, such as Heritance Kandalama, situated in close proximity to two UNESCO world heritage sites and Desert Nights Camp, Al Wasil, Oman, rated as one of the top ten desert retreats in the world. The chain’s Heritance Tea Factory has been voted by the Independent, UK as one of the ‘Top Five Factory Hotels’ in the world and one of the best 100 places to stay in the world.

 

The National Business Excellence Awards is an annual award competition conducted by the National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka (NCCSL) with a view to recognizing business enterprises, which have demonstrated excellence in business, whilst contributing to the economic progress of the country. Applications for the awards were technically evaluated by a team of highly qualified professionals and the final selection was made by an expert Panel of Judges.

 

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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

Aitken Spence Brings “Logos Hope” to Sri Lanka Again

25 Sep

“Logos Hope” the World’s largest floating book fair vessel was recently at the Port of Colombo. For over three decades the vessel and its predecessors “Logos” and ‘Doulos’ has been represented in Sri Lanka by Aitken Spence Shipping, a subsidiary of diversified conglomerate Aitken Spence PLC.

Previously in 2011, ‘Mv Logos Hope’ the goodwill passenger cruise liner cum book exhibition vessel created history, when it docked at the Port of Hambantota, as the first ever passenger vessel to call at the Port, while making a stop at the Port of Galle.

“We are honoured to handle Logos Hope in Sri Lanka once again and have been the agents for these vessels since the early 1980s. Logos Hope brings a global message of education and hope to countries across the world and we are truly privileged to be a part of it for three decades”, said Iqram Cuttilan, Vice President of Aitken Spence Shipping.

Aitken Spence Shipping pioneers in the industry represent some of the world’s leading shipping lines and are the first in Sri Lanka to undertake port efficiency enhancement management overseas with its entry into the African continent and then the Pacific. The Company handles all areas of maritime services – from ship agents and cargo handlers, to liner agency, cruise vessel, port management and development, ship owning and chartering services. With the Group’s involvement in the leisure industry, the company is able to offer comprehensive synergised services to cruise operators.

Aitken Spence Shipping is subsidiary of Aitken Spence PLC which is among Sri Lanka’s leading and most respected corporate entities with operations in South Asia, the Middle East, Africa and the Pacific. Listed in the Colombo Stock Exchange since 1983, Aitken Spence has major interests in hotels, travel, maritime services, logistics and power generation. The group also has a significant presence in plantations, printing, financial services, insurance, information technology and garments.

“Logos Hope” which arrived on the 29th of August at the port commenced its ‘Book Fair’ open to the public the following day; when it was ceremoniously opened by First Lady Madam Shiranthi Rajapaksa. The ship continued to remain in Colombo till the 23rd of September.

The vessel is staffed by volunteers – around 400 people from about 50 different countries serve with varying contributions. The volunteers live on board managing the overall operations and maintenance of the ship. A multicultural contingent whose purpose is to bring knowledge, help and hope to the people of the world.

Owned and operated by GBA SHIPS – (GuteBücherfürAlle/ Good Books for All) a German based charity organization, the project is initiated as non-profit International Book Fair and Youth Service Project. GBA SHIPS has a longstanding record of welcoming more than 42 million people on board since 1970, and have visited over 150 countries over the years. Logos Hope is currently now their only operational vessel, while it has been the first ship to carry a floating book fair.

 

Logos Hope arrives at the colombo port

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