Tag Archives: Aitken Spence Maritime

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.

Aitken Spence Facilitates Cruise Ship Call on All Four Ports in Sri Lanka

30 Jan

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For the first time in Sri Lanka a cruise ship has made calls on the four main ports of Sri Lanka. The Luxury Cruise Ship Ms Europa 2 owned by German Operator Hapag-Lloyd Kreuzfahrten called on the 29th, 30th and 31st January 2016 to the Ports of Galle, Colombo, Hambantota respectively and have arrived at the Port of Trincomalee on the 1st of February 2016.

Hapag-Lloyd Lanka which is a subsidiary of Aitken Spence PLC is the local agent for Hapag-Lloyd, a top five global container operator. During her stay in Colombo on the 30th January 2016 at the request of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, the local agent Hapag-Lloyd Lanka carried out a full passenger turnaround in Colombo on 30th January 2016 which included, embarking and disembarking a total of 740 passengers.

Ms Europa 2 is a newly designed luxury cruise ship, which is considered as one of the most spacious cruise ships on the market. Every year the Ms Europa 2 sets sail on its journey around the World to visit Ports that are unreachable by other ships due to its size.

Hapag-Lloyd Kreuzfahrten has decided to have more frequent callers to Colombo, Galle, Trincomalee and Hambantota and are scheduled to call all four Ports in Sri Lanka in 2017/18. A full passenger turnaround is once again scheduled to take place in 2017 and as well as in 2018.

On April 7th 2015 Ms Europa, the sister ship of Ms Europa 2, called the Ports of Trincomalee, Galle and Colombo.

Aitken Spence Hosts WACO International Conference in Colombo

3 Dec
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From left to right: Mr. Rohantha Peiris – Managing Director, Aitken Spence Cargo, Mr. Jerome Brohier – Vice President, Aitken Spence Cargo, Waco board members Mr. Shinji Kitamura , Mr. Kristjan Palsson , Mr. Rajan Brito – Deputy Chairman and Managing Director, Aitken Spence PLC, Mr. Thomas Reuter – Waco board member, Mr. Stephen Knight – Chairman,Waco, Mr. Richard Charles – Executive Director,Waco, Mr. Arthur A. Da Silva – Vice Chairman, Waco & Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake – Chairman & CEO Aitken Spence Maritime & Logistics and Director of Aitken Spence PLC.

Aitken Spence Cargo hosted the 83rd General meeting of WACO, the world’s foremost independent global freight management & logistics networkrecently, for the first time in Sri Lanka.

With 64 countries in attendance, the event gives the network global partners the opportunity to meet during the bilateral meetings and discuss future plans and strategies as well as review past initiatives.Aitken Spence Cargo was the host member and is the WACO representative in Sri Lanka since 2002.

An exclusive network consisting of independent freight management companies, Waco was founded in 1973. Its current membership is from 104 countries in over 450 locations employing over 30,000 freight professionals handling over 2 million shipments per year with an annual turnover of USD 4 billion. The company is an association owned by its members with its corporate head office in Zurich and operational management in London.

Aitken Spence Maritime & Logistics Chairman & CEO and Director of Aitken Spence PLC Dr.Parakrama Dissanayake spoke on “Global Container Shipping – Challenges / Trends and Implications on Indian Sub-Continent Transhipment Hubs”, as the keynote speaker.

Members of the Board of WACO led by its Chairman Stephen Knight, at a meeting with Aitken Spence representatives led by its Deputy Chairman and Managing Director J M S Brito discussed opportunities arising from the new government’sagenda for infrastructure development and initiatives in propelling Sri Lanka as a maritime hub.

Aitken Spence is Sri Lanka’s largest integrated logistics services provider. Aitken Spence Cargo is considered as the company that pioneered freight forwarding in the country, now providing total freight and logistics solutions with offices in 15 locations. It has offices in Bangladesh, Maldives and Pakistan. Aitken Spence Cargo represents Qatar Airways Cargo in Sri Lanka, TNT Express in Sri Lanka & Maldives, while also representing SriLankan Airlines Cargo in theMaldives and Bangladesh.

Aitken Spence Enhances Efficiency at Fiji Ports

13 Nov

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Since taking over management control of the International Fijian ports of Suva and Lautoka in July last year Aitken Spence has increased ship crane productivity by 70 per cent.

Aitken Spence has also reduced berthing delays from between 12 to 18 hrs to 0.50 hrs on average while equipment downtime has been reduced by 60 per cent.

The substantial efficiency improvements were highlighted by Chairman/CEO of Aitken Spence Maritime, Logistics & Cargo and Director of Aitken Spence PLC, Dr Parakrama Dissanayake, in his address at the 39th Pacific Maritime Transport Alliance Conference held in the island country of Niue from 28th – 31st October 2014. The conference themed “Our Pacific shores, the waves of possibilities’ was attended by 26 countries in the South Pacific including Australia and New Zealand.

Marking the first ever public-private partnership by a Sri Lankan company, Aitken Spence entered into a public-private partnership with Fiji Ports Corporation acquiring 51 per cent of the shares in Ports Terminal Limited in 2013 to oversee the repair and operation of the ports of Suva and Lautoka.

Aitken Spence PLC is among Sri Lanka’s most dynamic and respected corporate entities with operations in South Asia, the Middle East, Africa and the South Pacific. Listed in the CSE since 1983, it has major interests in hotels, travel, maritime services, logistic solutions and power generation. The group also has a significant presence in plantations, printing,garments, financial services, insurance and information technology.

“We are confident the private-public partnership would result in the establishment of Fiji as the gateway to the Pacific” said Dr. Dissanayake.

“We will bring in the global best practices in human resources and the processes in the system and also in the sphere of having the right machinery to having the right level of productivity,” he added.

The Pacific Maritime Transport Alliance Conference emphasized the importance of safety and security of all ships navigating the vast Pacific Ocean for maritime transportation and trade within the region.

The conference provided an opportunity for port members from the Pacific Island countries and territories to share ideas, enhance understanding and promote co-operative approaches to the achievement of conference.

The conference noted that in order to improve safety and security, ports and infrastructure providers need to embrace a business outlook,with operation and service strategies that adhere to legislation and encourage improved performance.

Aitken Spence 6-month PBT Up by 13pc

11 Nov

Diversified conglomerate Aitken Spence PLC posted a pre-tax profit of Rs. 2.29 bn for six months ended 30th September 2014, an increase of 13 per cent from the corresponding period last year.
The blue chip’s half-year revenue soared by 23.7 per cent to Rs. 19.7 bn, results released to the Colombo Stock Exchange revealed. Profit attributable to equity holders rose by 8.1 per cent to Rs. 1.3 bn while earnings per share improved by 8.1 per cent to Rs. 3.27, over the corresponding period.
Aitken Spence PLC is among Sri Lanka’s most dynamic and respected corporate entities with operations in South Asia, the Middle East, Africa and the South Pacific. Listed in the CSE since 1983, it has major interests in hotels, travel, maritime services, logistic solutions and power generation. The group also has a significant presence in plantations, printing, garments, financial services, insurance and information technology.
Inbound travels sector contributed strongly to the broader tourism sector’s performance during the period under review. Aitken Spence Travels, a joint venture with global giant TUI, is Sri Lanka’s largest destination management company with a leading presence in the Maldives.
Aitken Spence is presently in the midst of two substantial hotel projects in Sri Lanka worth approximately 18 billion rupees. Heritance Negombo, which is expected to be Negombo’s landmark destination will be a high-end 142-room resort, expected to open in 2015. A joint venture with globally renowned RIU Hotels, the 500-room RIU Ahungalla will be the largest hotel out of Colombo with opening date set in 2016.
Strong returns from Port Terminals Ltd which runs ports in Fiji made a significant contribution to the Maritime Cargo Logistics sector’s performance.
Considerable growth in the Printing and Garments businesses helped the Strategic Investments Sector record a robust performance during the six months.
In September, the Apparel business unit began the refurbishment of a new expanded facility that would double its capacity. The new factory in Koggala which is expected to be operational in December this year will be employing 1500 staff.
Aitken Spence Printing, an industry leader, recently invested in additional machinery to bolster its post-press facilities.
The increased generation by the Group’s Embilipitiya power plant strengthened the performance of the Strategic Investments sector during the reporting period. The company sold its power plant in Matara during the period under review.
The Balance Sheet during for period under review reflected the Aitken Spence’s recent acquisition of a hotel property in Chennai.

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Aitken Spence facilitates MS Europa call on three ports in Sri Lanka

9 Apr

The luxury cruise ship MS Europa, owned by German operator Hapag-Lloyd Kreuzfahrten, called at the Ports of Trincomalee, Galle and Colombo recently with a total of 355 passengers and 280 crew on board. Aitken Spence Maritime is the local agent for Hapag-Lloyd, considered one of the largest container shipping lines in the world.

MS Europa, has been awarded the rating of 5-stars-plus for the fourteenth time in a row by the Berlitz Cruise Guide, is said to be designed as an “all outside concept”. Adorned with a 204 passenger suites, the cruise is considered as one of the most spacious cruise ships on the market and is intended for the luxury cruise segment of the German speaking market. Every year the MS Europa sets sail on its journey around the world to visit ports that are unreachable by other ships due to its size.
“Hapag-Lloyd Kreuzfahrten has decided to have more frequent callers to Trincomalee, Galle and Colombo and have included the Port of Hambantota in their schedule for 2015/16. We intend in selecting Sri Lanka Ports for our start and end voyages, where the passengers will embark and disembark in Sri Lanka” said Lalith Witanachchi, General Manager of Hapag-Lloyd Lanka.
Hapag-Lloyd’s local agents Aitken Spence Maritime pioneers in the industry and are the first in Sri Lanka to undertake port efficiency enhancement management overseas with its entry into the African continent and then the South Pacific Islands. The Company handles all areas of maritime services – from ship agents and cargo handlers, to liner agency, cruise vessel, port management and development, chartering services and maritime education. With the Group’s involvement in the leisure industry, the company is able to offer comprehensive synergised services to cruise operators.

On MS Europa’s voyage to Sri Lanka, the cruise ship called at the Port of Trincomalee and Galle prior to her calling at the Port of Colombo on the 7th of April 2014. To commemorate her inaugural call a ceremony was held onboard at the Trincomalee port where the staff Captain Alexander Sokacic of MS Europa was handed a plaque by the officials of Hapag-Lloyd Lanka – Mr. Lalith Witanachchi and Mr. Chathura Nissanka. From Sri Lanka Ports Authority Mr. K. Nanathilake – Residence Manager Trincomalee Port also attended the ceremony to mark this commemorative occasion. [Ends]

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(L-R) Ms Syblle Hardegen -MS Europa, Chathura Nissanka – Hapag Lloyd Lanka, Lalith Witanachchi – Hapag Lloyd Lanka, Capt. Alexander Sokacic – Staff Capt. MS Europa), K. Nanathilake – Residence Manager Sri Lanka Ports Authority Trincomalee

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Aitken Spence boosts Fiji Port efficiencies by 35pc in two months

15 Oct

Aitken Spence public-private partnership with the Fiji Ports Corporation to oversee the operation of Suva and Lautoka ports, the largest in Fiji; recorded an increase in its efficiencies by 35 per cent within a short span of two months.
Marking the first- ever public-private partnership overseas by a Sri Lankan company recorded to-date; diversified blue-chip Aitken Spence bought a 51 per cent stake in state-owned Fiji Ports Terminal Ltd, taking control of businesses of the two ports for a period of 15 years.

A function commemorating the Public Private Partnership between Fiji Ports Corporation and Aitken Spence PLC was held recently at the Holiday Inn Suva in Fiji, where Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake, Chairman of Aitken Spence Maritime and Director of Aitken Spence PLC revealed the increased efficiencies in the Ports.

“Achieving substantial gains in efficiencies within two months is major milestone, especially in the absence of the shore cranes which are vital to enhance productivity and efficiency of the ports. Fiji Ports Corporation has assured us that it will be delivered by the end of this month” he noted.

Dr. Dissanayake further stressed what was encouraging was that shipping lines had written to them commending on the progress made so far. “This is a process where we have to continuously enhance the service delivery to sustain the level of efficiency to make sure we have a world class port” he added while encouraging all stakeholders to join hands to deliver the service standards that they were expecting.

Deputy Chairman and Managing Director of Aitken Spence PLC, Mr. J M S Brito said, “Efficient ports are a key driver of economic growth. We are committed to establishing world-class best practices to our port operations in Fiji to improve its efficiencies and enhance its competitive position”.

At the function, Attorney-General and Minister for Public Enterprises in Fiji, Hon. Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said that the Fijian Government looks forward to Aitken Spence’s internationally-exposed skill sets to help incorporating efficient management systems and style to the Fijian people and to its broader operations. “We look forward to you bringing your skill set and your expertise that not only exists in Sri Lanka but various parts of the world” he said addressing the representatives from Aitken Spence.

Adding to his address, Hon. Sayed-Khaiyum stated that there are abundant prospects by Aitken Spence which the Fijian Government believes can be explored in numerous other areas. He indicated plans are currently underway on an agreement with Aitken Spence, with regards to further areas of engagement.
Aitken Spence PLC is among Sri Lanka’s leading and most respected corporate entities with operations in South Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Listed in the Colombo Stock Exchange since 1983, it 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. Aitken Spence was recognized as the Best Corporate Citizen by the country’s leading chamber of commerce for 2012.
Aitken Spence Boosts Fiji Ports Efficiency

Aitken Spence in first-ever Public-Private partnership by a Sri Lankan company overseas

21 Aug

Aitken Spence recently entered into a public-private partnership with the Fiji Ports Corporation to oversee the repair and operation of Suva and Lautoka ports, the largest in Fiji; marking the first- ever public-private partnership by a Sri Lankan company recorded to-date.
Fiji media reported that the partnership is worth an estimated US$10.5 million. Aitken Spence PLC will own 51 per cent of the stake in Fiji Ports Terminal Ltd, the joint venture company, taking control of the business in two ports for a period of 15 years.

The Prime Minister and Minister for Finance of Fiji, Commodore Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama, in his speech at the occasion said, “When we invited expressions of interest in a Public Private Partnership to invest in and manage Ports Terminal Limited in December, Aitken Spence came to us with a comprehensive blueprint to boost the efficiency and productivity of our port movements. We share the same vision to make these container terminals world class, to radically overturn the inefficiencies of the past and apply best practice to eventually establish them as the leading ports and maritime logistic centres in the Pacific”.

“Aitken Spence has a reputation for certain things my Government values most – innovation, imagination, thinking outside the box. We see it as the ideal partner to improve the overall performance of our two main ports and look forward to implementing our joint vision to transform the operations in Suva and Lautoka,” he further added.

The Fiji Sun quoted Aitken Spence Maritime Chairman Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake speaking to reporters at the official ceremony as saying, “I’m confident the public-private partnership will result in the establishment of Fiji as the gateway to the South Pacific. We will bring in the global best practices in human resources and the processes in the system and also in the sphere of having the right machinery to having the right level of productivity”.

Fiji Times had earlier reported that the poor management and lack of performance at the Suva and Lautoka ports are the main reasons behind the government’s decision to hand over the management of the ports to Aitken Spence.

Article appeared on the Sunday Times – Business Section – 18th August 2013

 

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Picture shows Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, Minister of Public Enterprises and Aitken Spence Maritime Chairman Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake (right) at the launch ceremony

Aitken Spence Strengthens Maritime Portfolio

16 Apr

Strengthening its maritime services portfolio, diversified blue-chip Aitken Spence enhanced its venture into maritime education by significantly increasing its shareholding in Colombo International Nautical & Engineering College (CINEC), Sri Lanka’s largest private higher education institution. The company first formed a partnership with CINEC in 2010. “Consolidating our partnership with CINEC is a part of our strategy to further strengthen our contribution towards positioning Sri Lanka as major regional hub for maritime services. Given an encouraging enabling environment we see tremendous opportunity for the private sector to spearhead the country’s vision to exploit its strategic geographic location and skilled human resources to become the regional maritime hub”, said J M S Brito, Deputy Chairman and Managing Director, Aitken Spence PLC. With an unrivalled gamut of services Aitken Spence is Sri Lanka’s largest logistics service provider. The Group’s involvement with cargo and maritime logistics began from its inception, over a century ago. Through the years, the Aitken Spence has evolved to become a fully integrated logistics solutions provider, extending its services worldwide. “The association with CINEC has helped Aitken Spence to further strengthen its maritime portfolio. Through the world-class faculty and teaching facilities, the education and training instilled into the number of men and women who study under this institution results in maritime specialists who are equipped, not only to raise the profile of Sri Lanka’s maritime industry but also to add value to the global maritime industry”, said Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake, Chairman of Aitken Spence Maritime and Director of Aitken Spence PLC. The CINEC Maritime Campus was established in 1990 and is the only campus of its kind in Sri Lanka and the region. It is especially known for the high level of quality instruction and training provided to students. CINEC’s objective is to create and foster healthy working partnerships with professional organisations and stakeholders in the maritime industry, while providing excellent employment opportunities to its maritime students and graduates. The largest private education campus in Sri Lanka, CINEC’s annual student intake is over 14,000 men and women. The state-of-the-art maritime campus has sophisticated laboratories that house up to date simulators and best in modern technology, which has won them approval by the Directorate of Merchant Shipping in Sri Lanka. CINEC was judged to be the best Education and Training facility in the island and bestowed with the prestigious National Quality Award in 1999, 2004 and again in 2009. CINEC Maritime Campus is established on a firm foundation based on four internationally accredited Quality Management Systems: ISO 9001: 2008 Quality Management System Standard, ISO 14001:2004 Environmental Management System Standard, OHSAS 18001:2007 Occupational Health & Safety Management System Standard and DNV Standard for certification of Maritime Academies No. 3.401; which ensure that the students are served with a sense of professionalism and care. CINEC is affiliated to the University of Wolverhampton in the UK as well as to the University of South Australia in Adelaide. In June 2009, CINEC signed up with Dalian Maritime University of China to conduct BSc and MBA degree programmes in the fields of Information Technology, International Transportation Management, Planning and Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management. This was the first branch of its kind opened by the Dalian Maritime University. Dalian Maritime University (DMU) is one of the largest and best maritime universities in the world and is the only key maritime institution under the Ministry of Communications, People’s Republic of China. DMU has over 100 year tradition of excellence in teaching, learning & research. It enjoys a high reputation internationally & has been recognized by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) as being an excellent centre for maritime education & training. Ship handling, imports and exports are the businesses Aitken Spence Maritime was founded on. The Company acquired its first agency, the Scottish owned ‘Clan Line’ in 1873, when it was still known as Clark Spence & Company. With the new Aitken Spence partnership in 1876 the Company moved its headquarters to Colombo. Back then Aitken Spence Shipping was the only operator along with E. Coates who helped maintain the day to day operations of the Colombo harbour through the supply of labour and the handling of general administration. Apart from casual caller/tramp agency representation, the Company handles all other 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 Maritime is the first in Sri Lanka to undertake port efficiency enhancement management overseas with its entry into the African continent. Aitken Spence PLC is among Sri Lanka’s leading and most respected corporate entities with operations in South Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Listed in the Colombo Stock Exchange since 1983, it 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.

Aitken Spence Records an Excellent Performance Once Again

4 Jun

Fast forwards plans for Sri Lanka

The Sri Lanka-based diversified conglomerate Aitken Spence PLC recorded a net profit attributable to shareholders of Rs. 2.08 billion for 2009/10, showing an increase of 1.8% from last year. Revenue for the year stood at Rs. 24.4 billion. The operating profit for the year was Rs. 4.0 billion while the net profit after tax was Rs. 3.0 billion. Company’s results released to the Colombo Stock Exchange on Friday revealed an impressive Earnings per Share of Rs. 76.73, up from Rs. 75.37 during the previous year. The Company announced an outstanding dividend per share of Rs. 10, which increased from Rs. 9.50 last year.

The bluechip’s share price at the year end stood at Rs. 1,373.75 which represents a remarkable growth of 336.1% from a year ago.

In his review, Chairman of Aitken Spence PLC, Mr. D H S Jayawardena said:

“Despite the economic downturn worldwide and a year full of challenges faced by the country, I am proud of your Company’s performance which recorded the highest ever profit attributable to shareholders amounting to Rs. 2,077 million.

2010/11 will see Aitken Spence embark on a new phase in its expansion in Sri Lanka. As I stated last year, the Group remains committed to play its part in the nation building agenda of the government. With this in mind, our expansion plans will encompass the newly liberated areas of North and East”.

The Group’s maritime transport, integrated logistics, printing and tourism segments were the main drivers of growth this year.

Aitken Spence Hotel Holdings PLC., the investing company of Aitken Spence Hotels, has approached its shareholders to raise Rs. 2.5 billion through a right issue which was successfully concluded recently. The funds will be used for the high priority expansion projects in Sri Lanka, including those in the North and East and a smaller portion of the funds will be utilised for the development of a high-end resort in Kerala, South India, in a joint venture with an Indian partner.

“We intend developing the 100 acre beachfront property at Nilaveli as a priority project. We are in the process of evaluating a number of options before deciding on the final development plan at Nilaveli which would be aimed at harnessing the maximum value of this prime property. Also in the pipeline is a hotel in Jaffna where there is presently a dearth of high quality accommodation for both international and domestic travelers.

The Group continues to explore new opportunities for management of hotels in other regions, including those in which we already have a presence”, said Deputy Chairman and Managing Director, Mr. J M S Brito.

Although the Sri Lankan resorts made losses during the first half of the year, the second half showed a much improved performance. With the leap in prospects in Sri Lanka, the Company has fast tracked its expansion plans in the tourism sector.

During the year under review, Aitken Spence refurbished and rebranded its unique theme hotel in Kandapola as Heritance Tea Factory while the high-end Adaaran Prestige Vadoo commenced operations in the Maldives. The Group acquired Ramada Resort, formerly known as Golden Sun Resort, in Kalutara which was earlier only a managed property. The Company intends to upgrade the resort with refurbishments planned for the near future.

Key projects rolled out during the year include the conversion of Neptune Hotel, the Group’s first ever resort property, into a sixty four roomed specialised ayurveda and wellness resort, due to open in December 2010.

The destination management segment made a strong performance during the year  as tour operators increasing their volumes due to peaceful conditions.

Maldives fared marginally better than last year, which is still an impressive performance, even though global conditions continued to impact the market. The Company notes that by the end of the year the islands and in particular its Adaaran Resorts were enjoying heavy demand and high occupancy rates, although the average room rates declined.

The Group’s airline GSA business comprising of the General Sales Agencies for Singapore Airlines and Kingfisher Airlines reported losses during the year due to reduced flights and reduced airfares combined with the oppressive conditions of the industry worldwide.

The scope of the Company’s maritime operations in the African continent widened during the year with the award of a ship planning contract involving several South African ports, in addition to the existing port efficiency enhancement operations.

The Group’s power segment performed well given the constraints in the industry. The Company notes that growth potential in Sri Lanka seems limited in the immediate future, which has accelerated its efforts to venture overseas and utilise its expertise in the region. In addition, the Group continues to pursue green and alternative energy projects. Aitken Spence has already commenced a hydropower project in Matale.

The Group’s integrated logistics segment performed well during the year,  during which it also made several investments in expanding its container freight station and warehousing facilities.

Shortly after the year end, Aitken Spence divested its stake in Hayleys Plantation Services Ltd, in keeping with our policy of only owning companies in which we have control of management.